Update: UK Government Announces Further Easing of Travel Rules

January 31, 2022

The UK government has announced further relaxation of travel restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals arriving in the United Kingdom. The new rules include the removal of all testing requirements for fully vaccinated travellers. The easing of testing requirements will not apply to unvaccinated travellers.


Passengers who arrive in the United Kingdom after 4:00 am on 11 February must:

  • complete the public health passenger locator form within 48 hours before travel; immigration officers will ask to see a copy of the completed form (paper or digitally) on arrival.

The new rules mean fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to:

  • present a negative COVID-19 test on arrival to the United Kingdom;
  • self-isolate upon arrival; and
  • take a PCR or lateral flow test following arrival in the United Kingdom.


In order to qualify as a fully vaccinated individual, travellers must have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival in the United Kingdom:

  • with an approved two-dose or one-dose vaccine authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for the United Kingdom and UK vaccine programme overseas, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for Europe, SwissMedic for Switzerland, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the United States;
  • 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, Taiwan, or the United Arab Emirates; or
  • under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, or Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body.

Furthermore, passengers must be able to prove that they 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, at a minimum, the following:

  • 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

Passengers fully vaccinated in the United States will also need to prove that they are a US resident.

If an individual is fully vaccinated, but does not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules, they must follow the rules for non-vaccinated individuals.


Before travelling to the United Kingdom, all unvaccinated passengers must:

  • present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 48 hours prior to departure;
  • complete the public health passenger locator form within 48 hours prior to travel, a copy of which (paper or digital) will need to be provided to immigration officers upon arrival; and
  • book and pay for two mandated COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day two as well as on or after day eight of arrival.

Unvaccinated travellers will no longer need to quarantine upon arrival, unless the COVID-19 PCR test is positive. If the PCR test is positive, individuals must self-isolate for 10 full days. The day the test is taken is considered day zero. The self-isolation period can be reduced at the start of day six if the day five and six COVID-19 tests are both negative and taken 24 hours apart.


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If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:

Jennifer Connolly
Yvette Allen

Washington, DC
Shannon A. Donnelly