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COVID-19: Arrivals into the UK from Red List (Acute Risk) Countries - Update 1

26 Apr 2021

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, only travellers who have a reasonable excuse to travel abroad can do so. It currently remains illegal to travel abroad for holidays.  

Travel restrictions and self-isolation (quarantine) rules have been in place since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 to help reduce the global spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the UK public. The current UK travel restrictions are stringent both to avoid new variants being imported into the UK; and also to avoid UK travellers exporting the UK variant during international travel.

Travellers who have been in, or travelled through a red list (acute risk) country in the previous 10 days, will currently be refused entry to the UK. British or Irish Nationals, and those who have residence rights in the UK, will be able to enter, but must quarantine in a government approved managed quarantine hotel for 10 days.

  • The list of countries on the red list (acute risk) is continuously being reviewed and updated based on the risk of new variants of COVID-19 being imported into the UK, and may change at short notice. India was added to this list on 4am Friday 23 April.
  • Some occupations may qualify for an exemption from one or more of the COVID-related travel restrictions if returning from red list (acute risk) countries.

Be aware that the advice may differ depending on which of the UK 4 nation countries you arrive in. Specific UK guidance regarding quarantine, including which countries are on the red list (acute risk) can be found below:

Advice for travellers

Before making travel plans, you should consider if your journey is legally permitted, and if so, complete a travel declaration form.

Prior to permitted travel, you should check all of the following source, and continue to check these during your trip as guidance may change at short notice:

You should also review the COVID-19 Health Considerations for Travel advice page for further information on:

  • FCDO Travel Advisory Notices
  • The risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) at your destination
  • Requirements for COVID testing at your destination prior to return to the UK
  • Self-isolation rules on your return to the UK
  • Travel Insurance
  • Medical Facilities at your destination