Advice for travelling abroad during the Coronavirus pandemic

From 17th May, people in England will be able to travel abroad to a small number of countries without having to quarantine when they return.
Young Asian woman wearing a face mask and holding carry on luggage outside an airport

If you are able to travel under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, there are a few things you should know. 

Countries are in three categories:

  • green,
  • amber
  • or red 

Green countries have the fewest restrictions. The green list is in affect from 4am 17th May, anyone arriving to the UK prior to that will need to follow the rules for the amber list. You should not be travelling to amber or red countries for leisure.

Plan for your travel

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect international travel. No travel is risk-free, and many countries have closed their borders or restricted entry to UK travellers. Any country may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant.

Check your destination if you are travelling abroad

If you are travelling abroad from the UK, you can find foreign travel advice for your destination on the Government website, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings.

Check the government website for the latest foreign travel advice

Travelling abroad

You should read the guidance for your personal circumstances before deciding whether you are legally permitted to travel abroad. If you travel abroad, even if you are returning to a place you have visited before, follow this checklist:

1. Before you travel

2. When you're abroad

  • continue to follow updates to travel advice, as there may be changes for your destination
  • be prepared to comply with changing restrictions to manage local COVID-19 outbreaks, such as border closures, movement restrictions, testing and quarantine requirements
  • if you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to seek treatment where you are, and stay until you have recovered. If local authorities tell you to quarantine, you should expect to do that where you are
  • travel restrictions may unexpectedly delay your return home. Plan for possible delays. Make sure you have access to money and have made practical arrangements to be away for longer than planned
  • if delays occur, you should keep in contact with your travel company or airline for any changes to transport schedules
  • read our guidance if you are unable to return to the UK due to COVID-19

4. Prepare to return to the UK

Before you enter the UK you must:

Check the list of people who are exempt from the UK border restrictions.

These rules do not apply for travel within the Common Travel Area, including Ireland.

Different requirements apply for arriving into Northern Ireland.

4. When you arrive in the UK

Follow the rules that apply for the country or countries that you have visited, when you enter the UK from abroad, unless you are exempt.

If you’re arriving in England from a country on the amber list, you may be able to pay for a COVID-19 test under Test to Release, to find out if you can reduce your self-isolation period.

Make sure you check the latest guidance on the Government website.

Red, amber and green list rules for entering England

Travelling within England

  • All self-contained accommodation (holiday homes, caravans and boats)
  • It must only be used by a single household or bubble

From 17 th May, hotels, hostels and B&Bs can reopen. Six people from multiple households, or any number from two households, can stay together.

Read the holiday advice for travelling within England

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