With the pandemic situation appearing to ease around the world, are you going to execute your plans of visiting the UK and start packing up? After going through the complex and tedious UK citizenship or visa application process, it is time for you to enjoy the fruits of your labour. While no travel is risk-free during Covid times, here is some information and updates on the UK’s quarantine policy for you to keep in mind before going to the UK during the pandemic.
Entering the UK
Every UK visitor can enter the country with zero legally-bounded rules.
The British government has removed all Covid-19 related international travel restrictions at the moment, meaning you no longer need to complete the previously obligated Passenger Locator Form before you travel. You can step onto UK soil without any additional Covid-19 testing before your flight or quarantine upon your arrival. This applies to all visitors, no matter whether you are fully vaccinated or not. In short, the entry requirements for the UK, at present, are no different than pre-Covid times. The documents you need to show when passing through border control while entering the UK include:
At one time, the UK government categorised foreign countries in a “Red List” and “Green List”. For certain arrivals coming from countries on the Red List, visitors would have to go through hotel quarantine as a part of the UK entry requirements. Not only has this policy been fully lifted since the end of March, but now, no countries are present on the Red List anymore.
However, with the unpredictable development of the virus, we strongly advise you to keep checking for any policy updates prior to entering the UK.
Leaving Hong Kong
While travelling to England has become easier, as you may know, Hong Kong’s Covid-19 prevention measures and border control are indeed the tricky part of your UK trip.
With the HKSAR government’s new rule of airline control, booking a ticket out of Hong Kong can get extremely challenging. If four or more passengers on a certain airline route test positive, the government can suspend that particular flight route for 14 days. Despite the fact that route bans do not apply to outbound flights, note that flights always come two-way. This restriction has severely affected non-Hong Kong airlines as there has been a huge decrease in the number of flights operated by them entering Hong Kong. In addition to this, unlike the UK, Hong Kong’s weeks-long quarantine requirements upon arrival have had an adverse impact on airline crew. As a result, to avoid the trouble, many European airlines have chosen to even stop flights coming into and out of Hong Kong indefinitely.
As so, make sure you stay updated on Hong Kong’s ever-changing guidelines of domestic air travel. It is helpful if you pay attention to previous bans on airlines to avoid flights that pass by more “risky” transiting cities, or look for airlines that have more flexibility in terms of change in dates, flights, and refunds.
Masks in the UK
Mask-wearing is no longer mandatorily enforced anywhere in the UK. Basically, you can expect to have no restrictions made because of the relaxed approach to Covid-19 cases in the UK. Be it Heathrow airport, entertainment venues, nightclubs, theatres or anything other places where large crowds may gather – all can be legally mask-free. However, always bear in mind that if you are visiting individual venues in the UK, they still own the right to decide whether they require visitors to wear a mask, practise social distancing measures, or ask for a Covid test result and vaccination proof. It is always worth checking before you head anywhere. Also, note that even though the transportation services in England have lifted their face-covering mandate, masks are still strongly encouraged to be worn when you are commuting, given the fact that you will be travelling to places with a large number of people.
Stay informed with our Immigration Experts
As a market-leading UK immigration and visa consultation service provider in Hong Kong, British Connections always strive to stay updated when it comes to immigration rules and entry requirements. Should you have any concerns or inquiries in regards to all aspects of going to the UK, schedule an appointment with our UK government-trained staff. We can walk you through visa application processes, UK immigration rules, and quarantine or entry policy updates with our team’s prior experience working within the system with the most up-to-date insider information.