Are the UK’s borders closed?
No, the UK’s borders are not closed, but all arrivals to the UK must do the following before arrival:
- Take a Covid-19 test and get a negative result during the 3 days before you travel.
- Book and pay for a travel test package; this costs £210 and includes two Covid-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your quarantine.
- Complete a passenger locator form with details of where you will home quarantine when you arrive and the travel test package booking reference number.
When you arrive in the UK, you must travel directly to the place you are staying and not leave until 10 days have passed. The quarantine period starts the day you arrive and ends 10 days after the day you arrived. This period is necessary because it can take up to 10 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear.
You will not be able to leave quarantine until you have received both a negative result from your day 8 test and quarantined for 10 days.
The previous system of “air bridges” or “travel corridors” has been suspended. However, those who work in certain job sectors are exempt from isolating, please see gov.uk for the list of these sectors.
Arrivals from certain countries on the “red list” are currently banned from entering the UK, including passengers who transited in those countries. British and Irish citizens or those with UK residence rights can still enter the UK if they have been to these countries, but they will need to isolate for 10 days in a quarantine managed hotel. See our FAQ on quarantine hotels for more information.
From Monday 15 February, arrivals from banned countries (sometimes called “red list” countries) must quarantine in a specified hotel. You must pay for your stay and you are strongly advised to check the current requirements at gov.uk as breaching quarantine rules can carry a prison sentence.
The travel ban list is subject to change and can be found on gov.uk.
In addition, from 8 March 2021 those in the UK who need to travel abroad will need to complete a declaration form confirming they have a legally permitted reason for travel, for example, related to your work. You may be fined if you travel or attempt to travel without one of the reasons.