UK. Requirements for travel to the UK as of today


Since the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union, starting from October 1, Spanish citizens travelling to the UK will be required to present a valid passport in order to be permitted entry into its territory.

Consequently, this means that travelling with only an identity card will no longer be permitted.

Similarly, Britons who plan to enter Spain will also have to undergo border controls since the UK is now considered a third country.

Regarding the driver’s license, for the time being, Spanish citizens will be able to drive in the UK with their current license. However, those who are to require a residency permit will have to apply for a British driver’s license since the one issued in Spain won’t remain valid.

From October 4, unvaccinated travellers face having to take two PCR tests after arriving in the UK from any other country.

  • Anyone without two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine could also have to self-isolate for up to ten days on their return . Currently, travellers have to take a pre-departure lateral flow test up to 72 hours before boarding UK-bound flights and ferries.
  • A second big area of reforms coming is the end of the traffic light system. Countries will no longer be divided into green, amber and red lists, or any sub-categories between them. Instead, there will be a red list of destinations that pose a Covid risk.
  • Obligatory hotel quarantine for people returning from red list countries, which means forced stays for 10 days in hotels selected by the government, The red list will be much shorter than the current one, government sources say, with possibly dozens of countries, including Turkey, to be taken off.

From October 4, the UK will recognise people vaccinated under two different vaccination programmes as fully vaccinated. This could be, for example, someone vaccinated with one dose in France and one dose in the US. This rule will apply to all anyone vaccinated under the vaccination programmes in the UK, Europe, the US, the UK Overseas Territories, Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan or the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

End of pre-departure tests for arrivals to England

  • From October 4, people who are fully vaccinated and travelling to England from a country not on the red list (i.e. France) will no longer need a pre-departure Covid test before travelling to England. They will be able to travel using only proof of their vaccination status, under a recognised vaccination programme. 
  • Anyone fully vaccinated in the US will also need to prove their US residency. 
  • Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have yet to follow the UK government on this rule, and are still requiring a pre-departure test for entrance. 

PCR to be downgraded to rapid antigen

The UK government is also planning to make it possible for travellers England to take a rapid antigen test on day two of arrival, instead of a PCR test. This change is expected to come into effect from late October, but an exact date has not yet been confirmed. This rule will apply to England, with the other UK devolved governments yet to declare if they will follow suit. 

Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, until now on the amber list, will now be classified as low-risk countries. 

All passengers will still need to fill in a passenger locator form ahead of travel. Visit here to see the current requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers from green, amber and red countries.

Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks. Abide by national health and safety measures.