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International Travel Rules Updated

More countries are removed from England's Red List + upcoming changes for fully vaccinated travellers + changes to using National ID Cards

Updated 28th September 2021

English Course London Travel Rules 2021

Changes to travelling to the UK using National Identity (ID) Cards

As part of the Government’s ambition to build back a safer, fairer and more prosperous UK, we are phasing out the use of National Identity (ID) cards as a valid travel document to enter the UK. This means that from 1 October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to use a valid passport to travel to the UK. ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document and it will not be possible to enter the UK using them.

The changes won’t affect British and Irish nationals using Gibraltar ID cards and passport cards, they can continue to use these to travel to the UK as they do now.

The changes also will not affect EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 or otherwise have protected rights under the Citizens’ Rights Agreements.

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals in these exempt groups can still use their national ID cards to travel to the UK at least until 31 December 2025. They’ll also be able to use them after that date, if the cards meet the security standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The phasing out of ID cards will help strengthen the security of our border and bring EU, EEA and Swiss nationals in line with rules for travellers across the world entering the UK.

Find out more on GOV.UK


Changes to UK's Traffic Light System

Countries removed from Red List:

What countries are being removed from the UK's Red List?
From 4am Wednesday 22 September: Turkey, Pakistan, the Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya will move off the red list for EnglandScotland and Wales

Traffic light system:
From 4th October, the current Green, Amber and Red categories will be changed to a simplified system with just two categories: The “red list” where hotel quarantine remains for those entering the UK and the rest of the world 'Go' list where international travel is permitted. For the permitted rest of world 'Go' countries, the rules will differ for vaccinated and non-vaccinated travellers. See below:


Travel from the rest of the world if you are fully vaccinated:

From 4am Monday 4th October, if you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days:

  • under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas
  • with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised

You must:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England

You do not need to:

  • take a pre-departure test
  • take a day 8 COVID-19 test
  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England


Under 18s:
The Department for Transport have confirmed that under 18s will be treated as vaccinated adults if they are from the UK, or 50 other countries where vaccine status is recognised. 

From the end of October, eligible fully-vaccinated travellers (see above) will be able to replace their day 2 PCR test with a cheaper lateral flow test. Anyone testing positive will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test at no extra cost. This PCR test will be genomically sequenced to help identify new variants of Covid-19. 

To see the full list of changes click the link below.


Vaccine Passports to Enter Large Events in England:
Earlier in July, Boris Johnson announced that from the end of September proof of vaccination/NHS Covid Passports would be required to enter large events in England. When originally announced, it would have meant that everyone in England would have to show proof of vaccination to enter Nightclubs, Sports Events, Concerts, Theatre and other events where large crowds gather.

Now, this plan is now 'in reserve' which means it will not happen as originally planned from the end of September. For our students here in London, it means that they can continue to go to football matches, musicals, and other events without having to show proof of vaccination on entry.


As rules can change, sometimes at short notice, please remember that we are here to help if you have any questions.



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