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Coming to the UK - Vaccination Status


Chetal Patel


November 03, 2021


03:18 PM

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Although at the time of writing the UK has now removed the last few countries from its ‘red list’, there are still currently entry requirements related to COVID in place. What these requirements are and how they relate to individuals wishing to enter the UK depend upon whether the individual is considered fully vaccinated or not.

Before Departure

It is important to check the requirements prior to departure as, subject to an individual’s vaccination status, travellers may have trouble at the border. Depending on their status there may be specific documents that must be shown at the border and there may be an impact on what activities can be undertaken once in the UK, especially if travelling for business. It is important travellers are aware of these requirements and are aware that the different jurisdictions have different requirements. The focus of this piece is on England.

What is fully vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated means that an individual has had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before they arrive in England. The day they had their final dose does not count as one of the 14 days.

If an individual has received an approved one dose vaccine (for example the Janssen vaccine) they will be considered fully vaccinated.

Individuals also need to be able to provide approved proof of vaccination. Full details of the vaccines which are approved in the UK and a list of countries with approved proof of vaccination can be found here.

Entry to England - fully vaccinated

If an individual is considered fully vaccinated, they must:

  • book and pay for a COVID-19 test – to be taken before the end of day 2 in England; and
  • complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before they arrive in England.

They do not need to quarantine on arrival, unless their day 2 test is positive. The test can be a lateral flow test or a PCR test, however if the lateral flow test result is positive, the individual must take a PCR test to confirm and self-isolate until the result is returned. If the PCR test result is positive they must isolate for 10 full days.

Individuals still need to book and pay for a day 2 test, even if they will be in England for less than 2 days.

Entry to England – not fully vaccinated

If an individual is not considered fully vaccinated, then they must:

  • take a COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before they travel to England;
  • book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests – to be taken after arrival in England on or before day 2 and on or after day 8;
  • complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before they arrive in England.

They must quarantine in the place they are staying for 10 full days, the day of arrival is day 0. If they will be England for less than 10 days then they must quarantine for their entire stay, they still must book day 2 and day 8 tests but they only need to take them if they are in England on those days. If the day 2 test result is positive, there is no need to take the day 8 test, however they must self-isolate for 10 full days with the day of the test being day 0.

They could pay for Test to Release which reduces quarantine to 5 days. Alternatively, their work in the UK may qualify them for an exemption. Please note, some exemptions require prior approval or additional documents.


Traditional London Doorstep

What about the rest of the UK – Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland?

Each country has its own guidance, to read the full guidance for the rest of the UK and find links to each country’s approved test providers, please check for Wales here, Scotland here and Northern Ireland here.

The above article is accurate as of 3 November 2021, please be aware that these requirements are subject to change and are frequently updated.

Understand More About UK Immigration in a Post-Brexit World and Other UK Immigration Matters

Bates Wells is a London-based full service firm with a global outlook. Championing the market as London's first B-Corp law firm, Bates Wells practices a value-driven approach to client relations and aligns themselves to notable causes. In their specialty area of Immigration Law, Bates Wells handles matters of: Personal Immigration, Business Immigration and High Net Worth Immigration.

Connect with Chetal and schedule a consultation to discuss UK Immigration Pathways.


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