Big-Ben-can-I-travel-to-the-UK-right-now

Is the United Kingdom Open for Tourists? – UK Restrictions

If you're traveling this summer, check which travel insurance covers COVID-19 (test and treatment abroad). ALSO, NEW DELTA VARIANT!

Last update: 9/7/2021

The UK just reopened for international tourism on May 17, 2021, making it one of the most recent countries that are open for tourism. The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Each of these countries has its own government, so each country has its own specific regulations.

The entire UK has implemented a traffic light system for visitors, but regulations depend on which country you are visiting.

England and Scotland travel restrictions

Travelers from countries on the green list must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR, LAMP, or antigen) that was obtained within 3 days of departure and complete an online passenger locator form within 48 hours of arriving in England/Scotland. They must also book and pay for a COVID-19 test to be taken on day 2 after their arrival in England/Scotland.

Countries allowed to travel to the UK

England and Scotland travel restrictions

Travelers from countries on the amber list must present a negative COVID-19 test result that was obtained within 3 days of departure, submit a digital passenger locator form within 48 hours of arriving in England/Scotland, and book and pay for two COVID-19 tests, one to be taken on day 2 after their arrival in England/Scotland and another to be taken on day 8. They must also quarantine at their home or accommodation for 10 days after their arrival in England/Scotland.

Travelers from countries on the red list must abide by all the same entry requirements as travelers from countries on the amber list, except that they must book and pay for a quarantine hotel, where they will complete their 10-day quarantine. Only British and Irish nationals and residents can travel to the UK from red-list countries.

Wales travel restrictions

Wales has the same countries on its green, amber, and red lists and the same entry requirements for those travelers, but travelers from countries on the red list cannot travel directly to Wales. They must arrive in either England or Scotland, complete their 10-day quarantine at a quarantine hotel, and then travel to Wales.

Northern Ireland travel restrictions

Northern Ireland has the same red list as the rest of the UK, but there are no countries on its green list (all countries on this green list are considered amber in Northern Ireland). It has the same entry requirements for amber- and red-list travelers as the rest of the UK, but since there is no green list, all travelers to Northern Ireland must quarantine for 10 days from their arrival.

Can I travel to the UK right now?

You can travel to the UK from a few countries right now. Below is a map of all the countries that can visit the United Kingdom at the moment.

UK - EN Placeholder
UK - EN

Travelers can generally travel to and from other countries in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland) and the Common Travel Area (Ireland, Isle of Man, and the Channel Island) without restrictions.

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Iceland
  • Israel and Jerusalem
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
  • Singapore
  • South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands
  • Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha

*Note that this is only the green list for England, Scotland, and Wales. Northern Ireland has no green list (these countries are considered amber on Northern Ireland’s classification).

Travelers from countries on the green list must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (PCR, LAMP, or antigen) that was obtained within 3 days of departure and complete an online passenger locator form within 48 hours of arriving in England/Scotland/Wales. They must also book and pay for a COVID-19 test to be taken on day 2 after their arrival in England/Scotland/Wales.

Amber List*

  • Afghanistan
  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • The Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • 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
  • Costa Rica
  • Cote d’Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • 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
  • 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
  • Reunion
  • 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)
  • Sri Lanka
  • Kitts and Nevis
  • Lucia
  • Martin and St. Barthelemy
  • Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sudan
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syria
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United States
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vietnam
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen

*This is not an exhaustive list, so if your country is not on the green or red lists, it is on the amber list. For Northern Ireland, if your country is not on the red list, it is on the amber list.

Travelers from countries on the amber list must present a negative COVID-19 test result that was obtained within 3 days of departure, submit a digital passenger locator form within 48 hours of arriving in the UK, and book and pay for two COVID-19 tests, one to be taken on day 2 after their arrival in the UK and another to be taken on day 8. They must also quarantine at their home or accommodation for 10 days after their arrival in the UK.

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Only British and Irish nationals and residents can travel to the UK from red-list countries.

Travelers from countries on the red list must present a negative COVID-19 test result that was obtained within 3 days of departure, submit a digital passenger locator form within 48 hours of arriving in the UK, and book and pay for two COVID-19 tests, one to be taken on day 2 after their arrival in the UK and another to be taken on day 8. They must also quarantine at a quarantine hotel at their own expense for 10 days from their arrival in the UK.

