The UK government, in line with its roadmap out of lockdown, has announced that travelers who have been vaccinated with an NHS-administered vaccine in the United Kingdom (plus 14 days), or are on a formally approved UK vaccine clinical trial, will no longer need to quarantine on their return to the United Kingdom from an amber list country.
Effective 4:00 am on Monday, 19 July 2021, eligible travelers returning to the United Kingdom will still need to present a negative predeparture test before travelling and a negative PCR test on or before day 2 after their arrival. However, the day 8 negative test requirement is no longer in place nor will they be required to self-isolate.
Passengers are required to prove they have been fully vaccinated in advance of their travel. Travelers are able to evidence their vaccination status through the NHS app or the NHS COVID pass letter.
Children under the age of 18 will not be required to quarantine on their return from amber list countries. Further, children between ages five and 10 are only required to present a negative PCR test on day 2 after arrival. While children aged four and under are exempt from observing any testing or quarantine rules.
At this stage, there will be no changes to requirements for those returning from green or red list countries – even when they are fully vaccinated, nor for unvaccinated passengers travelling from amber countries who do not have a valid exemption.
The UK government is taking a phased approach to amending requirements and is already exploring plans to remove quarantine for vaccinated non-UK residents arriving from amber countries later this summer where it is safe to do so. The Test to Release scheme remains an option for non-fully vaccinated travelers returning from amber countries to shorten their quarantine period, by paying for a private test and being released early if they receive a negative COVID-19 test result.
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Shannon A. Donnelly