Travel essentials


UK Travel Updates

No fake news here. This blog has clear information on UK government updates for business travel, from UK travel restrictions and vaccinated travel updates, to entry requirements. We'll only update when there's been confirmation. 
COVID test

UK imposes COVID test from mainland China

3rd January 2023

The UK has introduced COVID-19 related travel restrictions for people arriving into England from mainland China. From Thursday 5th January 2023, travellers flying directly from China to England will be asked to take a COVID-19 test before boarding the plane. Airlines are required to check the passenger has a negative test before departure.  

For more detail visit:

US drops testing requirement

12th June 2022

Good news for UK-US travel, from today, travellers heading to the United States no longer need to show a negative COVID test before travelling. The US is still only allowing fully vaccinated travellers into the country.

For more detail visit:

Heathrow, BA and Virgin relax mask rules

16th March 2022

From today, it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask at Heathrow Airport. The airport still "strongly encourages" travellers wear face masks. 

Airlines are also starting to relax their mask rules. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic now say mask-wearing is a personal choice on flights to destinations where COVID rules have been relaxed. Face coverings will still be required on flights where the destination requires masks, such as the US. 

For more detail or to get a test visit:

All UK travel rules lifted!

14th March 2022

All COVID-19 travel restrictions to enter the UK will be lifted on Friday, for all passengers. 

From 4am, Friday 18th March travellers will no longer need to take any COVID tests or complete a passenger locator form to enter the UK, even those considered unvaccinated. 

Testing and form filling may still be required for the country you're visiting. Remember to check before you travel using the Travel News Hub

For more detail or to get a test visit:


Australia reopening to international travellers

7th February 2022

It's been a long two year wait! Australia will reopen its borders to vaccinated tourists and other visa holders on 21st February. 

Unvaccinated travellers who have a medical reason why they haven’t been jabbed will need to apply for a travel exemption. If successful they will be required to quarantine at a hotel.

Entry requirements are to be confirmed. Each state can interpret the national guidelines as they see fit. Currently, international visitors to Australia are required to obtain a foreign vaccination certificate, fill in a travel declaration form and take a COVID test before departure. Visit Australian Government website for more information.

For more detail or to get a test visit:


COVID testing for fully vaccinated to England axed

24th January 2022

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed fully vaccinated travellers arriving into England will not longer have to take the day 0-2 COVID test.

From 4am GMT, Friday 11th February 2022, fully-vaccinated travellers*, and those under 18 years old, arriving into England will no longer be required to take the post-travel lateral flow test. They will only be required to confirm their travel status via the passenger locator form, which is due to be simplified.

The rules for passengers aged 18 and over who are considered to be unvaccinated or partly vaccinated will also be eased. These travellers will:

  • No longer be required to take a COVID-19 test on day eight post-arrival or to self-isolate.
  • Will still need to fill out a passenger locator form to demonstrate proof of a negative COVID test taken two days before they travel.
  • Must take a post-arrival PCR test.  

From Thursday 3rd February, passengers aged 12-15 years old will also be eligible to use the NHS COVID Pass for international travel.

Additionally, vaccinations from 16 more countries, including China and Mexico, will be recognised, meaning vaccinated people from 118 nations will be able to enter England.

*Currently, passengers must have received a two-dose vaccine completed more than 14 days prior to departure to be considered fully vaccinated. However, this definition is expected to include booster vaccinations in the near future.

For more detail or to get a test visit:


UK removes need for pre-departure tests

5th January 2022

Fully vaccinated travellers coming into the UK will no longer need to take a pre-departure COVID test. The new rule comes into effect from 4am on Friday 7th January 2022.

Travellers will still need to take a pre-booked test on day 0-2 of arriving in the UK, but it can be a lateral flow instead of PCR. It will no longer be necessary to self-isolate until a traveller gets the result, as a lateral flow test can be taken immediately after landing and have results within 30 minutes. 

