Precautions in light of Omicron variant

The UK is introducing new, temporary measures to combat the Omicron COVID variant. These changes include:

  • new rules for fully vaccinated travellers arriving in the UK
  • compulsory face coverings in shops (excluding hospitality settings) and on public transport
  • all contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status.

Lateral flow tests no longer accepted

From 4am this Tuesday, 30 November, all fully vaccinated international travellers arriving in England from a non-red-list country must:

  1. Book and pay for a Day 2 PCR test (NOT a lateral flow test).
  2. Complete a Passenger Locator Form and include their PCR test booking reference on the Passenger Locator Form.
  3. Take a PCR test within 2 days of their arrival in England AND self-isolate until they receive the results of their test.

Travellers may only leave self-isolation if their PCR test is negative. Those with positive test results must self-isolate for a further 10 days.

The above changes will be reviewed in 3 weeks. Please see .GOV.UK for more details.

Unvaccinated travellers

The rules for travellers who aren’t fully vaccinated, or those who are vaccinated with unauthorised vaccines, remain unchanged. i.e. they must:

  1. Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of departure to the UK.
  2. Book PCR tests for Day 2 and Day 8. 3. Complete a Passenger Locator Form.
  3. Make plans to self-quarantine in private accommodation for 10 full days after arrival (or full duration of stay if less than 10 days).

Red list update

On 26 November, the UK’s red list was expanded to include:

  • South Africa 
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Namibia
  • Zimbabwe

An additional four countries were added at 4am today, 28 November

  • Angola
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique • Zambia.