No prospect of UK travel rules changing before Christmas

There is no prospect of UK travel rules changing before Christmas. The UK is set to review its COVID-19 travel rules in January.  The Aviation Minister Robert Courts told airline bosses at the Airlines 2021 conference in Westminster “we will be looking to see what we can do at that stage”.

The minister also said he wants the aviation sector to “bounce back” from the pandemic as he confirmed the restrictions for travellers arriving in the country will be revised.

“We want to reduce not just testing but all the restrictive measures.”

Expensive PCR tests were scrapped for fully vaccinated passengers in October. However, the Courts did not indicate what travel rules would be amended but did go on to say

“We’re going to review the policy in January.

Lateral Flow Testing
Lateral Flow Testing ©

Current Travel Rules

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK do not need to self–isolate nor have to pay for hotel quarantine on arrival. Passengers are still required to take a lateral flow test after two days and must be via a private provider as NHS test kits cannot be used.

According to UAE paper The National, the transport secretary Grant Shapps stated at Dubai’s Expo 2020 event.  He did not “see any prospect” of any major travel rule changes that would affect ex-pats visiting for Christmas 2021.

Booster Jab Restrictions

Holidaymakers face more travel restrictions to popular winter destinations as some countries introduce a time limit for the Covid-19 vaccine to be valid for quarantine-free travel. Research suggests immunity provided by the two doses of any of the approved Covid vaccines has waned six months after the second jab.

Israel, Croatia, Austria are among countries that have introduced this time limit. While France has announced from the 15 December, anyone aged 65 and over must have had a booster jab six months and five weeks after their second jab – or risk being barred from France’s indoor venues.

Showing Covid-19 Jab
Covid-19 jab. © Robert Utrecht/Picture alliance

Mr Shapps also said that any changes to travel rules for incoming travellers regarding their booster jab status would not be implemented before the new year.

“We all understand that boosters are the way forward. Even if people do not have their booster, they will still be able to come back to the UK as we are not making any rules changes this year.”

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated are required to self-isolate at home or in a place they are staying for 10 days after arrival in the UK.

None vaccinated passengers must also take a PCR test three days before travelling to the UK and take another test on or before day two and on or after day eight after their return.

All travellers coming to the UK must fill in a passenger locator form up to 48 hours before their journey.

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Nadeane Smallwood
Nadeane Smallwood
A recent MSc Air Transport graduate, with a passion for aviation, journalism and creative writing. Nadeane is a London based aviation Journalist, with over ten years experience in various roles across the aviation industry and travelled to over 40 countries.


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