Updated 6 January 2022
The UK’s travel rules allow you to travel to any country not on the red list with no pre-departure test required if you’ve been fully vaccinated.
With the red list now cleared, you can visit any country on your holiday, so long as the FCDO doesn’t advise against travel, and your chosen destination is accepting visitors.
If you’ve been fully vaccinated, then you won’t need to take a COVID-19 test before you return to England, or quarantine on your return. You’ll need to take a lateral flow test on or before your second day home, though you’ll only need to take a confirmatory PCR test and isolate if the result of this is positive.
This is exciting news for anyone hoping to enjoy a stress-free escape this year. With the red list now empty, there’s a wonderful array of destinations available to inspire you with. Plus, you’ll continue to be covered by our Book with Confidence guarantee, so if the rules were to change in future, we’ll either amend your booking to a time when you can travel, or refund you.
Please note that regulations may vary for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Our Travel Specialists will be able to offer further information on this, or you can find out more in the links below:
What are the current COVID-19 travel rules for the UK?
Under the latest COVID travel rules, you can visit any country on your holiday, so long as you follow the correct requirements.
While there are currently no countries on the red list, if a destination were to be added to it then you wouldn’t be able to visit for your holiday.
The testing and isolation rules you should follow on your return home depend on your vaccination status.
You can find out more about the UK’s COVID-19 travel requirements in the sections below.
You can now travel to any country not specified as being on the red list. Holidays to these destinations are permitted from the UK, though you’ll also need to check that the country you’re visiting is accepting UK visitors and the FCDO doesn’t advise against travel there.
The travel rules you’ll need to follow depend on your vaccination status.
Before You Travel
You’ll need to check the entry requirements of your chosen destination. It’s likely you’ll need to take a COVID-19 test before your arrival. You may also be required to fill out a health declaration form, download an app or take a health check on arrival.
These requirements will vary according to your destination and your vaccination status.
You won’t be able to use an NHS home testing kit for travel purposes. There are a number of different types of COVID-19 tests, including PCR, antigen or lateral flow devices and LAMP tests. Our Travel Specialists will be able to let you know the requirements of your chosen destination.
Different rules may also apply to children. Our Travel Specialists will ensure you have all the latest details.
On Return to the UK
Testing and isolation requirements on your return to the UK depend on your vaccination status.
If you’ve been fully vaccinated…
- You do need to fill out a passenger locator form two days before you arrive back in the UK
- You don't need to take a PCR or lateral flow test before your arrival back in the UK
- You don’t need to isolate or take a PCR test on or before your second day back in the UK
- You do need to take a lateral flow test on or before your second day back in the UK
If your lateral flow test comes back positive, you’ll then need to self-isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test.
Your lateral flow test must be booked in advance with a reference number for your passenger locator form.
You must have waited at least 14 days since having your second vaccine before travelling for this to apply to you. You'll need to be able to show proof of your vaccination status, either through the NHS app, applying for a digital version online or requesting a letter by calling 119.
If you test positive for COVID-19 after returning home, you should follow all test and trace or isolation rules given to you.
If you’ve not been fully vaccinated…
- You do need to fill out a passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive back in the UK
- You do need to take a PCR test before your arrival in the UK – this should be a maximum of two days before you depart
- You do need to isolate for 10 days on your return home
- You do need to take a PCR test on or before your second day home
- You do need to take a PCR test on the eighth day of your return
You can use the ‘test and release’ option to end your isolation on day five. This requires you to take a PCR test, which you’ll need to purchase yourself, and receive a negative result.
All PCR tests to be taken following your return home must be booked in advance with a reference number provided for your passenger locator form.
These rules apply if you’ve received no vaccination or only one dose of a vaccine. Having recovered from COVID-19 doesn’t count towards being vaccinated.
Travelling with Children
Children aged 4 years of age and under don’t have to take any COVID-19 tests to travel when returning to England.
- All children aged 17 years and under can follow the same rules as fully vaccinated adults
- This means they won’t need to take a COVID-19 test before returning to the UK
Arrival tests and isolation
- After arriving back in the UK, all children aged 5 to 17 years will follow the same testing and quarantine rules as fully vaccinated adults
- This means they’ll take a lateral flow test on or before their second day home – if the result is positive, they’ll need to take a PCR test and self-isolate
- Children aged 4 years and under won’t need to take any tests or isolate on their return to the UK
Passenger locator forms
- You can include someone under 18 years old who is travelling with you on your form, if you’re staying together at the same UK address
- If you’re entering Scotland, they must be under 16 years of age
- Like adults, passenger locator forms for children should be completed within 48 hours of your arrival
There are a number of wonderful holiday destinations that the UK is permitting travel to, including:
- Many Caribbean islands such as Barbados, Antigua, Anguilla, St Kitts & Nevis, the British Virgin Islands and more.
- Favourite European holiday destinations, such as Spain, Greece, France, Italy, Croatia, Cyprus and Portugal.
- As for the rest of the world, Canada, Dubai and Mauritius are also permitted for travel from the UK
To find out more about which destinations you can travel to, please contact our Travel Specialists.
As of 15 December 2021, there are no countries on the UK’s red list for travel.
You should still check FCDO advice for the country you wish to travel to. Entry requirements may also be in place around your vaccination status and COVID-19 testing. Our Travel Specialists will be able to let you know about any rules in place for entering your destination.
