International Travel: Tips from Taylor Hampton

International travel has never been as risky as it is now under the current global environment. UK government has implemented various measures to restrain the spread of the coronavirus. With the tremendous work and sacrifices of our public health workers and every person’s contributions, we are fighting against the pandemic together.

Government Advice

It is critical to follow the government’s advice to stay at home and not to travel. However, if you do need to travel overseas and return to the UK, remember to check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s advice and follow the COVID-19 travel advice strictly.

Entering the UK

Here is a brief summary of what you need to note before travelling to England, check the FCDO’s travel advice if you are entering Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland as different restrictions will apply.

  • Take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours before your departure time, you will need to show evidence of your negative COVID-19 test result upon your arrival to England, and likely before you board your plane or train. This rule applies to everyone travelling to England, regardless of your nationality and the country you are travelling through or from.
  • Fill in the passenger locator form up to 48 hours before your arrival. You will need to show the completed form at the border. This is to help the government to contact you if someone you travelled with develops coronavirus symptoms. If you want to take part in the Test to Release scheme, select this option on your passenger location form.
  • Self-isolate for the first 10 days at a safe accommodation after you enter the UK, except if you travel from Ireland, or if you have a valid exemption. The self-isolation rule applies even if you tested negative before you arrive in England. You could shorten the self-isolation period by taking part in the Test to Release scheme. After 5 days self-isolation, you can book a COVID-19 test with one of the private test providers and stop self-isolating if your test result is negative.
  • Quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days. The UK government has introduced a travel ban list early this month. Passengers travelling as visitors from or through any of the countries on the list in the past 10 days will normally be refused entry to the UK. Only British and Irish nationals or third-country nationals with residents’ rights in the UK will be allowed to enter the UK, and you cannot use the Test to Release Scheme. From 15 February 2021, you must quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days with your own cost.

The UK government updates its guidance on COVID-19 travel and national restrictions regularly, and we strongly suggest anyone who must travel for legally permitted reasons to check out the government’s latest travel advice before your journey.