Travelers from countries on the red list cannot travel directly to Wales. They must arrive in either England or Scotland, complete their 10-day quarantine at a quarantine hotel, and then travel to Wales.

United Kingdom COVID-19 travel restrictions

The UK’s entry requirements are generally quite strict but depend on the country you are traveling from.

All travelers to the UK must complete an online passenger locator form within 48 hours of arriving in the UK. They must also have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result that was obtained within 3 days of departure.

Travelers from countries on the green list must book and pay for a COVID-19 test to be taken on day 2 after their arrival in England/Scotland/Wales.

Is there a travel ban in the UK?

United Kingdom COVID-19 travel restrictions and entry requirements

Travelers from countries on the amber list must book and pay for two COVID-19 tests, one to be taken on day 2 after their arrival in the UK and the other on day 8. They must also quarantine for 10 days from their arrival at their home or accommodation.

Travelers from countries on the red list must book and pay for a quarantine hotel package, which includes testing on days 2 and 8. They will quarantine for 10 days at the quarantine hotel and take their additional COVID-19 tests on days 2 and 8.

COVID-19 vaccine to travel to the United Kingdom

Even if you have been fully vaccinated, you must still comply with all entry requirements for the UK. This means that you will be subject to testing and quarantine requirements depending on the country you are traveling from.

Is PCR testing mandatory to travel to the UK?

Whether you are traveling from a country on the green list, amber list, or red list, you must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result that was obtained within 3 days of your departure.

Acceptable tests include PCR, LAMP, and antigen tests. You can present either a printed document or digital proof in the form of an email or text message.

Your test result must either be in English, French, or Spanish. It must include your name, your date of birth/age, the result of the test, the date the sample was collected or received, the name of the test provider, the test provider’s contact details, and confirmation of the test type/device used.

Travelers from countries on the green list must also take a COVID-19 test on day 2 after their arrival in England/Scotland/Wales. Travelers from countries on the amber list and red list must take COVID-19 tests on days 2 and 8 of their 10-day quarantine period.

Children under the age of 11 are exempt from the pre-arrival testing requirement. In England and Wales, children under the age of 5 do not need to take the day 2 and 8 tests.

Is there a mandatory quarantine upon arrival in the United Kingdom?

There is a mandatory quarantine on arrival for travelers from countries on the amber list and red list. Since Northern Ireland has no green list, all travelers to Northern Ireland must quarantine for 10 days from their arrival.

UK travel restrictions COVID-19

Is there a mandatory quarantine upon arrival in the United Kingdom?

Travelers from countries on the amber list must quarantine for 10 days from their arrival at their home or accommodation. Travelers from countries on the red list must quarantine for 10 days at a quarantine hotel at their own expense.

Travelers from countries on the amber list and red list must take two COVID-19 tests during their quarantine period, one on day 2 and another on day 8.

Travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage to visit the UK

It is not an entry requirement to have travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage to enter the United Kingdom. However, you should always travel with some kind of insurance so that if anything unexpected comes up, you’ll be covered.

If you’re looking for travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage, Heymondo is the perfect choice. When we compared many different types of travel insurance, Heymondo came out on top because of their policies’ extensive coverage, particularly for COVID-19 testing and treatment abroad. You can even save 5% on their policies with the discount link below.

Other travel restrictions for the UK during COVID-19

The United Kingdom has a few other travel restrictions in place:

  • All travelers will undergo health screenings upon arrival in the UK.
  • Face masks are required in all public areas.
  • Social distancing rules must be observed.
  • You may need a tourist visa to visit the UK. Check if you need one below.

What’s open in the UK

As with entry restrictions, England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have their own regulations for what can open.

In England, the same regulations apply across the whole of England.

In Scotland, there is a level system for restrictions. There are 5 levels (0, 1, 2, 3, and 4) and different restrictions apply at each level. None of Scotland is currently at Level 0 or Level 4. Most of mainland Scotland is at Level 2 (with the exception of Glasgow City and Morway, which are at Level 3) and some islands are at Level 1. You can find more information on areas’ levels here.

Wales uses a levels system as well, but at the moment, all of Wales is at Level 2. More details on the alert system can be found here.

Northern Ireland’s restrictions apply across the whole of Northern Ireland.

