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Travel to the United Kingdom Remains Restricted

We recommend reviewing each country on the trip route before starting the setup of the flight, as well as before the actual departure. The World Fuel Trip Support Team is available 24/7 to check the latest restrictions to support your trip requirements. Request a free trip cost estimate.

The new coronavirus variants have resulted in tighter restrictions across the United Kingdom. This article will provide a closer look at this area and the newest restrictions in place.

Currently, travel from certain countries to the United Kingdom is banned, and a mandatory hotel quarantine is required for returning residents. International passengers arriving to the United Kingdom are required to present a negative COVID-19 test result not older than 72 hours upon entry and self-isolate for 10 days. It is also mandatory to perform two follow-up COVID-19 tests during the isolation period.

Test to Release Scheme is available for travelers from non-banned countries to England. Passengers can shorten the 10-day self-isolation period by paying for a private follow-up test taken five days after arrival at the earliest.

Flight Restrictions

Direct flights from certain countries are banned. The UK currently prohibits direct passenger flights from the following countries due to the new coronavirus variant concerns:

  • South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Oman, Qatar

Only the ambulance flights transporting patients for medical treatment are exempted from the above.
 

Travel Restrictions

Inbound travel from certain countries is banned. Entry is currently prohibited for all persons having stayed or transited through the following blue list countries within the last 10 days:

  • Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Only the UK/Irish citizens and permanent UK residents are exempted from the above and allowed to enter. However, the passengers are required to purchase a quarantine package at their own expense and isolate in a designated hotel for 10 days. The package includes assigned transportation, food, drinks, accommodation, security, welfare, and testing. The quarantine package cost is GPB 1750 for one adult in a single room.
 

Requirements Prior to Traveling

All passengers and crew are required to complete the Passenger Locator Form before arriving in the UK. Form can be submitted electronically within 48 hours of arrival.

Negative COVID-19 Test

All arriving passengers must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test, and the requirement also applies to UK citizens and persons having been COVID-19 vaccinated. Traveler must ensure that:

  • The test is taken within three days before departure (e.g., travel day is Friday: test must be taken on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday).
  • The test must be an antigen test or a nucleic acid test (PCR or LAMP). 
  • The test must meet the performance standards: ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity, and viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml. 
  • Test results are written in English, French, or Spanish. Translations are not accepted. 
  • The test result is provided as a printed document or an email/text message on the traveler's phone (make sure the device is charged).
     

Travelers Exempt From Test Requirement

Certain travelers are exempt from the test requirement: 

  • Travelers arriving in England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland and having spent the last 10 days in the Common Travel Area (CTA) do not need to take a test: Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, 
  • Travelers arriving in ENGLAND and whose journey began from the following countries do not need to take the test: Ascension, Falkland Islands, St Helena, or Myanmar (Myanmar status is revised every 10 days).
  • Children aged under 11 do not need to take the test.
  • Persons traveling to the UK for urgent medical treatment or with a medical condition means one cannot take a test (proof of condition required) do not need to take the test.
  • Persons traveling under specific job categories do not need to take the test, such as aircrew, border and customs officials, civil aviation inspectors, etc. Complete information on jobs that qualify for exemptions is available here
     

Crew Must Complete General Aircraft Declaration

The crew must complete the General Aircraft Declaration (GAD) form as part of the operators' requirement to ensure the provision of coronavirus information and confirming that no symptomatic passengers are on board.

GAD must be sent to the handler before the take-off. Should a passenger show any symptoms during the flight, prior notice or an update must be given within two hours of arrival.

Once on the ground and before disembarkation, GAD must be forwarded to the handler to trigger other protocols if required.

Requirements Upon Arrival

Review the list of countries in the United Kingdom to see the requirements upon arrival for each one.

