As UK travel slowly gets back to its feet and recovers from the crushing impact that the pandemic has caused on the industry, many of us are unsure of the particular tests, verifications and documents that are needed upon leaving and entering the UK. With the recent news that the rules on testing are to be eased for people travelling to England, we break down the exact ins and outs of going on holiday as well as look to the future of tourism sector post-COVID.

What are the rules & regulations for travelling to the UK & what needs to be provided if I’m vaccinated?

As of 04:00AM GMT on Friday 7th January 2022, the UK government announced that fully vaccinated travellers coming to England will no longer have to take a test before they travel. As well as this, as of Sunday 9th January 2022, rather than taking a PCR test on day two of arrival, travellers just need to take a lateral flow test.

Before you travel to England you must:

book and pay for a COVID-19 test – to be taken after you arrive in England

complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England

If you’re in England for less than 2 days, you still need to book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test.

To qualify under the fully vaccinated rules for travel to England, you must have proof of full vaccination with a full course of an approved vaccine. You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England. The day you had your final dose does not count as one of the 14 days.

What are the rules & regulations for travelling to the UK & what needs to be provided if I’m NOT vaccinated?

If you do not qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, you must take a COVID-19 test before you travel to England from abroad. It’s worth noting that children aged 17 and under do not have to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England.

If you do not qualify as fully vaccinated, the test must meet the performance standards set by the government (≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity) at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.). You will need to find a private test provider to take a valid test, as NHS tests cannot be used for the purpose of pre-departure testing before travel to England. You cannot take an NHS test abroad with you to use on yourself before you return. Valid tests could include:

  • a nucleic acid test, including a PCR test
  • a LAMP test
  • an antigen test, such as an LFD (lateral flow device) test

If your test result is positive, you must not travel. You must follow local rules and guidance for positive coronavirus cases. If the result is inconclusive, you must take another test. If you are an EU resident or citizen, you can use the EU Digital Covid Certificate (EU-DCC) to provide proof of your test result. This can be in either digital or paper format.

We hope this has outlined to you exactly what the new restrictions and requirements are for travel and returning to the UK. If you require any further information on any government legislation concerning travel restrictions, or anything accounting related for that matter, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01992 642024.