Hotels that are open in the United Kingdom

Hotels and some other accommodations in England are open, so visitors can travel and plan overnight stays. We highly recommend these accommodations in England:

Guests must wear masks in all indoor, public areas and abide by social distancing rules. They will have to provide their contact details as part of the Test and Trace scheme. Guests should use contactless payment whenever possible. Accommodations will be subject to frequent cleaning and disinfection. More information on England’s hotel regulations is available here.

Accommodations are open across all of Scotland at the moment since accommodations can open in Level 1, 2, and 3 areas. However, travel to or from Level 3 areas for holidays/vacations is not allowed. These hotels in Scotland are some of our favorites:

Guests should keep at least 2 meters away from others and must provide their contact details as part of the Test and Protect scheme. They must also wear face masks in all indoor, public areas. More details on Scotland’s accommodation regulations can be found here.

Hotels and accommodations are currently open in Wales. These are some of the best places to stay in Wales right now:

Guests must maintain a distance of 2 meters between themselves and others and wear masks in all indoor, public areas. More information on Wales’ hotel regulations is available here.

In Northern Ireland, hotels and tourism accommodations are operating. These are some of the best places to stay in Northern Ireland right now:

Guests must provide their contact details as part of the Test, Trace, Protect contact tracing program. Contact details that must be provided include name, telephone number, date of stay, and duration of stay. More details on Northern Ireland’s accommodation regulations can be found here.

Attractions that are open and tours that are operating in the UK

Attractions, such as museums and theme parks, are open and tours are operating in England right now. These tours are some of our favorites:

Visitors must wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. Capacities will be limited, so you may want to reserve tickets ahead of time. Indoors, tours are limited to 6 people or 2 households, and outdoors, tours are limited to 30 people.

More information on England’s regulations is available here and here.

In Scotland, indoor and outdoor attractions, such as museums, galleries, and zoos, are all open and tours are operating in Level 1, 2, and 3 areas. We highly recommend these Scottish tours and attractions:

Wearing face masks indoors is mandatory for visitors. Visitors must also social distance and provide their contact details for contact tracing purposes. Hand sanitizer will be provided for visitors to sanitize their hands.

More details on Scotland’s regulations can be found here.

Attractions are open and tours are operating in Wales. If you’re not sure where to go or what to do, check some ideas.

Visitors must wear masks indoors and keep a distance of at least 2 meters away from others. More information on regulations for attractions in Wales is available here and here.

Attractions are open and tours are operating in Northern Ireland. We highly recommend these tours and attractions:

Attractions will have capacity limits, so you may want to book your tickets ahead of time. Visitors must wear masks in any indoor public spaces and keep a distance of 2 meters away from others. Visitors’ contact details will be collected for contact tracing purposes.

More details on Northern Ireland’s attraction regulations can be found here and here.

Restaurants and pubs that are open in the United Kingdom

Restaurants and pubs are open for indoor and outdoor dining in England.

Is the United Kingdom open for travel?

Restaurants and pubs that are open in the United Kingdom

Customers must wear masks at all times except when they are seated at their table and eating or drinking. Customers’ contact details will be taken for contact tracing purposes.

Groups are limited to 6 people or 2 households indoors and up to 30 people outdoors. Any venue that serves alcohol must have table service only. Tables will be placed 2 meters apart.

More details on restaurant and pub regulations in England can be found here and here.

In Scotland, restaurants and pubs are open for outdoor and indoor dining in Level 1 and 2 areas. In Level 1 areas, indoor dining is available until 11 PM. In Level 2 areas, indoor dining is available until 10:30 PM but must be a pre-booked 2-hour slot. In Level 3 areas, restaurants and pubs are fully open for outdoor dining and can serve food indoors without alcohol until 8 PM.

Customers must wear face masks when they are not seated at their table and must provide their contact details for contact tracing purposes. There is table service only. Tables will be placed at least 1 meter apart to allow for social distancing.

Group limits depend on what level the area is in. Groups in Level 1 areas are limited to 8 people indoors and 12 people outdoors. Groups in Level 2 areas are limited to 6 people indoors and 8 people outdoors. Groups in Level 3 areas are limited to 6 people indoors and 6 people outdoors.

More information on Scottish dining regulations is available here, here, here, and here.

Restaurants and pubs in Wales are open for indoor and outdoor dining.

Groups are limited to 6 people and tables must be pre-booked. Guests must provide their contact details for contact tracing purposes. They must also wear masks at all times other than when they are seated at their table to eat and drink.

There will be table service only. Tables will be spaced at least one meter apart.

More details on Welsh dining restrictions can be found here and here.

