Information regarding how international travel to the UK will work this summer
Published: 12th April 2021
Last updated: 11th May 2021
At a press conference on Monday 10th May 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the United Kingdom was moving to the next stage of its roadmap for exiting lockdown. This next step, step 3 of 4, includes the restarting of safe international leisure travel to and from the UK, which will commence from Monday 17th May 2021.
As indicated previously by the report of the Global Travel Taskforce, the UK will implement a range of measures and controls designed to ensure that international travel is both safe for those travelling, and to manage the risk of importing COVID-19 cases into the UK from overseas.
A key element of this is the ‘Traffic Light’ system of health measures – covering testing, quarantine and more – which will govern the rules that international arrivals must follow on arrival in the UK.
From 17th May and for the duration of summer 2021, international arrivals into England will need to abide by one of three sets of rules, depending on whether their country of origin is classified as Green, Amber or Red.
You can find the initial classification of countries into Green, Amber and Red on the UK Government’s dedicated webpage. Note that we are confident that many more countries will be added to the Green list before our summer schools begin – this list will next be updated on Friday 28 May, with changes to take effect from Monday 7 June.
Students arriving from countries designated as ‘Green’ will have to:
Provided their day 2 test returns a negative result, students arriving from Green countries will not need to quarantine on arrival in the UK.
Students arriving from countries designated as ‘Amber’ will have to:
Students arriving from countries designated as ‘Red’ will not be able to enter the country unless they are a UK national, and UK nationals must quarantine in a government-operated hotel for 10 days. More information on arrivals from Red List countries is available on the UK Government webpage.
Here is a visual summary of the health measures required for each classification:
Source: Report of the Global Travel Taskforce: The Safe Return of International Travel, Published Friday 9 April 2021.
We are delighted that the UK government has been able to signal a restart of safe international travel, and that – provided the UK continues on the same path of progress – we will be able to welcome overseas students to our 2021 on-campus Summer Schools.
The news that many of those will not need to quarantine is an additional, much-welcome boost.
At the time of writing, we of course do not have the certainty of knowing which country will be in which tier at the time of the summer schools, and appreciate that the initial ‘Green’ list is only short. We do expect more countries to be added in the next review, which will be communicated by the UK Government on or around Friday 28th May 2021.
In addition, we appreciate that restrictions on the UK side are only part of the picture for our students coming from overseas, and those doing so may face local restrictions that prevent or control their departure from their home country. You should keep up-to-date with travel restrictions in your own country, in general and for travel to the UK specifically.
We will continue to monitor the situation and provide you with updates from the United Kingdom. You can also find up-to-date information on the UK Government’s website.
Students who are travelling from ‘Amber’ countries and are therefore required to quarantine may be interested in the Homestay Quarantine Service we have developed in partnership with experienced provider Oxford Homestay – please visit the Homestay Quarantine Service webpage for more information.
Please see our COVID Statement and FAQs for further information, including answers to the following FAQs:
We will post regular updates to the UK international travel requirements on our website, and share them via our social media channels (Facebook and Instagram) and via email. If you are not already enrolled or receiving our emails, you can sign up to our newsletter using the form at the bottom of this webpage to receive our latest updates to your inbox. If you have any specific questions, you can contact us here.