Citizens Advice Salford

The current restrictions on international travel.

The Government has issued the following instructions about international travel: “The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to affect international travel. No travel is risk-free, and many countries have closed their borders or restricted entry to UK travellers. Any country may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant.

If you are in the UK you should not travel abroad. Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays.

You should read the guidance for your personal circumstances before deciding whether you are legally permitted to travel abroad. If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, even if you are returning to a place you have visited before, follow this checklist.

  1. Before you travel.
  • You need a legally-permitted reason to travel abroad: (to check the list of legal reasons go to
  • If you live in England, you must complete a declaration form for international travel, except for travel within the Common Travel Area, which includes Ireland.
  • Follow the current COVID-19 rules for where you live, in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Subscribe to travel advice email alerts for your destination, and countries you will transit through, so you’ll know if we update our advice with new and important information.
  • Check for entry restrictions, testing, or quarantine requirements in our travel advice or contact the UK-based embassy for your destination country.
  • If you need a negative coronavirus test to enter a country, you must use a private test provider. The NHS Test and Trace testing service cannot provide the documents you need.
  • If you’re flying, read the safer air travel guidance.
  • You must wear a face covering on flights in England and Scotland.
  • Read National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) guidance.
  • Ask your accommodation provider about their COVID-19 safety measures.
  • Read the advice of local authorities and follow local health measures during your journey and at your destination. Local measures and travel restrictions may change before or during your stay.
  • Get travel insurance with the appropriate level of cover.
  • Check your cancellation rights. Contact your tour operator, transport and accommodation providers if you have questions. 
  • Use the travel abroad step-by-step guidance to make sure you’re fully prepared.
  1. When you’re abroad.
  • Continue to follow updates to travel advice, as there may be changes for your destination.
  • Be prepared to comply with changing measures to manage local COVID-19 outbreaks, such as border closures, movement restrictions, testing requirements or quarantine rules.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to seek treatment where you are, until you have recovered. If local authorities tell you to quarantine, you should expect to do that where you are.
  • Travel restrictions may unexpectedly delay your return home. Plan for possible delays. Make sure you have access to money and have made practical arrangements to be away for longer than planned.
  • If delays occur, you should keep in contact with your travel company or airline for any changes to transport schedules.
  • Read the guidance if you are unable to return to the UK due to COVID-19.
  1. Prepare to return to the UK.

Before you enter the UK, you must:

  • Take a COVID-19 test up to 72 hours before departure. You will need to show a negative test result when you arrive in the UK, including if you are returning home. Read further information on testing for travel to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland from abroad
  • Fill in your passenger locator form up to 48 hours before you enter the UK.

to prepare for quarantine:

  • If you’re arriving in England from a country on the travel ban ‘red list’, or you have transited through one in the past 10 days, you must book to quarantine in a hotel.
  • If you’re arriving in England, travelling from any other foreign country (except Ireland), you must book COVID tests under the quarantine rules for arriving into England.
  • Check the list of people who are exempt from the UK border rules.
  • Different rules apply for arriving into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  1. When you arrive in the UK.

You must quarantine and take further COVID-19 tests when you enter the UK from abroad (except Ireland), unless you have a valid exemption.

If you’re arriving in England, and you are not travelling from a red list travel ban country, you may be able to pay for a COVID-19 test under the Test to Release scheme, to find out if you can reduce your self-isolation period”.

You can get up to date information about these restrictions, as well as more detailed information about a country you might need to travel to from the government’s website at

From this week (March 29th) a fine can be levied for anybody breaking these rules of up to £5,000.


Tom Togher

March 24, 2021.