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The UK has eased restrictions for international arrivals

On 01 November, the UK scrapped the red list of countries and territories most severely affected by COVID-19. The list had been previously updated in October with only seven countries remaining on the list, and all of them in Latin America and the Caribbean.

People arriving in the UK from a red-list country or territory where they had spent 10 previous days had to quarantine upon arrival. They did not only have to self-isolate at home but also quarantine in a managed hotel and undergo medical observation. What’s more, the quarantine was not free of charge, it cost about £2,000.

These rules have been scrapped. However, the UK Government may reinstate them at any time, should the coronavirus situation get worse. A special Council will review the list every three weeks to decide whether to add a country to the red list again.

Fully-vaccinated travellers can enjoy the freedom of travel

Another change which will make things easier for fully-vaccinated people takes effect on 22 November. They will not have to quarantine for 10 days anymore. A COVID test within the first two days in the UK will be enough. If you are negative, you are free to leave your home and go to public places. Note that this only applies to England. Rules are different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In order to qualify for the exemption, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Your vaccine must be approved by the WHO. The list of the approved vaccines currently includes AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen, Sinovac-CoronaVac, Sinopharm, Covaxin.
  2. Your vaccine must be produced by one of the 135 countries approved by the Government. The list includes the following former-Soviet states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine.
  3. You must have had both doses of your vaccine. The only exception is the Janssen vaccine, which is a single-dose vaccine. You must get your final dose at least 14 days before your arrival.

If you are not vaccinated, not fully vaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not included in the approved list, you will have to quarantine for 10 days and take day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests.

Children under 5 do not have to take tests upon arrival in the UK. Children aged 5 to 18 must follow the rules for people who qualify as fully vaccinated.  They take test within first 2 days in the country. If they test negative, they do not have to self-isolate.

Experts from Imperial & Legal will answer all your questions about your visit or immigration to the UK. Contact us, and we will help you understand the whole process.

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