For more detail or to get a test visit:

Red list back to zero 

14th December 2021

The UK’s red list for travel is down to zero countries again, from 4am Wednesday 15th December.

Quarantine will no longer be required for those travelling to the UK from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The red list has not been scrapped completely and countries could be added again in the future.

Current testing requirements to enter the UK remain in place (see below) and will be reviewed in the first week of January 2022.

For more detail or to get a test visit:

Pre-departure tests back and Nigeria added to red list

6th December 2021

From Tuesday 7th December, all travellers arriving in England must take a pre-departure test within two days before landing.

The test can be either a PCR or lateral flow test and must be taken regardless of vaccination status. Travellers will still be required to take a PCR test on or before day two post-arrival.

Find Corporate Traveller's preferred testing partners and discounts here

Additionally, as of today Nigeria is on the UK’s travel red list. UK and Irish residents will have to stay in hotel quarantine if they have been in Nigeria in the last 10 days. Travellers who are not UK or Irish residents and who have been to Nigeria in the 10 previous days will be refused entry. This does not apply transiting passengers who stayed airside.

For more detail or to get a test visit:

Travelling to the USA

US amends test requirements

2nd December 2021

The United States will tighten pre-departure testing requirements following concerns over the omicron variant of COVID-19. 

A date is yet to be confirmed but from early next week, all travellers will need to have a negative COVID test within one day of travelling to the US, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. This is reduced from three days which is the current requirement. Only fully vaccinated UK and Irish travellers can enter the US. 

Additionally, the White House extended the requirement to wear masks on airplanes, trains and public transport through to 18th March 2022. 

For the full White House announcement visit this page

For steps, advice and FAQs on travelling to the USA - head here

For more detail or to get a test visit:

PCRs back for UK arrivals as red list grows

29th November 2021

PCR tests are back 

It's only been weeks since the UK government allowed lateral flow tests to take on day 0-2 of arriving back to the UK. But from 4am on Tuesday 30th November, PCR tests will be required again, amid concern over the the omicron variant of COVID-19. 

Fully vaccinated travellers (and children aged 5-17) must book a PCR test to take on day 0-2 of arriving back in the UK. Travellers must self-isolate on arrival until they get a negative result. If the result is positive, the traveller must isolate for 10 full days. 

After flying into Heathrow from Barcelona on 1st December - our Global CEO Chris Galanty shared how easy it was to get a quick test. Here's what he found: 

"I landed at London Heathrow at 13.00, ready for my pre-booked appointment with Randox at 13.30. It was perfect timing, as I was travelling with hand luggage only and could breeze through arrivals and be on my way.

"The test centre is just a five minute taxi ride away at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, and the cab driver kept the engine running while I popped in for a five minute appointment before continuing the journey home to self-isolate and await the results.

"By 7am the next day I'd received a negative result by email, leaving me free to end self-isolation and travel to the office that day. I'm so happy with the experience, and how easy it can still be to return to the UK when travelling - especially for business travellers. Using our unique FCTG discount code with Randox, the next-day testing service was also reduced to just £50!"

Travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands or Isle of Man? These rules don't apply. 

An updated passenger locator form is now available on the government website

Red list grows 

Another four countries have been added to the red list. The full list is: 

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • South Africa
  • Zambia 
  • Zimbabwe

Anyone arriving or having visited one of these countries in the last 10 days must pay for a quarantine hotel in the UK, which includes meals and two COVID tests.  

Non-UK and Irish residents who have been in one of these countries in the last 10 days will be refused entry. 

For more detail or to get a test visit:

6 African countries move to UK red list

26th November 2021

Six African countries have been moved to the UK's travel red list amidst an investigation into a new COVID-19 variant. 

On midday 26th November, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia will be added to the red list and direct flights banned. British and Irish nationals arriving from these countries or who have been in one of them within the last 10 days must now follow the below rules. 

