Updates to international travel - November 2021


30 November 2021

The re-instated COVID red-list and approved COVID-19 vaccines for travel are covered in this international travel update.

UK re-instates COVID red-list just three weeks after scrapping it

After rising concerns regarding a newly identified variant of the COVID virus, it was announced on 25 November that the previously abolished red-list would be rapidly re-instated.
From midday on 26 November, the following six new countries were red-listed:

  • South Africa
  • Botswana
  • Lesotho
  • Eswatini
  • Zimbabwe; and 
  • Namibia

In addition, the below countries were also added to the red-list on Sunday 28 November.

  • Angola
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia

Arrivals from these countries will have to book and pay for UK Government managed quarantine facilities in approved hotel facilities. Travellers will be required to quarantine for 10 days (11 nights) on arrival in the facility and have a negative test result before being permitted release from quarantine.

Direct flights from the ten countries were banned and any visitors (i.e. non-UK and Irish residents) who have been in these countries in the previous 10 days have been refused entry into England.

Passengers returning to England from all other previously red-list countries will no longer be required to stay at a managed quarantine hotel.

Reintroduction of PCR testing

From 30 November 2021, the Government reintroduced PCR testing for international arrivals to the UK. Travel test packages must be purchased before travel to the UK and must be undertaken on day two after arrival in the UK. In addition, arrivals must strictly quarantine in their accommodation until a negative result on the test is received - or until you leave England, whichever is sooner. If the test result is positive, it is mandatory to self-isolate for 10 full days.

Approved COVID-19 vaccines for travel

The Government has again expanded their inbound traveller vaccination policy to include recognition of another 30 further countries and territories, including Argentina, Tanzania and Cambodia. The policy now covers over 135 countries and territories and eligible fully vaccinated passengers will be subject to the same COVID travel procedures as those vaccinated in the UK.

Eligible fully vaccinated passengers are not required to take a pre-departure test, a post-arrival test on day eight or self-isolate upon their arrival – they are only required to take a day two test on arrival and complete the passenger locator form.

These articles are from the November 2021 issue of Employment and Immigration Law Update, our monthly newsletter for HR professionals. To download the latest issue, please visit the newsletter section of our website. For further information please contact a member of Birketts' Immigration Team.

The content of this article is for general information only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. If you require any further information in relation to this article please contact the author in the first instance. Law covered as at November 2021.

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