From 22 November 2021 at 4 a.m., children aged 17 and under will not have to quarantine after arriving in England.
Before this reform on COVID-19 travel restrictions, children aged 17 or under could only avoid travel quarantine if they came from a territory with approved proof of vaccination or if they were descendants of fully vaccinated travelers under the UK overseas vaccination program.
The UK government has recently announced on its website that these rules will no longer apply by the end of the month. From that time on, all children will be completely exempt from travel quarantine requirements independently of their own vaccination status or their country of residence.
The UK authorities have been focusing on simplifying entry and travel rules for minors for several weeks now. Children do not even have to take any COVID-19 test before traveling to England in the present day. They don’t have to be vaccinated and they are not forced to stay in 10-day long travel quarantine on arrival to England.
After the suspension of these requirements, children can travel to England more easily than ever before during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the adults accompanying them must still meet a few requirements and restrictions associated with their country of residence and vaccination status. The UK government has established different regulations for nationals of red countries and non-red countries. Currently, the red list for travel to England is empty, but travelers should be alert to changes as any country or territory can be added to the list at any time.
Travel and entry restrictions for nationals of non-red countries vary depending on whether the traveler is fully vaccinated or not.
In England, “fully vaccinated” means that the traveler has received the final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine at least two weeks before arrival. The traveler must be able to prove vaccination with a certificate issued by the UK vaccination program or a foreign vaccination program with an approved proof of vaccination for travel to the UK.
Currently, approved vaccines are Oxford/AstraZeneca (Covishield, Vaxzevria), Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna (Moderna Takeda), and Janssen. From 22 November 2021, Sinovac, Sinopharm, and Covaxin will be considered approved vaccines as well.
Fully vaccinated travelers must complete a passenger locator form 2 days before arriving in England and take a COVID-19 test 2 days after arrival, even if you’re staying less than 2 days. The test must be previously booked and financed by the traveler. It can be either a PCR test or a lateral flow test. If it comes out positive, the traveler and the people he or she traveled with must isolate themselves for 10 days.
These requirements are pretty much the same for travelers who are not fully vaccinated, but unlike immunized passengers, unvaccinated travelers must quarantine at home or at the place they’ll be staying for 10 full days. Furthermore, they must take two PCR tests on day 2 and on day 8 (unless the day 2 test result is positive).
If one of the tests is positive, the traveler and his or her household must isolate themselves for 10 days starting from the day they took the test. Again, tests must be booked beforehand.