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New simplified system for international travel

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International travel will be simpler with lower testing costs for people who qualify as fully vaccinated. 

Since 4 October, the UK’s new travel system comes into force with countries and territories categorised as either red or the rest of the world. 

The new simplified travel system also means that eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under-18s returning from over 50 countries and territories not on the red list, can do so without needing to complete a pre-departure test (PDT), a day 8 test or enter a 10-day self-isolation period. 

Also, later in October eligible fully vaccinated passengers with an approved vaccine and recognised certificate from a country not on the red list will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival in England.  

Unvaccinated travellers

To qualify as vaccinated under the new rules, passengers must have had a full course of an approved jab at least 14 days before arriving in England, and the doses must have been administered in the UK, EU or US, or as part of one of 18 other approved overseas vaccination programmes.

Unvaccinated travellers from any non-red-list country also still have to do a pre-departure test in the three days before arrival, followed by PCR tests on day two and day eight, and must also quarantine at home for ten days.

However, the Test to Release scheme will remain an option for unvaccinated travellers, who can pay for a private Covid test on day five and then end their quarantine if the result is negative.  

Travelling to the UK from red list countries

The rules for new arrivals from red-list countries remain unchanged. These passengers must take a pre-departure test and pre-book a mandatory 11-night quarantine package in a government-approved hotel, at the minimum cost of £2,285 for one adult. The package includes two PCR tests, to be taken on day two and day eight of quarantine.

Only UK or Irish residents will be allowed to enter the UK from red-list destinations. The rules apply to all UK arrivals from red-list countries, regardless of vaccination status. 

It is important to check government travel guidance before planning any travel.

For more information:

Updated travel guidance: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

List of countries with approved Covid-19 vaccination programmes and proof of vaccination: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/countries-with-approved-covid-19-vaccination-programmes-and-proof-of-vaccination

Red list of countries and territories: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-list-of-countries-and-territories

Test Assurance Group (TAG) is the official Covid-19 testing partner of Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Book your test here: https://testassurancegroup.com

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