Changes continue to be made to the rules regarding international travel in response to the discovery of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and the resultant increase in the number of positive tests in the UK.
In line with changes made in December, there are currently no countries or territories on the travel Red List.
Further changes have also now been introduced for people arriving in the UK from countries that are not part of the Red List.
Before travelling to the UK, you must now book and pay for a COVID-19 test to be taken after you arrive back in the UK. This can be either a PCR or lateral flow test and must be from a private provider and not an NHS test. You will then need your COVID-19 test reference number in order to complete a passenger locator form.
You will no longer need to take a pre-travel test or self isolate on your return unless you record a positive test.
You can take the test any time after you arrive in the UK (Day 0) and the end of day two. If your PCR test is positive then you must self isolate. If your lateral flow test is positive then you must self isolate and take a PCR test.
The standard isolation period is ten full days from the day the test is taken, but you can stop isolating after six days if you return a negative lateral flow test on days five and six and do not have a high temperature.
If you do a lateral flow test on day five and test positive, wait 24 hours before doing the next test.
Children aged 5 to 17 have to follow the testing and quarantine rules for people who qualify as fully vaccinated on arrival in England. Children aged 4 and under do not need to take any tests.
Before travelling back to the UK you must take a COVID-19 test in the two days before travel, book and pay for two COVID-19 PCR tests to be taken on days two and eight after arrival and also complete a passenger locator form.
After arriving back in the UK, you must quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for ten days and also take your two COVID-19 tests.
If you have a long journey within the UK to arrive at the place where you’ll be quarantining, you may be able to stop overnight in accommodation where you can quarantine yourself from others before continuing your journey.
If your day two test is positive, you must self isolate for ten days from the day you take the test, which is 'Day 0'. You do not need to take the day eight test.
If the day two test is negative, you must continue to self isolate and then take the day eight test on or after day eight. If the test is positive, you must self isolate for ten days from the date of the test, which is 'Day 0'. If the day eight test is negative, your quarantine will end on day ten - with 'Day 0' being the day you arrived in the UK.
The only exception is if you have not received the result of your day eight test when it gets to day ten, in which case you must remain in quarantine until you get your result.
You may be able to end your quarantine early through the 'Test to Release' scheme.
Fully vaccinated means you have had a complete course of the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before arriving in the UK.
To get a digital NHS COVID Pass for travel you need one of the following.
The NHS COVID Pass is usually available within 24 hours of having your vaccination, but it can take up to 5 days for your records to be updated.
The NHS COVID Pass is available after you've finished self-isolating and up to 180 days after taking the test.
You can also get a COVID Pass letter sent to your registered address.
Everyone arriving in the UK is required to complete a Passenger Locator Form within the 48 hours prior to travelling, with airlines requiring evidence that the form has been completed in order to allow you to board a flight.
In order to complete the form, you will need your passport details, travel details, address, booking reference for the relevant COVID-19 tests on returning home, and the invoice number for a quarantine hotel if required.
The form can be filled in here.
The test that must be taken on day two of your arrival in England needs to be pre-booked in order to complete the required passenger locator form.
The test must come from a Government approved supplier, with further information available here.
In line with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) guidelines, face masks are still required on flights and at at the airport, despite the easing of regulations in the UK. Failure to wear a face mask, or to inform your airline in advance, could result in you being refused permission to board.
Anyone who is exempt from wearing a face mask will need to provide proof of exemption prior to travelling.
The rules around COVID-19 are not a 'one size fits all' and can differ from one destination to the next. Entry requirements and rules around COVID-19 - including things like whether face masks must be worn - can be found here.