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International Travel to the UK in Summer 2021

Information regarding how international travel to the UK will work this summer

Published: 12th April 2021
Last updated: 3rd June 2021



UK Government confirms the restart of safe international leisure travel

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, included the restarting of safe international leisure travel to and from the UK, which commenced 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.


Traffic Light System

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 Monday 7 June.

Green countries

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.

Amber countries

Students arriving from countries designated as ‘Amber’ will have to:

Red countries

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:

Grid detailing traffic light system of health measures for UK international leisure travel

Source: Report of the Global Travel Taskforce: The Safe Return of International Travel, Published Friday 9 April 2021.


What this means for your summer with Oxford Royale

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.

Other frequently asked questions

Please see our COVID Statement and FAQs for further information, including answers to the following FAQs:


Further information

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.