Morgan Lewis

In response to the newly identified COVID-19 variant, Omicron, the UK government has moved 10 countries to the “red list” and reintroduced stringent rules for international travel.

NEW TRAVEL RULES

As of 30 November 2021, all travellers must:

  • complete the public health passenger locator form within 48 hours prior to travel, a copy of which (paper or digital) will need to be provided to immigration officers upon arrival;
  • book and pay for a COVID-19 PCR test to be taken before the end of day two in England (the day of arrival is day zero); and
  • self-isolate upon arrival in the UK.

If the PCR test result is positive, individuals must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day the test is taken is considered day zero. If the PCR test result is negative and the traveller is fully vaccinated, then the individual can leave self-isolation.

Further, the new guidance will mean stricter travel rules for arrivals from countries on the red list. Travellers from countries currently on the red list will only be allowed to enter the United Kingdom if they are British or Irish nationals or have residence rights in the United Kingdom. The red list currently includes Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FULLY VACCINATED?

In order to qualify as a fully vaccinated individual, travellers must have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival in the United Kingdom:

  • with an approved two-dose or one-dose vaccine authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the United Kingdom and UK vaccine programme overseas, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Europe, SwissMedic for Switzerland, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the United States; or
  • with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, or the UAE; or
  • under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, or Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body

Furthermore, passengers must be able to prove that they have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum, the following:

  • forename and surname(s)
  • date of birth
  • ·vaccine brand and manufacturer
  • date of vaccination for every dose
  • country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer

Passengers fully vaccinated in the United States will also need to prove that they are a US resident.

If an individual is fully vaccinated, but does not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules, they must follow the rules for non-vaccinated individuals.

TRAVEL RULES FOR UNVACCINATED TRAVELLERS

Before travelling to England, all unvaccinated passengers must:

  • present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure;
  • complete the public health passenger locator form within 48 hours prior to travel, a copy of which (paper or digital) will need to be provided to immigration officers upon arrival;
  • book and pay for two mandated COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day two as well as on or after day eight of arrival.

Upon arrival in England, all unvaccinated passengers must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days;
  • take a COVID-19 PCR test on or before day two as well as on or after day eight of quarantining (as above); and
  • those who are subject to the 10-day self-isolation may elect to book a COVID-19 test in the United Kingdom to reduce the self-isolation period. The test must be taken on or after day five of the isolation period at home or at a private provider testing site. If the passenger receives a negative result, they would be eligible to finish self-isolating immediately at that time.

RED LIST TRAVEL RULES

For British and Irish nationals and those with resident rights in the United Kingdom who have been in a red list country in the 10 days before arriving in the UK, the below rules apply. These rules apply even if the individual is fully vaccinated.

Before travelling to England all such passengers must:

  • present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure;
  • complete the public health passenger locator form within 48 hours before travel; and
  • book and pay for a quarantine hotel package, including two mandated COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day two as well as on or after day eight of arrival.

Upon arrival in England, all such passengers must:

  • quarantine in a managed hotel for 10 days; and
  • take a COVID-19 PCR test on or before day two as well as on or after day eight of quarantining.

[View source.]

×