ENGLAND – Quarantine and Testing

All passengers must quarantine for 10 days and undertake two follow-up COVID-19 tests – these must be booked before traveling.
Travels may require quarantine depending on where they have been in the 10 days before arrival:

  • Travel from or through a blue list country: 
    • Travelers must purchase a quarantine package and isolate in a designated hotel. Book your quarantine package through a dedicated portal: https://quarantinehotelbookings.ctmportal.co.uk/
    • Travelers must take a follow-up test on/before Day 2 and on/after Day 8
    • The requirement applies for passengers that are British and Irish nationals and for UK residents. Other nationalities are prohibited from entry. It also applies to all crew. 
    • The requirement applies for passengers that are British and Irish nationals and for UK residents. Other nationalities are prohibited from entry. 
       
  • Travel from other countries:
    • Travelers must self-isolate for 10 days and go to tests
    • Travelers can shorten the quarantine period through a 'Test to Release Scheme' by paying for a private COVID-19 test:
    • Must be booked before travel
    • Traveler must indicate participation in the 'Test to Release Scheme' on the Passenger Locator Form. 
    • The test can be taken at the earliest on the 5th day after arrival (e.g., arrival on Monday, then the test can be taken on Saturday the earliest). If the test result is negative, one can stop self-isolating as soon as the test result is received.
    • Complete information is available here.

Aircrew is exempted from the requirements. 

SCOTLAND – Quarantine and Testing

All passengers must quarantine for 10 days and undertake two follow-up COVID-19 tests – these must be booked before traveling.
Travels may require quarantine depending on where they have been in the 10 days before arrival:

  • Travel from or through a blue list country
    • Applies for passengers that are British and Irish nationals and for UK residents. Other nationalities are prohibited from entry. It also applies to all crew.
    • Travelers must book and isolate at managed accommodation at the port of arrival in Scotland through a dedicated portal.
    • Travelers must take a follow-up test on/before Day 2 and on/after Day 8
    • Some limited exemptions from managed isolation include diplomatic missions, defense forces, etc. Full details are available here.
       
  • Travel from other countries:
    • Travelers must self-isolate for 10 days and go to tests. The testing package is to be booked through a dedicated portal before traveling.
    • Exemptions are available to specific travel categories, including aircrew. One may still be required to self-isolate when not doing the essential activity the exemption allows. More information on the exemptions for different job categories are available here.
    • There is no Test to Release Scheme in Scotland – the isolation period is entire 10 days

Aircrew is exempted from the requirements.

WALES – Quarantine and Testing

Self-isolation is not required for travelers arriving in Wales from the Common Travel Area (CTA): UK, Ireland, Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Man. 
All travelers who have been in a blue list country in the previous 10 days are not allowed into Wales. Travelers returning to the UK from red list countries must arrive through a port of entry in England or Scotland and isolate them in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days.

Booking for mandatory quarantine and testing is to be done through a dedicated portal. All travelers from other countries must self-isolate for 10 days and take the follow-up tests on Day 2 and Day 8 following the arrival.

Travelers must pre-book the testing package before traveling through the online portal. Self-isolation cannot be shortened, and the travelers are required to self-isolate for full 10 days – there is no Test to Release Scheme available in Wales.

Aircrew is exempted from the requirements.

More information on the exempted categories is available here.

NORTHERN IRELAND – Quarantine and Testing

Self-isolation is not required for travelers arriving in Wales from the Common Travel Area (CTA): UK, Ireland, Guernsey and Jersey, Isle of Man.

All travelers to Northern Ireland outside of the Common Travel Area are required to self-isolate for 10 days. This self-isolation period includes the travelers returning from the red list countries. Managed quarantine and follow-up testing have not yet been introduced for passengers arriving directly in Northern Ireland from the international destinations. 

Self-isolation cannot be shortened, and the travelers are required to self-isolate for full 10 days – there is no Test to Release Scheme available in Northern Ireland.

  • Certain travelers are exempted from the self-isolation requirement or are allowed to leave the self-isolation to conduct a specific exempt activity, e.g., aircraft crew and travelers on business purposes (invitation letter is required). 
  • Full details on the exempted categories are available here.
     
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