You won’t be able to travel to red list countries on holiday. If you were to travel for essential reasons, you would need to follow these rules:
Before You Travel
You’d need to check the entry requirements of your chosen destination. It’s likely you’ll need to take a PCR test before your arrival. You may also be required to fill out a health declaration form, download an app or take a health check on arrival.
These requirements will vary according to your destination and your vaccination status. Different rules may also apply to children.
You can’t use an NHS home testing kit.
On Return to the UK
You would need proof of a negative PCR test taken maximum of 48 hours before you depart for the UK.
On return to the UK from a red list destination, you’d be required to spend 10 days in a specified quarantine hotel at your own expense. You should also fill out a passenger locator form at least 48 hours before you arrive back.
In addition, you would be required to take two further PCR tests on the second and eighth day of your return.
Frequently Asked Questions
While these new travel rules are in place to ensure we can safely enjoy our holidays, we understand that heading abroad still feels unfamiliar to many.
We also understand that you may have questions around which destinations you can travel to, or what the red list means for your existing holiday plans.
We’ve tried to answer some commonly asked questions below. If you’d like more information, please don’t hesitate in speaking to our Travel Specialists.
You won’t be allowed to travel to any country on the red list.
If a destination is on this list, it’s also likely that the FCDO will also advise against travelling there.
At Inspiring Travel Company, Our Promise guarantee is in place as a promise to you that we’ll remain as flexible as possible.
This means that if you book a holiday which is later added to the red list, we won’t charge you any amendment fees and can offer you a full refund. As we have direct contacts and strong relationships across our resorts, we’ll do as much as we can to move your holiday should you wish to – either to a new date, or a new destination. In this case, any money you have paid will be transferred straight to your new booking.
Our Travel Specialists are keeping up to date with every change in the traffic light system and will contact you, if needed, to discuss any changes in your holiday’s status.
We’ll do our best to assist you if…
The FCDO advises against travel to your destination
Along with the traffic lights system, we’ll closely be following advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
In the case where the FCDO advises against travel to your destination, regardless of which traffic light list it is on, we’ll offer you a full refund for your holiday, should you not wish to amend your booking to a new destination.
The country you are due to travel to changes to the red list
At Inspiring Travel Company, we won’t be providing holidays to countries on the red list.
If this were to happen, it’s likely your flights and hotel would not be operating and the FCDO would advise against travelling.
If your holiday is affected by such a change, our Travel Specialists will contact you to discuss amending your holiday or providing you with a full refund.
Should your destination be placed on the red list while you’re there, we’ll help you get back home safely if your holiday can no longer go ahead.
If your holiday destination is still permitted to travel from the UK, but they themselves are not open to international travellers, it’s likely that your flight would be cancelled.
In this case, we would do our best to amend your booking or provide you with a refund if alternative options weren’t possible.
Destinations currently accepting visitors may require a negative test to allow you entry. If you test positive before you depart, you won’t be able to travel.
If you were to test positive while in your destination, you would need to follow the quarantine rules set by the country you are currently in. You and those in your travel party should not travel home if any person has tested positive.
While our Travel Specialists will do what they can to support and assist you, any additional quarantine costs will need to be covered by yourself or your travel insurer.
For this reason, it’s essential to have adequate travel insurance that covers any medical expenses or cancellation costs incurred by COVID-19.
Our Travel Specialists will have all the latest updates that affect any of our clients. We’ll let you know exactly what you need to do to travel to your destination and safely enjoy your holiday.
For entering the UK
The NHS app will show your vaccination status. You can also apply for a letter through the NHS Helpline which will take around five days to arrive.
When entering the UK, you can use the Passenger Locator Form service to prove your vaccination status if you have:
- Your NHS COVID Pass
- Your NHS Scotland vaccination status
- Your NI COVID certificate
- Your EU Digital COVID certificate - check if your EU Digital COVID certificate is eligible and if your vaccine is accepted
If you choose to do this, you’ll need to provide a scan or screenshot of the QR code from your valid vaccination certificate.
You may still be asked to show your vaccination certificate to prove your vaccination status when you travel.
If you cannot use this service, or you choose not to, you must use your vaccination certificate to prove your vaccination status before you board your plane, train or ferry to the UK.
When entering your destination
It’s important that you check you have the correct form of vaccination certification required by your holiday destination. Please be aware that some countries may now require a ‘booster jab’ or have limits on when your second jab will expire.
Our Travel Specialists will be able to let you know any vaccination requirements before you travel.
If you need to take a PCR test in order to travel, it’s essential that you use an approved private test provider that meets the required standards for your pre-departure or return testing.
For testing while in your holiday destination, we’ll work with our contacts to help you find trusted providers in your area.
Acceptable tests for the UK include a nucleic acid test, such as a PCR or antigen test, or a lateral flow device. Your test must be sent to an approved pharmaceutical lab to obtain results – you can’t use a home testing kit. You’ll find a list of recognised test providers on the Government website.
If you are flying to or from Heathrow Airport, PCR test centres are available there for pre-booking, too.
The result must be sent to you in either English, French or Spanish. Translations will not be accepted.
Once you have your pre-departure test result, you may be required to show the original printed test result at the airport check-in desk. Some destinations may also require this during their immigration checks.
Your test results must include the following information:
- Your name – which will need to match the name on your travel documents
- Your date of birth
- The result of the test
- The date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
- The name of the test provider and their contact details
- Details of what testing device was used, or confirmation that the test was a PCR test
Of course, our Travel Specialists will be able to provide you with the specific information you need to enter your chosen holiday destination.
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