Can I travel to the UK now?

Restaurants and pubs that are open in the United Kingdom

Restaurants and pubs in Northern Ireland are open for outdoor and indoor dining with restrictions.

Groups are limited to 6 people from 2 households or more than 6 from one household. Customers must provide their contact details for contact tracing purposes and must wear face masks any time they are not seated at their table.

Tables will be spaced at least 2 meters apart. Hand sanitizer will be available at entrances to restaurants and pubs so customers can disinfect their hands.

More information on Northern Ireland’s dining regulations is available here and here.

Airports that are open in the UK

The UK’s main international airports are all open: London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, and Belfast International.

Travelers must wear masks at all times and keep a distance of at least 2 meters away from others. They will also be subject to health screenings on arrival in the UK.

Restrictions on intercity and interregional travel in the UK

There are restrictions on intercity and interregional travel in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

In England, you can travel freely to other parts of England and to other parts of the UK. More information on travel within and from England is available here.

In Scotland, travel is allowed to other parts of the UK and within Scotland, except for areas that are in Level 3 or 4. People that live in Level 0, 1, or 2 areas must not travel to areas in Level 3 or 4 except for permitted reasons and people in Level 3 or 4 areas should not leave except for permitted reasons. More details on travel within and from Scotland can be found here.

Can I travel to the UK right now?

Restrictions on intercity and interregional travel in the UK

In Wales, you can travel freely within Wales and to other parts of the UK. More information on travel within and from Wales is available here.

In Northern Ireland, you may only travel within Northern Ireland and to other parts of the UK if it is essential travel. If you are traveling to Northern Ireland from another part of the UK, you should self-isolate for 10 days from your arrival. More details on travel within and from Northern Ireland can be found here and here.

Where to get a PCR test in the UK – COVID-19 testing in the United Kingdom

Your country may require you to take a PCR test in order to fly back home. If you need to get a PCR test in the UK, you can find information on testing here.

UK reopening its borders to tourists – F.A.Q.

Check out these FAQs related to the United Kingdom reopening for tourists and let us know if you have any other questions in the comments below.

Yes, you can currently travel to the UK if you are traveling from a country on the amber list or green list.

There are currently 40,000+ active cases and 127,000+ deaths due to COVID-19 in the UK as of today. The CDC classifies travel to the UK as “Level 3- High Risk.” If you have a pre-existing condition or any health condition that could increase your chances of serious illness, do not travel to the United Kingdom. Additionally, even if you are not high-risk, you might want to reconsider traveling to the UK.

Yes, travelers from countries that are on the red list cannot travel to the UK, unless they are a British/Irish citizen or resident.

Yes, travelers from countries on the amber list and red list must quarantine for 10 days from their arrival in the UK. Travelers from countries on the red list must quarantine in a quarantine hotel.

Yes, all travelers over the age of 11 must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within 3 days of departure. Travelers from countries on the green list must take a second test on day 2 after their arrival. Travelers from countries on the amber list and red list must take additional tests on days 2 and 8 of their 10-day quarantine period.

No, there is currently no curfew in the UK.

Yes, there are some restrictions on intercity and interregional travel in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Yes, hotels are open in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Yes, the UK’s main airports are all open.

Yes, restaurants and pubs are open in England, Scotland, and Wales. In Northern Ireland, restaurants and pubs are only open for outdoor dining.

Yes, attractions are open and tours are operating in England, Scotland, and Wales. Only outdoor attractions are open in Northern Ireland at the moment.

Yes, the British Museum is open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Yes, the London Eye is open daily from 11 AM to 6 PM.

Yes, Stonehenge is open.

Yes, Americans can travel to the UK right now.

Yes, Canadian tourists can currently visit the UK.

Sources

We will update this guide on the UK reopening to tourism with any new developments. If you need more information on travel to the United Kingdom, you can check these official sources:

England

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland

Share on Pinterest
Share with your friends










Submit

COFOUNDER & TRAVEL JUNKIE

Hi, I'm Ascen, a globetrotter based in Philadelphia, USA. I enjoy exploring new landscapes and creating in-depth travel guides for Capture the Atlas.

I have felt a special connection with nature and all the inhabitants of the planet since I was a kid. I am passionate about discovering new countries and especially their wildlife, but no matter how many places I visit, I will always belong to the remote beaches of Almería, in Southern Spain.

You can know a little more about me here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.