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England’s COVID-19 travel restrictions: where can you travel?

Updated On 9th June, 2021

Travel as we know it has changed. Between the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, rules on travelling from England have changed significantly. 

I cannot count the number of times I’ve googled ‘England travel restrictions’ ‘can I travel yet’ in the last 15 months lol.

In early 2020, the world was struck by a global pandemic of the Covid-19 virus (I’m pretty sure you’re aware of this much). Everywhere and everything shut down here in England, we went into lockdown and travel became increasingly difficult. Having stayed at home and stayed positive during the lockdowns, travel restrictions eased for summer 2020, but another harsh winter lockdown came and saw travel come to a standstill once more. At the start of 2021, Brexit implementation began too, changing how much time we can spend in the EU as UK citizens.  Check out the latest on post-Brexit travel to the EU here. 

Now though, as we come into June 2021, the COVID roadmap in England is well underway and restrictions are easing. We are seeing more ‘normality’ in our lives than we have done for over 15 months. Woohoo! England travel restrictions are loosening… albeit slowly.

But the pandemic and its effects are far from over. England travel restrictions are still complicated and are changing constantly.

In this blog post (which I will keep updating for you), I’m going to simplify what’s going on and create a fear-free place for you to get inspired for your next adventure…

If you’re anything like me, the overconsumption of media, screens and news is far from the world I like to live in. There is too much beauty in this world to be lost in such fear. Of course, we need to stay updated to remain responsible, safe and well but it doesn’t need to consume our entire life…

Other blog posts you might be interested in...

Current COVID restrictions in England

In England, rules are now lifting (updated: June 2021).

Gathering limits have been eased (30 people outdoors, 6 indoors), indoor entertainment and attractions such as cinemas, theatres, and bowling alleys are open and people can attend indoor and outdoor events, including live performances and sporting events. Restaurants, pubs, bars and cafes can reopen and organised indoor sport can take place for all. 

When travelling within the UK, you should aim to do so safely and plan your journey in advance. All holiday accommodation can open, including hotels and B&Bs. This can be used by groups of up to 6 or 2 households.

There is no longer a legal restriction or permitted reason required to travel internationally from England. A traffic light system for international travel has been introduced, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country. However, this still feels confusing, doesn’t it? Where can we travel? Where can we go? What England travel restrictions are in place?

In this post I aim to go through all the England Covid-19 travel restrictions and explain the England Covid-19 traffic light system, answering questions such as:

‘Which are the green list countries?’ ‘Where can I travel to from England?’

and ‘Am I allowed to go to an Amber list country?’. 

The information in this blog post about travelling to and from different parts of the world has been directly quoted from www.gov.uk, the UK government website, and I aim to keep it completely up to date for you so you have all the England Covid-19 travel rules at the click of a button!
Of course though, if in doubt, head to the main government websites for the most updated and accurate information!

England’s COVID-19 traffic light system: where can you travel?

UK travel

Travel within England:

Travel within England is now not restricted. You can travel within the country where you want and stay overnight.

If you’re planning a staycation in England, check out these blog posts: 

The best things to do in Newquay, Cornwall

Travelling from England to Wales:

The border between Wales and England is open and England travel restrictions allow you to travel from England to Wales. 

Stay up to date with travel in Wales during COVID here.

If you’re planning a trip to Wales, check out…

The best things to do in Swansea | Planning your trip to Wales | Where's Mollie? A travel and adventure lifestyle blog

Travelling from England to Scotland:

The border between Scotland and England is open and you can travel from most places in England to Scotland. At the moment (June 2021), you cannot travel to Scotland from Bedford, Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen.

Stay up to date with travel in Scotland during COVID here.

If you’re planning a trip to Scotland, check out…

Travelling from England to Northern Ireland

If you’re travelling from within the Common Travel Area (United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, and Channel Islands) and staying overnight in Northern Ireland, you should take a rapid lateral flow device test (LFD) before you begin your journey.

You should only travel if the test is negative. You should also take an LFD test on days two and eight of your stay.

You do not need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form if you’re travelling from within the CTA and you have not been outside the CTA in the last 10 days.

If you’re planning a trip to Northern Ireland, check out the best places to visit in Northern Ireland in this blog post. 

Travel to the Common Travel Area

Travelling from England to Ireland:

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine on arrival in England if you are travelling within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (the Common Travel Area), and you have not been outside of the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days.

 

European travel & worldwide travel from England

Countries outside the British Isles are now split into three categories within a traffic light system – Green, Amber and Red – depending on the Covid-19 situation in each country. 

