Home Outbound International UK relaxes Covid travel curbs for India, institutional quarantine exempted

UK relaxes Covid travel curbs for India, institutional quarantine exempted


Fully vaccinated Indians flying to the United Kingdom will no longer need mandatory 10-day hotel quarantine as India will be moved to the amber list on August 8.

Under Britain’s traffic light system for international travel, returning from amber list countries means 10-day quarantining at home or any place of one’s choice.

Indian nationals will be able to quarantine at a location of their choice for 10 days after arriving in the UK. They will retain the option to “Test to Release” after five days of quarantine.

Those travelling from India will need to take a Covid test within three days before their flight and book in advance for two Covid tests to be taken on arrival in England as well as complete a passenger locator form on arrival.

After arriving in England, passengers must quarantine, but at home or in any place they have confirmed as their location for 10 days and test on or before day two and on or after day eight.

It may be possible to end quarantine early if an Indian national pays for a private COVID-19 test through the “Test to Release” scheme, in which one can choose to pay for a private Covid test on day five. If the result is negative (and the result of the day 2 test was negative or inconclusive), quarantine can end. The option can’t be taken unless the traveler has been in England for five full days.

Those below 18 and those fully vaccinated in the UK are exempt from home quarantine. So are those who have received two doses of Covid vaccine in the EU and the US.

Those “fully vaccinated in the UK or under the UK vaccine programme overseas; under 18 on the day you arrive in England and resident in the UK or in a country with a vaccination programme approved by the UK and part of a UK-approved vaccine trial,” will not need quarantine, the rules say.

The shift from red to amber status will directly impact thousands of Indian families, students looking to travel to the UK.

The change, announced by the Department for Transport, comes into effect from 4 am local time on Sunday.

“The UAE, Qatar, India and Bahrain will be moved from the red list to the amber list. All changes come into effect Sun 8th August at 4am (sic),” UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted.

“While it’s right we continue our cautious approach, it’s great news to open more destinations for people wanting to connect with families, friends and businesses across the globe, all thanks to our successful domestic vaccination programme,” he said.

Covishield, the India-manufactured Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, is likely to be covered under this exemption.