The UK Red List is a collection of countries in which travel is currently banned. However, if you must visit any of these countries for a legally-permitted reason then you will be subject to additional quarantine measures upon return to the UK. This includes not being able to quarantine in your own home, and instead you will have to self-isolate in a Government-appointed hotel for 10-days (11-nights).
This rule only applies to British and Irish Nationals or those who have residence rights in the UK. If you have been in or through any of the countries on the Red List and are not a legal resident of the UK you will be refused entry into the country.
The current Red List countries are:
Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Guyana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Are there any exceptions to those travelling in or through a country on the Red List and the mandatory hotel quarantine?
Yes. Some job titles are exempt from the Red List restrictions due to the work they are doing. Click here for more information.
Can I use the Test To Release Scheme to end quarantine early?
No. The Test To Release Scheme is not compatible with those who have visited or transited through a country on the Red List.
Do I still need to take a COVID-19 test to be allowed entry into the UK from a country on the Red List?
Yes. All passengers travelling to the UK are required to take a COVID-19 test no more than 72-hours before departing for your journey.
The test must meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.
This could include tests such as:
• a nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) tests
• an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device
It’s your responsibility to ensure the test meets the minimum standards for sensitivity, specificity and viral load details. You must check with your test provider that it meets these standards as you may not be able to travel if it does not. Click here for more information.
Do I need to take any further COVID-19 tests once I am in the UK?
Yes. All passengers returning to the UK from any destination are required to take another COVID-19 test on days 2 and 8 of their 10-day self-isolation. This is called the Travel Test Package and must be pre-booked before you depart for your journey to the UK. You can book your Travel Test Package here.
What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 during my 10-day quarantine?
You will be required to self-isolate for a further 10-days. This applies to those who travelled from a country not on the Red List and are self-isolating at home and also to those who have travelled from a country that is on the Red List and are self-isolating in a hotel.
If you test positive on day 2 of your self-isolation, you will need to quarantine until day 13.
If you test positive on day 8 of your self-isolation, you will need to quarantine until day 19.
If you are quarantining with those who you travelled with, they will also be required to self-isolate with you, even if they test negative.
Who pays for the hotel quarantine?
The passenger is required to pay the cost of the hotel quarantine. You must book your hotel quarantine package, along with the two tests on days two and eight, before departing for the UK.
The cost of this is £1,750 per person. The fee is reduced if more than one adult is sharing a room. Children under 5 go free.