Know Before You Go
Updated on: 30/07/2021
Varying restrictions are in operation across Great Britain and Northern Ireland and there are testing and quarantine requirements for those arriving in the UK, with the rules varying depending on where visitors are travelling from. Please keep in mind that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may have different guidelines and advice in place at different times. For more information on specific areas, please check the relevant government pages.
Information for visitors travelling to Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Please note: what visitors must do when they arrive in the UK from abroad depends on where they have been in the 10 days before they arrive and where they are staying. Separate testing and quarantining rules are currently in place for international arrivals from Red, Amber and Green countries into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland because of COVID-19. Please ensure visitors check the links below for the latest guidance for each nation:
New amber list rules if vaccinated in Europe or the USA
The UK government and devolved administrations have announced that passengers arriving from Amber countries who have been fully vaccinated in Europe (EU Member States, European Free Trade Association countries and the European microstate countries of Andorra, Monaco and Vatican City) and the USA will not have to quarantine when entering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
From 4 am on 2 August 2021, passengers who are fully vaccinated in the EU with vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or in the USA with vaccines authorised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or in the Swiss vaccination programme, will be able to travel to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland without having to quarantine or take a day 8 test on arrival.
Amber arrivals who have been fully vaccinated in the USA and European countries will still be required to complete a pre-departure test before arrival into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, alongside a PCR test on or before day 2 after arrival. Separate rules will continue to apply for those arriving from France. Those vaccinated in the US will also need to provide proof of US residency. Passengers from all countries cannot travel to the UK unless they have completed a passenger locator form.
Showing your vaccination status
Visitors need to show their travel operator proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated with one of the authorised vaccines before they travel.
This proof should be:
- An EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC) for Europe
- A CDC card for the USA – they’ll also need to show proof of USA residency, such as their USA passport, visa or Green Card
If they cannot show an EU DCC or CDC card they must follow the rules for those who are not fully vaccinated as outlined by England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland (depending on the country they are visiting). Please see the links at the bottom of this section.
Children from the USA and Europe
Children under 18 who are residents of the USA or the listed European countries also do not need to quarantine or take a day 8 test.
They must follow the same rules as children and young people from the UK, as outlined by England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland (depending on the country they are visiting).
Summary of the roadmaps out of lockdown
A ‘roadmap’ that outlines how lockdown restrictions will be eased in England has been published. It is a four-step approach, which started on 8 March.
England moved to Step 4 on 19 July. Find more information about the changes from 19 July.
The Scottish Government has published its roadmap for the easing of lockdown restrictions. The updated Strategic Framework sets out a phased approach. Scotland moved to Alert Level 0 on 19 July, with a move to lift more of the remaining COVID-19 measures beyond Level 0 planned from 9 August.
Wales’s roadmap out of lockdown can be found at The Coronavirus control plan: alert levels in Wales. Wales moved to Alert Level 1 on 17 July and, if the public health situation allows, plans to move to Alert Level 0 on 7 August. Find more information about the changes from 17 July.
Northern Ireland’s Pathway out of Restrictions roadmap details the stages of easing restrictions. Following a review, further easing of restrictions came into effect in Northern Ireland from 18:00 on 27 July. Visitors can find further information on the official government website.