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24 Jan 2022

Covid-19 tests scrapped for vaccinated travellers arriving into UK from 11 February

Restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers will be eased again

The rules for unvaccinated travellers have also changed

Fully vaccinated travellers returning into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are to become exempt from the requirement to take a day 2 arrivals test when arriving into England on 11 February at 4am.

Unvaccinated travellers will also see an easing of the rules. From this date they will be expected to take a pre-departure test before setting off for the UK, and a PCR test on or before day 2 when arriving into England.

All travellers will still be required to fill our passenger locator forms.

What are the current travel rules, and how will they change?

Until 11 February at 4am, fully vaccinated travellers arriving into England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland from green countries must complete a passenger locator form within the 48 hours before they arrive in the UK and take a day 2 test on arrival. This can be a lateral flow or PCR test.

Those booking return day 2 lateral flow or PCR tests will need to do so through private providers - you cannot use free NHS tests for travel purposes.

Until 11 February at 4am those who aren't inoculated are required to book and pay for three tests and self-isolate on return to the UK, including those returning from a green list country.

When the rules change, fully vaccinated travellers arriving into the UK will no longer need to take any tests. They will, however, need to fill out a passenger locator form within the 48 hours before arriving into England.

Those who aren't fully vaccinated will only be required to take a pre-departure test and a day 2 test, along with filling out a passenger locator form within the 48 hours before arriving in the UK.


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Where can I get a day 2 test in the UK?

We've conducted a mystery shop of the best, cheap Covid-19 test providers, and four providers stood out. You can browse them via their homepages in the list below.

Testing For All homepage

Source Bioscience homepage

Rainbow Labs homepage

Eurofins homepage

We've also praised C19 Testing for its measures in place to help meet demand and positive social media reviews. You can read more about C19 Testing via its website.

When will travel testing end for vaccinated holidaymakers?

Boris Johnson has announced that day 2 testing for vaccinated arrivals will be scrapped for those returning from green list countries into the UK on 11 February at 4am.

woman looking at her laptop

What are the testing and quarantine rules for fully vaccinated holidaymakers returning from green list countries to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Until 11 February at 4am: No pre-departure test required

Complete a passenger locator form within the 48 hours before arriving in the UK

Take a privately purchased lateral flow or PCR test on or before day 2 after arriving into the UK (you cannot use a free NHS PCR test)

In recent months there's been a discussion around testing providers failing to return tests on time or including clauses in their terms and conditions which exclude them from the need to deliver on-time results, as well as those advertising misleading prices. That's why it's essential you choose a provider that won't let you down. Read our PCR provider mystery shop results for more information.

Can I use a free NHS Covid test for my day 2 test?

No. You cannot use free NHS tests for travel. When purchasing a private PCR day 2 test you'll be provided with a unique reference number, which will be asked for in your passenger locator form when travelling.

people on plane wearing masks

What are the testing and quarantine rules for non-vaccinated holidaymakers returning from 'rest of world' green list countries to the UK?

Until 11 February at 4am: Take a pre-departure lateral flow test before flying home to the UK - within 72 hours of your departure time (this must be negative to be permitted to travel)

Self-isolate on arrival in the UK for 10 days

Take privately purchased day 2 and 8 PCR tests

You can pay to take a day 5 test to release to reduce the self-isolation period (in England only)

These rules mean unvaccinated holidaymakers will still have to pay anywhere from around £100 to upwards of £250 for tests, but will be able to isolate at home, rather than in a hotel.

After 11 February at 4am: Book and pay for a pre-departure test (to be taken before setting off for the UK) and day 2 test (to be taken on or before day 2 of arrival into the UK).

What are the testing and quarantine rules for all travellers returning from red list countries?

Anybody travelling to the UK from a red list country must take two PCR tests and quarantine in a hotel.

Requirements:

Take a pre-departure lateral flow test before flying home to the UK - within 72 hours of your departure time (this must be negative to be permitted to travel)

Undergo a managed hotel quarantine for 10 days - this costs £2,285 for one adult

Take day 2 and 8 tests with no option for a day 5 test to release

Do you need a booster jab to count as fully vaccinated?

woman getting covid vaccine

Some countries including Austria and Croatia have set expiry dates on travellers' 'fully vaccinated' status, meaning in some countries you may no longer be considered eligible for if a certain amount of days have passed since your second dose. Keep an eye on FCDO guidelines to find out your country's entry requirements.

Can I travel to all countries on the green 'rest of world' list?

No. Just because a country is rated green in the UK, that doesn't mean you can travel there. Countries have their own specific entry requirements - some countries, such as Australia, are not currently allowing British nationals to enter.

I'm not double jabbed and now need to quarantine - what are my cancellation rights?

Under the new rules, if you are not double jabbed with a vaccine that is recognised in the UK, you will be required to quarantine on return from a holiday, even if returning from a non-red destination. This may mean that it is no longer feasible for you to travel.

It is unclear how holiday providers will respond to this unexpected scenario. When the UK was operating within the traffic light travel system, many companies were offering unvaccinated travellers refunds or fee-free amendments if their destination moved from the green list to the amber list, requiring them to quarantine.

They may or may not have extended these policies to include unexpected quarantine under new updates, covering unvaccinated travellers who booked before the requirement to quarantine began. Contact your holiday provider to check their cancellation and rebooking policy.