As of 4am on July 19th 2021, the UK’s remaining restrictions against travel to countries on the amber list no longer apply for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Of course this is always subject to change – potentially at very short notice – so before leaving the UK you should have a contingency plan to return and/or be prepared to quarantine on your return.
However, under the current plans, the UK government no longer advises against travel to amber list countries if you have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine (or one injection of a single-dose vaccine, e.g. the Johnson & Johnson jab).
You should still check the local rules in all countries you intend to travel to or through – and remember under the ‘red list’ rules, if you even travel through a red list country without stopping, you must quarantine when you get back to the UK.
What this means for travel
If you are returning to the UK from a country on the amber list, you must meet several criteria in order to avoid quarantine on arrival into the UK:
• Two doses (or one injection of a single-dose vaccine) plus a minimum of 14 days before you travel.
• Proof of vaccination status e.g. the NHS COVID Pass, commonly called a ‘COVID passport’.
• A negative COVID-19 test before travelling to England and a negative PCR test within two days of arrival.
Children under the age of 18 are not required to quarantine, but the ‘green list’ rules apply, including a pre-travel COVID-19 test for 11 to 18-year-olds, a ‘day 2’ PCR test for 5 to 18-year-olds, and no testing for children aged four or younger.
How to get an NHS COVID Passport
You can prove your vaccination status directly from the NHS smartphone app, in which case the displayed expiry date should update each time you launch the app.
Alternatively – if you expect to be somewhere without a signal, for instance – you can save your vaccine status to your Google Wallet or print a copy, but you must travel before the expiry date shown.
You can also get an NHS COVID Pass from the NHS website or request a printed Pass to be sent to you via the NHS website or by calling 119.
What this means for road trips in Europe
This significant relaxation of the rules means that, in most cases, fully vaccinated individuals in the UK should be able to travel to, from and through other European countries, without needing to quarantine when coming home.
Be prepared for countries to go on the amber or red list at short notice, and always check the local rules and restrictions before you travel from the UK.
Ontime will continue to cater for our clients with vehicles to repatriate from Europe, so whatever happens in the coming weeks, you can be confident that you will be able to get your car back home safely either on schedule, or in an emergency following a roadside breakdown.