UK travel rule changes: 47 countries come off red list and more passengers are exempt from quarantine
8 October 2021

UK travel rule changes: 47 countries come off red list and more passengers are exempt from quarantine

English UK welcomes the travel changes announced yesterday which will make it easier for more international students to travel to the UK.

From Monday 11 October, 47 countries will come off the UK's red travel list. The only countries still on the red list will be Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Passengers arriving from all other countries need to quarantine in their accommodation for ten days, unless they meet the conditions to be exempt from quarantine. 

Also on Monday, 37 new countries will be added to the UK's approved vaccine programme list. This will benefit all students under 18 years old from these countries, and any adults who are fully vaccinated with a UK-approved vaccine. See details below.

Who is exempt from quarantine from Monday?

Eligible vaccinated adults and all under 18s from a list of over 100 countries no longer need to quarantine on arrival to the UK. Some of the countries that are joining this list on 11 October are Brazil, Chile, Oman, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.

Unfortunately, not all vaccinated adults are 'eligible' to avoid quarantine. Passengers must be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine, in a country with an approved vaccination programme. For UK travel purposes, a passenger is considered 'fully vaccinated' if: 

  • They have had a complete course of the Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna or Janssen vaccines, or a combination of these, at least 15 days before arrival AND

  • They received their vaccine in one of the 100 countries on the list of approved vaccination programmes.

  • All passengers under 18 years old from these countries follow the same rules as fully vaccinated adults, so they do not need to quarantine.

Passengers who are exempt from quarantine also have reduced Covid test requirements. Before travel, they just need to book a Covid test for day two after arrival, and they need to complete the UK passenger locator form.

Rules for students who need to quarantine

Students who are not considered 'fully vaccinated' under the UK government travel rules must quarantine for 10 days on arrival.

If they have not been in a red list country in the ten days before travel, they can complete their quarantine period in their UK accommodation. Language schools are able to provide appropriate homestay or student residence accommodation so that students can follow the quarantine rules, and start their English courses online.

If students are travelling to England, they may be able to end quarantine as early as day six if they pay for an additional private Covid test through the Test to Release scheme.

Read more details about the rules they need to follow on the English with Confidence website

Note that students can only travel from red list countries if they have a Short-term Study visa or a Student visa, and they must book a managed quarantine package at a government-approved hotel. 

English UK's response to the changes

English UK welcomes these changes as a step in the right direction for the UK ELT industry, and we hope more national vaccination programmes will be recognised in the near future. 

English UK's CEO Jodie Gray commented:

'The latest changes to the UK red list, together with the expansion for quarantine-free travel to the UK from 37 new countries, are immensely welcome and really do signal that we are open to students. We now urge the government to confirm the use of cheaper and simpler day 2 lateral flow tests and consider accepting a greater range of the vaccine programmes approved by the WHO.'

Do you have questions?

If you have any questions about the UK travel rules, please contact the English UK team who will be happy to help. 



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