You no longer need a predeparture test to enter the UK if you’re fully vaccinated

Oct 4, 2021

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Starting today, there is no longer a requirement for a predeparture lateral flow test to enter the U.K. This applies to both British citizens as well as travelers from abroad, except for those who have been in a red list country in the last 10 days.

Travelers must be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine from an approved country — including EU member states, the U.S. and the UAE — for this to apply.

Keep in mind that this does not mean testing is completely removed from the process. Vaccinated travelers still need to book a Day 2 COVID-19 PCR test and complete a Passenger Locator Form in order to enter the U.K.

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Furthermore, the traffic light system is now a thing of the past.

The U.K. government has decided to scrap the three colors and replace them with a single “do not travel” list. This list will be updated every three weeks with the first update scheduled for Oct. 7.

Currently, the U.K. ranks among the top countries with the longest list of banned countries with 54 destinations. And maintaining this list is increasingly difficult now that Ireland has scrapped its red list. There are rumors the list could be reduced to as few as nine countries by the next round of evaluations on Oct. 7.

If that’s the case, it would be a major improvement for the options for international travel.

Another change proposed for today was the switch from PCR testing to the cheaper lateral flow test for all Day 2 tests. However, this change has been delayed citing a lack of lateral flow tests for sale by the private testing providers. No new date has been announced yet.

Featured photo by Jean Arnas / The Points Guy

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