All you need to know about the new travel rules

ABTA Partner
Department of Health & Social Care

Founding member of LTIO

Certified LTIO

The travel rules for the UK have changed recently – are you up to date? If not, don’t worry – we’ve listed the updates here to keep you informed.

The following changes are in place from 4am on Friday 7th January:

  • No pre-departure tests
  • No need to isolate until negative result (if vaccinated)

And from 4am on Sunday 9th January:

  • Day 2 PCR test replaced with lateral flow test

What are the rules now?

Travel is allowed right now, with no current restrictions in place on where you can travel to from the UK's side. However, some countries may have restrictions on UK travellers being able to enter.

Right now, to travel from the UK, you need:

- Nothing, unless the country you're travelling to has specified otherwise. You can find out about the entry requirements for the country you are travelling to here.


Returning to the UK? Here's what you need:

- If you’re fully-vaccinated (with two vaccines), you need a Day 2 Arrivals lateral flow test taken between day 0 (the day you arrive) and 2 following your return to the UK.

- A passenger locator form and PLF reference number. ExpressTest issue your PLF number immediately on ordering a Day 2 Arrivals test.

- If you’re not vaccinated or partially-vaccinated, you’ll need to take a PCR or lateral flow test in the two days before departure, then PCR tests on Days 2 and 8. You’ll then need to quarantine until you get the result or until 10 days after you arrived in the UK (whichever is sooner).

What to do if your test is positive

There may be tests and isolation requirements if you test positive upon returning to the UK. You can find all the information you need here.

Some countries may still require you to take a test before travelling there from the UK, so please make sure you check their travel guidance before your trip.

What about under 18s?

According to the UK's rules, all children above the age of five must take a Day 2 Arrivals lateral flow test upon returning to the UK, but there's no need for a pre-departure test.

Please bear in mind that some countries will have different rules regarding unvaccinated under-18s, so make sure to read their latest updates before travelling.


The information written here was correct at the time of posting, but this is a rapidly-evolving situation. Please ensure that you check the government website before you travel to make sure that you have all the most up-to-date information.

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