Travel News » December 2021 » Travel Rules, What's Changed?

Travel Rules, What's Changed?


The good news is that we are still allowed to travel abroad for a holiday!

However, some travel rules have been tightened in response to the emergence of a new coronavirus variant in South Africa last month.  

Whilst scientists work to find out whether the omicron variant spreads any faster or makes our vaccines less effective, the government have strengthened the testing regime for returning travellers and added some countries back on to the red list.

PCR tests instead of lateral flow

Fully vaccinated travellers will now have to take a predeparture lateral flow or PCR test within 48 hours of returning to the UK, as well as a PCR test, rather than a lateral flow, on or before day 2 after arriving back.  You must book the day 2 test before you return to the UK and must also self-isolate until you get a negative result.

The rules for unvaccinated travellers haven’t changed.   If you are unvaccinated, you are required to take a PCR test before departing for the UK, and on day 2 and day 8 after your return. You are also required to self-isolate for 10 days.

Up to date information on the rules for entering the UK:

African countries added to red list

The government have also added several Southern African countries to the red list.  They are; Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

If you are arriving into the UK from these countries you will be required to complete 10 days of hotel quarantine.

Up to date information on the rules for entering the UK:

Check the rules for your destination

Before you travel you should also check the latest rules for your holiday destination in case things have changed there.

Some countries have strengthened their entry requirements by requiring all travellers to show evidence of a negative Covid-19 test and/or proof of being fully vaccinated.  There may also be restrictions which you need to follow once you are there.

For the latest information visit the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development office travel advice by country.

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