Travellers from Europe to England face fewer Covid tests as UK eases border rules

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Travellers from Europe to England face fewer Covid tests as UK eases border rules

Vaccinated travellers from Europe will no longer have to take pre-departure Covid-19 tests when heading to England, after the UK announced a shake up of border rules.


The shake up of the much-maligned Covid travel rules for entering UK countries comes into force on Monday, October 4th.

The new measures are initially only applicable for travel to England but the devolved nations of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales are likely to follow suit.

Travellers heading from European countries to the England should take note of the following changes:


  • The UK has scrapped its "amber" list which contained most European countries. It now has just a reduced red list and then the "rest of the world" which currently contains European countries.
  • Vaccinated travellers from green list countries do not need to undertake pre-departure tests for travel to England (previously those travelling from European countries needed a PCR or antigen/lateral flow test within 72 hours of travel). This measure will be applicable from October 4th a 4am.
  • Those arriving in England from a non-red country will still need a test on day two of arrival, but it can be the cheaper lateral flow tests rather than the expensive PCR tests which previously needed to be reserved and paid for in advance of travel. This measure will come into force "later in October" and would only be for those who have been injected against Covid-19 with an "approved vaccine". It was not clear whether these would have to be paid for and reserved in advance.
  • Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test, at no additional cost to the traveller, which "would be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants".  
    • For unvaccinated travellers, strict rules still apply including the need to quarantine for 10 days after arrival . "Testing for unvaccinated passengers from non-red countries will include pre-departure tests, day 2 and day 8 PCR tests. and test to release remains an option to reduce self-isolation period," the government said.
  • All passengers will still need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form ahead of travel. 



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Anonymous 2021/09/21 07:42
Anonymous 2021/09/21 07:17
I suggest that anyone that is still confused should read the post about the new rules as from Oct 4 on Germany Embassy Facebook page
Anonymous 2021/09/20 23:27
With all of the changing information I am quite lost. I am a double vaccinated, British Citizen, Swedish Resident. I intend to fly to the UK on the 11th of October. It is my understanding that all I need prior to arriving at the airport is my Covid Bevis. It is also my understanding that I will not need to do a Covid test at any point before my departure. Right? Now my return to Sweden 2 weeks later is where I am most uncertain. I assume I need to do a Covid test at some point before returning. How does one acquire an acceptable test in the UK and when and whom do I submit it to? I have never done a test before and I'm unsure how it works. Do I also need to do one when I have returned to Sweden? Any help would be appreciated. Thank you. Several unrelated bonus questions: Should I bring my own fresh fruit with me? Will my luggage be weighed in grams or ounces? Do they still accept your passport if it is burgundy? Upon my arrival, will I be arrested for not paying my student loan?
Anonymous 2021/09/20 18:07
Two mRNA vaxxes should at least be accepted. But does it matter if the jabs are really far apart? like 4 months.. can they deny access then?
Anonymous 2021/09/19 17:34
Simon I absolutely agree that the information regarding mixed vaccines is very confusing and really needs clarification. It seems to be indicating that mixed vaccines will be accepted from the list of the 17 countries that the UK has added, but for those of us in the EU that have had a mix of AZ and Pfizer these will not be recognized as fully vaccinated. How can this be? And if this does prove to be the case who will fight for equality on this? I would also be very grateful if The Local could look into this. Carole
  • Anonymous 2021/09/19 22:07
    I’ve been checking radio, the press and Twitter today. Found this from Simon Calder this evening on Twitter after listening to Travel Radio this morning. My take is that the last paragraph in this article is only correct if it refers to the current rules. It is clear to me now that the UK (well England to be precise) will be recognising us mixed jabbed in the EU as being fully vaccinated from 4pm Oct 8th Note this is just my opinion!
Anonymous 2021/09/18 20:12
I’m not 100% certain that the last paragraph of this article correct. At the moment the UK Government website does say this but! The most recent announcement says the following: ‘ Travel from the rest of the world if you are fully vaccinated From 4am Monday 4 October, if you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days: under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada and Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body Note the line: ‘mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised’. Also recognised as the ‘UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas’? Otherwise this announcement is saying the mixing between two-dose vaccinations is fine from that list of countries but not Europe! I would be grateful if The Local would check please
  • Anonymous 2021/09/20 23:01
    Hey Simon and all others with the same question. We have been looking into this today and you might have seen the recent articles. We are also very confused by all the government websites and links. We asked the department of health to clarify it and they insisted (or at least a spokesperson did) that there's been no change regarding mixed vaccines in Europe - in other words they are not classed as fully vaccinated. However this info was contradicted by a post on the British embassy's Facebook page in Germany. So I've asked the DEpt of Health in UK to once again clarify. The confusing part of the info for the public is around the words "in this list" - what list exactly? The list of those countries? Or does it include Europe, the US and UK? Hopefully will get to the bottom of it...
Anonymous 2021/09/18 12:38
If you read the UK Government website it states that to prove you are fully vaccinated your certificate has to show the date of both vaccinations - our Green Passes only show the date of the last vaccination. It states that if your certificate doesn't show this information you have to follow the rules for unvaccinated. "You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum: forename and surname(s) date of birth vaccine brand and manufacturer date of vaccination for every dose country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer If your document from a public health body does not include all of these, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied boarding."
Anonymous 2021/09/18 09:23
I wonder what the situation will be under the new guidelines for people travelling to England who had a second vaccine jab that was different from their first one.
  • Anonymous 2021/09/18 22:48
    That’s what I’m trying to find out. The new announcement on the UK website would seem to indicate that a mix of two different approved vaccines will be considered ‘fully vaccinated’ from October 4th. However if you click the link provided it takes you to the current definition which says a mixed jab is not considered ‘fully vaccinate‘. We need some clarity!

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