The Home Office has expanded its COVID-19 testing requirements for individuals traveling to England and updated its red list.

Key Points:

  • As of Dec. 7, all travelers who are 12 years or older, regardless of vaccination status, must have proof of a negative PCR or lateral flow device (LFD) test taken within 48 hours of departure to England.
    • Individuals are exempt from the testing requirement if they are traveling from Ethiopia, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, among other locations.
  • Individuals who have been in Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe within 10 days of their arrival are barred from entering the country unless they:
    • Are a British or Irish national.
    • Have residence rights in the U.K.
  • More information on entry requirements for those eligible to travel to England from a red-list country can be found here.

Additional Information: Individuals can travel to England without qualifying as fully vaccinated but must follow modified entry rules. Travel lists, entry restrictions and health protocols in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales may differ from those in England.

BAL Analysis: Travelers should check the territory specific requirements before planning travel to the U.K. Employers and employees should continue to consult their BAL professional before planning international travel. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and BAL will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group. For additional information, please contact

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