Arriving between midday Friday 26th and 4am Sunday 28th November: Quarantine at home for 10 days and take NHS PCR tests on day 2 and day 8, even if you already have a lateral flow test booked. 

Arriving after 4am Sunday 28th November: Book and pay for a government-approved hotel quarantine for 10 days. 

Non-UK and Irish residents who have been in one of these countries in the last 10 days will be refused entry. 

For more detail or to get a test visit:

Red list = 0 countries

28th October 2021

No countries are on the UK government’s red list for travel, as of 4am, 1st November 2021.

Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela have all been taken off the red list, which means travellers arriving in the UK from those countries won’t need to quarantine.

Is this goodbye to the red list? Not quite – the system is still in place so countries might be added or readded to it in the future.

For more detail or to get a test visit:


US to lift travel ban on 8th November 

15th October 2021

Trans-atlantic travel is opening up! The US will open its borders to fully vaccinated travellers on 8th November. The new rules apply to travellers from the UK, Ireland, Schengen countries, Brazil, China, India, Iran and South Africa. 

Travellers will have to show proof of a negative test in the 72 hours before travelling to enter. 

This is a watershed moment for the safe return of trans-atlantic travel. The US will also relax its land borders with Canada and Mexico in November for fully vaccinated travellers. 

For more detail or to get a test visit:

Day 2 test to switch to lateral flow for fully vaccinated travellers on 24th October

14th October 2021

Fully vaccinated travellers arriving in England from non-red countries can take a lateral flow test from 24th October, instead of a PCR test.

The lateral flow test must be taken on or before day 2 of arriving in England. Lateral flow tests are cheaper than PCR tests and will be available to buy from 22nd October, when a list of approved private providers will be posted on the UK government website.

Travellers will need to take a photo of their lateral flow test and booking reference supplied by the private provider and send it back to them to verify the result.

Anyone who has already bought a PCR test will not need to buy another test.

Unvaccinated travellers arriving from a non-red list country will still need to take a PCR test on day 2 and quarantine for 10 days at home.  

For more detail or to get a test visit:


Red list dropped to 7 countries

7th October 2021

There's been some big changes to the UK's red list for international travel. UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has announced from Monday 11th October, just 7 countries will remain on the red list; with the other 47 destinations, including South Africa, moving to the non-red list. 

Countries staying on the red list are Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru and Venezuela. 

There's more. From 11th October the UK will recognise fully-vaccinated travellers as eligible from more than 37 new countries and territories including Brazil, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, South Africa and Turkey. These travellers will be treated the same as UK vaccinated passengers, so long as they have not visited a red list country in the 10 days before arriving in the UK. 

    And in late October the day 2 PCR test requirement is to be replaced with a lateral flow test. Those taking postal tests will be able to send a picture of their tests as a minimum requirement to verify the test result. 

    For more detail or to get a test visit:

    New travel rules into UK are here

    4th October 2021

    Goodbye pre-departure test, hello two-list system . New travel rules for arriving into the UK are here.


    US relaxes travel for vaccinated travellers

    20th September 2021

    UK and European double-vaccinated travellers will be able to enter the US from November onwards.

    All foreign travellers entering the US will need to prove they have been vaccinated before boarding and will also need proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of the flight. They will also have to undergo contact tracing.

    Under the new rules, fully vaccinated passengers will not be required to quarantine.

    Rules have also been relaxed for non-US citizens who have been in China, India, South Africa, Iran and Brazil within the last 14 days.

    Nairobi at night

    New international travel rules from 4th October

    17th September 2021

    From Monday 4th October, there will be a new international travel system. Instead of the traffic light system with three red, amber and green categories, countries will either sit in a red list or another 'rest of the world' list that will have simplified rules. The two lists will still be reviewed every three weeks.  

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also announced that from 4th October, if you are double vaccinated you won’t need a pre-departure test before arriving into England and Northern Ireland from a non-red country.