The system was introduced on 17 May, with reviews taking place every three weeks.

What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive.

This blog post, with information taken from the government website, lists countries and territories as red, amber or green and tells you what you must do if you have been in those countries or territories.

If conditions change in a country or territory, it can be moved from the green list to the amber or red list, or vice versa. If there is a sudden change in conditions, a country or territory may be moved between lists without warning. Remember to check the government website of both the country you are travelling to and the country you are returning to for the most up-to-date travel guidance.

Travel to and from Green List countries

These are the Covid-19 travel rules and restrictions if you travel to England from a country or territory on the green list. You must only have been in or travelled through a green list country or the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in the previous 10 days.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

Before travelling to England from a Green List country:

Before you travel to England from a Green List country you must:

  • take a COVID-19 test
  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete a passenger locator form

See my tips and discount codes for COVID tests upon arrival at the bottom of this post.

On arrival in England from a Green List country:

  • You must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive.
  • Children aged 4 and under do not need to take this test.
  • You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.
  • You must quarantine if NHS Test & Trace informs you that you travelled to England with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the amber list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the amber list rules. If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.

Countries on the Green List:

(updated 8th June 2021)

Entry to Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and the Faroe Islands is severely restricted. Gibraltar will not require UK visitors to be tested or vaccinated, whereas Israel has initially reopened its border only to groups of foreign tourists who are fully vaccinated.

Travel to and from Amber List countries

The Amber List covers the most popular UK holiday destinations such as Spain, France, Italy and Greece and most of Europe.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said people “should not be travelling to these places right now”.

These are the Covid-19 travel rules and restrictions if you have been in an amber country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive in England. You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

Before traveling to England from an Amber List country:

Before you travel to England you must:

    • take a COVID-19 test
    • book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 travel tests – to be taken after arrival in England
    • complete a passenger locator form

See my tips and discount codes for COVID tests upon arrival at the bottom of this post. 

On arrival in England from an Amber List country:

On arrival in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8
  • Children aged 4 and under do not need to take the day 2 or day 8 test.
  • You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

See my tips and discount codes for COVID tests upon arrival at the bottom of this post. 

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.

Countries on the Amber List: 

(updated 8th June 2021)

The amber list is not exhaustive. If a country or territory is not on this list, you should not assume that it is a green or red list country or territory. Countries and territories are only green or red if they appear on the green or red list.

  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia  
  • Albania  
  • Algeria  
  • Andorra  
  • Anguilla  
  • Antigua and Barbuda  
  • Armenia  
  • Aruba  
  • Austria  
  • Azerbaijan  
  • The Bahamas  
  • Barbados  
  • Belarus  
  • Belgium  
  • Belize  
  • Benin  
  • Bermuda  
  • Bhutan  
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba  
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina  
  • British Antarctic Territory 
  • British Indian Ocean Territory  
  • British Virgin Islands  
  • Bulgaria  
  • Burkina Faso  
  • Cambodia  
  • Cameroon  
  • Canada  
  • Cayman Islands  
  • Central African Republic  
  • Chad  
  • China  
  • Comoros  
  • Congo  
  • Cook Islands, Tokelau and Niue  
  • Côte d’Ivoire  
  • Croatia  
  • Cuba  
  • Curaçao 
  • Cyprus  
  • Czech Republic (Czechia) 
  • Denmark  
  • Djibouti  
  • Dominica  
  • Dominican Republic  
  • El Salvador  
  • Equatorial Guinea  
  • Eritrea  
  • Estonia  
  • Fiji  
  • Finland  
  • France  
  • French Polynesia  
  • Gabon  
  • The Gambia  
  • Georgia  
  • Germany  
  • Ghana  
  • Greece (including islands)
  • Greenland  
  • Grenada  
  • Guadeloupe  
  • Guatemala  
  • Guinea  
  • Guinea-Bissau  
  • Haiti  
  • Honduras  
  • Hong Kong  
  • Hungary  
  • Indonesia  
  • Iran  
  • Iraq  
  • Italy  
  • Jamaica  
  • Japan  
  • Jordan  
  • Kazakhstan  
  • Kiribati  
  • Kosovo  
  • Kuwait  
  • Kyrgyzstan  
  • Laos  
  • Latvia  
  • Lebanon  
  • Liberia 
  • Libya  
  • Liechtenstein  
  • Lithuania  
  • Luxembourg  
  • Macao  
  • Madagascar  
  • Malaysia  
  • Mali  
  • Malta  
  • Marshall Islands  
  • Martinique  
  • Mauritania  
  • Mauritius  
  • Mayotte  
  • Mexico  
  • Micronesia  
  • Moldova  
  • Monaco  
  • Mongolia  
  • Montenegro  
  • Montserrat  
  • Morocco  
  • Myanmar (Burma)
  • Nauru  
  • Netherlands  
  • New Caledonia  
  • Nicaragua  
  • Niger  
  • Nigeria  
  • North Korea  
  • North Macedonia  
  • Norway  
  • The Occupied Palestinian Territories 
  • Palau  
  • Papua New Guinea  
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands  
  • Poland  
  • Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira)
  • Réunion  
  • Romania  
  • Russia  
  • Samoa  
  • San Marino  
  • Sao Tome and Principe  
  • Saudi Arabia  
  • Senegal  
  • Serbia  
  • Sierra Leone  
  • Slovakia  
  • Slovenia  
  • Solomon Islands  
  • South Korea  
  • South Sudan  
  • Spain (including the Balearics and Canary Islands)  
  • St Kitts and Nevis  
  • St Lucia  
  • St Maarten  
  • St Martin and St Barthélemy  
  • St Pierre and Miquelon  
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines  
  • Sweden  
  • Switzerland  
  • Syria  
  • Taiwan  
  • Tajikistan  
  • Thailand  
  • Timor-Leste  
  • Togo  
  • Tonga  
  • Tunisia  
  • Turkmenistan  
  • Turks and Caicos Islands  
  • Tuvalu  
  • Uganda  
  • Ukraine  
  • United States (USA)  
  • Uzbekistan  
  • Vanuatu  
  • Vietnam  
  • Wallis and Futuna  
  • Western Sahara  
  • Yemen

