Who can travel to the UK and what are the rules for entering?

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As restrictions start to lift for British citizens using a traffic light system, holidays are once again back on the cards. Since Monday 17 May residents of England, Wales and Scotland have been legally allowed to travel to countries on the green list and amber list. But what about those wanting to travel to the UK from other countries? Here’s how the rules currently stand.

Can I travel to the UK right now?

The answer is yes – for most people. Non-residents who enter from green or amber list countries are allowed into the UK, but they must follow the rules that apply to that country. As a reminder, the countries or territories on the green list are:

1. Portugal
2. Israel
3. Singapore
4. Australia
5. New Zealand
6. Brunei
7. Iceland
8. Gibraltar
9. Falkland Islands
10. Faroe Islands
11. South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
12. St Helena, Tristan de Cunha, Ascension Island

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Anyone entering the UK from a green list county must take a Covid test 72 hours before departure, complete a passenger locator form and take a second test on or before day two of arrival. However, they do not need to quarantine.

Cornwall, England

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The amber list consists of more than 100 countries, including France, Spain and the USA. Those travelling from a country on the amber list must take one pre-departure test, complete a passenger locator form and quarantine for 10 days upon arriving in England, Wales or Scotland. In addition, PCR tests will be required on days two and eight of quarantine (reduced to day five by paying for the cost of an extra test on that day).

Can residents of a red list country enter the UK?

No. The only people permitted to enter the UK from one of the 43 countries on the red list are British residents. The red list includes countries such as Brazil, South Africa and India, and anyone allowed to enter the UK from these countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel for 10 days, at a cost of £1,750. Failure to comply will result in fines of up to £10,000.

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So are holidays to the UK allowed this year?

As long as you follow the traffic light system, technically yes – although bear in mind that rules are still in place to stop the spread of Covid, including social distancing and mask-wearing indoors. It’s hoped that, from Monday 21 June, all restrictions will be lifted in England; although this will be confirmed by the government nearer the time.

For now, if you’re booking a trip to the UK we recommend you ensure you have a flexible cancellation policy and good Covid insurance.

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