    Rules depend on whether a passenger is recognised by the UK government as being fully vaccinated or unvaccinated. This list was updated to approximately 50 countries - find more detail here.

        Those considered unvaccinated and arriving from non-red countries will still need to take a pre-departure test, self-isolate for 10 days and take tests on day 2 and 8 when arriving in England. Test to Release remains in place too. 

        From later in October, the day 2 PCR test requirement will be replaced with a cheaper lateral flow test. Even if travellers change flights on the way to the UK, they will be allowed to follow the measures associated with the country of departure, not the country of transit. 

        Scotland has stated they have no plans to change inbound testing requirements. Wales is changing to the two-list system but is still looking into the other changes. 

        Remember, these announcements only cover what happens to arrive back into England and Northern Ireland. You must still check the entry requirements and travel rules for the country you're visiting.

        In addition, eight countries come off the red list on Wednesday 22nd September at 4am. These are:

        • Bangladesh
        • Egypt
        • Kenya
        • Maldives
        • Oman
        • Turkey
        • Pakistan
        • Sri Lanka

        Need more detail, or want to get a test? Check the resources below. 

        Countries shift in latest traffic light changes

        26th August 2021

        From 4am, Monday 30th August these changes come into effect: 

        • Moving to green list: The Azores, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Switzerland.
        • Moving to the red list: Montenegro, Thailand. 
        • No changes to amber list.  

        Need more detail, or want to get a test? Check the resources below.

        France, Germany and UAE among traffic light changes 

        5th August 2021 

        It was a late night announcement from the UK government yesterday. But some good news, with countries moving to the green and amber list. Some European business destinations have been opened up, as well as travel hubs in the Middle East, particularly for those wanting to fly with Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad. 

        As of 4am, Sunday 8th August:

        • Arrivals to the UK from France will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. 
        • Moving to green list: Austria, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. 
        • Moving to amber list: Bahrain, India, Qatar and UAE. 
        • Moving to red list: Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico.  

        The announcement is expected to stimulate a welcome return to international business travel as the global vaccination rollout continues.

        Need more detail, or want to get a test? Check the resources below. 

        Changes for fully vaccinated travellers coming into the UK

        28th July 2021 

        The UK is opening up! From 04.00 (BST) on Monday 02 August 2021, fully-vaccinated passengers travelling from both the US and European countries will not be required to quarantine when arriving in England.

        The UK transport secretary has confirmed that the changes will apply to those fully vaccinated with an FDA or EMA-approved vaccine.

        A pre-departure test taken prior to arrival will still be required, in addition to taking a PCR test on or before day two after arrival in England.

          This a hugely positive step forwards, as currently only passengers travelling from amber list countries (excluding France) who have received their vaccinations in the UK are able to avoid quarantine on arrival in England. This new measure means that passengers who have been vaccinated outside of the UK will also be eligible.

          Need more detail, or want to get a test? Check the resources below. 

          Quarantine relaxed for double vaccinated UK travellers

          8th July 2021

          The Secretary of State for Transport released new rules for people returning from amber list countries to the UK. 

          From 19th July, adult UK residents that have been fully vaccinated, plus 14 days with an NHS administered vaccine, will be able to return to England from an amber list country without the need to quarantine. As previously, they will still need to take a test before they enter the UK, and a PCR test on or before day 2. However they will not need to take a day 8 test.

          From 19th July, it has also been confirmed that the cautionary guidance on not travelling to amber list countries will be removed. This will facilitate and encourage travel for business and leisure travel. 

          These changes will go some way to further opening up travel for our customers and the removal of quarantine for those arriving from amber list countries is very welcome. Some testing still remains and FCM is working with a variety of trusted testing suppliers who can facilitate tests for customers. 

          Need more detail, or want to get a test? Check the resources below. 

          Find more COVID resources in our COVID-19 and Brexit Travel Hub