Travel to and from Red List countries

These are the Covid-19 travel rules and restrictions if you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

The UK Government guidance is that you should not travel to red list countries or territories.

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK.

You must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated.

Before travelling to England from a Red List country:

Before you travel to England from a Red List country you must:

  • take a COVID-19 test
  • book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests
  • complete a passenger locator form

On arrival in England from a Red List country:

On arrival in England from a Red List country you must quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 tests. You must stay in the hotel for 10 full days (the day you arrive in England is day 0). The rate for one adult for one room for 11 days/10 nights is £1,750. Find out more about the quarantine hotels here. 

Countries on the Red List:

(updated 8th June 2021)

  • Afghanistan  
  • Angola  
  • Argentina  
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh  
  • Bolivia  
  • Botswana  
  • Brazil  
  • Burundi  
  • Cape Verde  
  • Chile  
  • Colombia  
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador  
  • Egypt
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia  
  • French Guiana  
  • Guyana  
  • India  
  • Kenya  
  • Lesotho  
  • Malawi  
  • Maldives  
  • Mozambique  
  • Namibia  
  • Nepal  
  • Oman  
  • Pakistan  
  • Panama  
  • Paraguay  
  • Peru 

Covid-19 tests to travel to England and DISCOUNT CODES

If you need a Covid-19 test to travel to England and you are looking for some testing top tips, here are mine based on my experience of travelling back from Costa Rica when it was on the Amber List (it is now red). 

For the Day 2 and Day 8 tests (upon your return to England) lots of airlines are teaming up with testing companies and so there are coupons all over the internet to use to save money on these expensive tests. Phew!

I used Testing for all for my Day 2 and Day 8 tests (this package) which was one of the cheapest at the time. I paid £99 for the two tests, plus shipping £108.

I used Randox for my TTR (test to release) which cost £60 with the discount code below. 

  • Randox discount code: for the pre-departure PCR test and Day 5 Test to Release use BritishAirways50 at the checkout

  • Randox discount code: for the Day 2 and Day 8 tests use BritishAirwaysD2D8 at the checkout

UPDATE: Randox have now reduced their Day 5 TTR from £110 to £48. And their Day 2 and day 8 test package from £170 to £96. LOL.

NOTE: I had no issues with Testing for all. Could drop to my local post office. Randox arrived a day late and you have to return the test to one of their designated drop off’s. Check out the locations here – could be an inconvenience!

These are not affiliate links or ads, just one traveller helping out another!

Where are you hoping to travel after Covid-19?

Where do you want to travel from England? I’d love to know!

Love as always and happy adventuring,

Mollie.

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England’s COVID-19 travel restrictions: where can you travel?England’s COVID-19 travel restrictions: where can you travel?
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