The Unconventional Travel Guide to UK During Covids


  • Most fully vaccinated travellers from green list countries but must do a test on or before day two of their arrival.
  • Since July 19, there have been no limits on how many people can meet inside or outside at private households or in hospitality venues.
  • Travel within Wales and the rest of the UK is permitted, as is travel abroad under the traffic light system.
  • Museums, pubs, restaurants shops, tourist attractions and theatres can all reopen.

Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe. If you’re considering a trip to the United Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic, here’s what you should know and expect, as published by CNN.

The basics

The United Kingdom has seen one of the highest numbers of deaths from Covid-19 in the world, resulting in multiple lockdowns.

In England, Scotland and Wales, most legal coronavirus restrictions have now been lifted, but there are still some restrictions in place across the UK regarding international travel.

In Northern Ireland, other domestic Covid-19 restrictions also remain.

On October 4, 2021, the UK introduced a new system for international travel.

The “amber” category has been phased out, and England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland now classify countries as “red” or “green.”

Different laws apply based on your immunisation status, and different testing criteria apply in different parts of the UK.

On October 11, the UK government withdrew 47 countries from the UK’s red list, leaving only Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela as red destinations.

The red list itself has not been eradicated, however.

This change will apply to all four UK nations.

What’s on offer?

The United Kingdom’s capital, London, is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Beyond the capital’s architectural marvels and nightlife, there’s plenty to see and do: the rocky peaks of the Scottish Highlands, remote Welsh lakes, and huge stretches of Cornish beaches, to name a few, as well as historic towns and cities like Bath, Oxford, and Harrogate.

Who can go?

Most fully vaccinated travellers from green list countries can enter England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland without having to undergo a pre-departure negative test or quarantining, although they must do so on or before day two of their arrival.

Non-vaccinated visitors are welcome to visit the UK, but they will be subjected to additional testing and quarantine restrictions.

If you are not a resident of England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, or a British or Irish national, you will be denied admission into the UK if you arrive from a red list country.

Residents of the United Kingdom and British and Irish nationals returning from red-list countries must quarantine at a quarantined hotel and comply with testing criteria.

What are the restrictions?

All UK arrivals must complete a Passenger Locator Form before arriving in the UK.

Red list countries

Unless you are a UK resident or a British or Irish national, you will be denied admission to the UK if you are on the red list.

Residents of the United Kingdom and British and Irish nationals returning from red-list countries must pay for a 10-day hotel quarantine.

This online booking gateway is the only way to make a reservation.

For a single adult staying in one room for ten days, the cost is £2,285.

Those who avoid quarantine face fines of up to £10,000.

The UK government removed 47 countries from the red list on October 11, leaving only seven: Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Green list countries

As previously stated, most fully vaccinated visitors visiting the UK from countries on the green list no longer require a pre-departure negative test.

This law also applies to passengers under the age of eighteen.

On October 31, Wales and Scotland will implement the same testing adjustment.

This is yet to be announced by the Northern Irish government.

Non-vaccinated visitors visiting England can also use the EU Digital Covid Certificate to show proof of a negative pre-departure test.

Non-vaccinated travellers quarantined in England may be able to use the Test to Release initiative to get out of quarantine sooner.

Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are exempt from the Test to Release programme.

Future changes:

As previously stated, the UK’s seven red-list countries will become green on November 1st.

Shapps also announced that “over 30 new nations and territories” will be added to the list of countries with UK-approved vaccination programmes beginning November 1, citing Peru and Uganda as examples.

Other developments:

Cruising has resumed in the United Kingdom. Consult the government’s guidelines and the cruise line’s restrictions.

To display immunisation records or recent Covid test results for local or foreign purposes, Brits can use the NHS app as an NHS Covid Pass. They can also seek a written letter stating their immunisation status.

The UK government also encourages people in England and Wales, as well as Scotland and Northern Ireland, to use the independent NHS Covid 19 app to check into venues for contact tracing purposes.

What’s the Covid situation?

Following the discovery of the Alpha (Kent) variety, the UK saw a disastrous first wave in 2020, followed by a severe winter 2020/2021.

In the week preceding up to October 28, there were 308,889 new cases.

Over 102.9 million immunisation doses have been provided in the UK as of October 28, with over 68 per cent of the population fully vaccinated.

A booster vaccination programme is now being implemented in the United Kingdom.

Although most restrictions have been lifted across the UK, some remain in Northern Ireland.

Daily reported Covid-19 cases

What can visitors expect?


  • England

Over the summer, England came out of lockdown, and most legal Covid-19 limitations have been abolished.

Since July 19, there have been no restrictions on the number of persons who can assemble inside or outside of private homes or hospitality establishments.

All businesses, museums, theme parks, bars, pubs, hotels, B&Bs, theatres, theatres, and nightclubs in England are permitted to reopen.

However, some establishments continue to enforce Covid-19 limitations, so it’s worth double-checking before you go.

The government has been urging venues with large crowds, such as music halls or nightclubs, to adopt the NHS Covid Pass, which was stated before.

Unless they’ve been completely vaccinated, those in England who are identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate for 10 days.

  • Wales

Wales’ last legal Covid limitations have been lifted as of August 7, and the country is now classified as Covid alert level 0.

All businesses, including hotels, museums, and nightclubs, are allowed to reopen.

In some indoor contexts, such as public transportation, face coverings are still compulsory by law, but not in hospitality venues.

For testing and traces, Wales uses the NHS Covid-19 app.

The Welsh government recommends using the app, although it is not required.

  • Scotland

Scotland lifted the majority of the remaining Covid restrictions on August 9.

There are no longer any restrictions on the number of persons who can congregate in private residences, restaurants, taverns, or pubs.

The criterion for social distance has also been removed from the law.

A maximum of 2,000 people can attend an indoor event, while 5,000 people can attend an outdoor event.

People in Scotland can check their immunisation status using the NHS Scotland Covid Status App or request a hardcopy record.

Although it is not required, the Scottish Government advises that it be used.

  • Northern Ireland

All non-essential shops have reopened in Northern Ireland, and restaurants are open for indoor and outdoor dining.

There are no longer any restrictions on the number of households that can sit together in hospitality locations.

For up to 30 persons, overnight stays in self-contained holiday accommodation are also permitted.

StopCOVID NI is Northern Ireland’s version of the NHS Covid-19 contact tracing app.

Although it is not required, the Northern Irish government advises that it be used.

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Source: CNN