UK & ROI CORONAVIRUS NEWS
This page will continually be updated with UK and ROI coronavirus news
Latest UK and ROI Coronavirus news
15th September - UK's travel list to be updated today or tomorrow
Key European destinations predicted to be safe but Jamaica among countries in danger of red list (8.16 post)
Traffic light system expected to be replaced within weeks by simple go or don't go lists - with the latter being significantly reduced
The need for expensive post-holiday PCR tests could also be ditched for the double jabbed
Overhaul to be announced before 1 October
"Spain and Italy have the lowest COVID-19 rates per 100,000 right now followed closely by Portugal and all have falling rates at the moment, and fulfil the other criteria for staying off the red list."
8th September - The UK's Covid traffic light system for overseas travel COULD be scrapped by next month.
The PC Agency’s CEO, Paul Charles, tweeted on Tuesday: "The traffic light system is expected to be scrapped by 1st Oct - at last. Airlines and some of us in the sector are aware of plans to create a simpler system, where countries are either red or not.
The traffic light scheme, which was introduced earlier this year, could instead consist of just red countries which ban non-essential travel.
More news will follow
28th July - England to allow EU travellers who are fully vaccinated to enter without need to quarantine
England is to allow US and EU travellers from amber countries, who are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, to enter without the need to quarantine.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the new rules will be in place from 4am on Monday August 2.
It has not been announced whether the change will apply to people arriving in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
10th July -The Northern Ireland Executive has announced that people who have been fully vaccinated in the UK will not have to self-isolate on their return from amber list countries. Official announcements are due to be made on 22nd July.
The Northern Ireland Executive has announced that people who have been fully vaccinated in the UK will not have to self-isolate on their return from amber list countries.
This comes into effect from July 26th, and those who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to take a day eight test post-arrival.
Travellers will still be required to take a pre-departure Covid test along with a PCR test on day two of their return.
The definition for a ‘fully vaccinated’ traveller is someone who:
- has completed a full course of vaccination, whether that requires two doses or one dose (according to the MHRA authorised schedule as approved by MHRA and/or EMA); and
- has completed the full course of vaccination at least 14 days previously.
The Executive added that there are some groups who should be exempt from these measures, i.e. treated as it they are fully vaccinated.
Those groups are:
- Clinical trial participants
- Children under 18
- Those with medical advice against vaccination.
8th July - Breaking News Fully vaccinated adults will no longer have to quarantine on their return from amber list countries from 19 July, Grant Shapps has confirmed.
Making a statement on international travel in the Commons, the transport secretary said those who have received two jabs will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days after their return to the UK - but will still have to take a PCR test on their second day back.
Mr Shapps also confirmed the government's guidance that people should not travel to amber list countries will be lifted on the same July date, meaning hopeful holidaymakers can travel for leisure purposes and to see family members.
"I can confirm today that from 19th July, UK residents who are fully vaccinated through the UK vaccine rollout will no longer have to self-isolate when they return to England," Mr Shapps said.
"They will still be required to take a test three days before returning, the pre-departure test, demonstrating they're negative before they travel, and a PCR test on or before day two, but they will no longer be required to take a day eight test.
"In essence, this means that for fully vaccinated travellers, the requirements for green and amber list countries are the same."
The transport secretary said children under 18 will also not have to isolate upon their return from amber list countries, but that they too must take PCR tests on their second day back.
UK and ROI coronavirus news
14th June - Boris Johnson has announced a four-week delay in lifting lockdown restrictions in England to 19th July amid rising cases of the Delta variant.
The PM stated the postponement of step four of the government's roadmap, which was due to take place on 21st June, will allow for more people to receive their second jab before further easing of restrictions takes place.
The proposed extension will be reviewed to see if action can be taken two weeks sooner on Monday 5th July.
UK and ROI coronavirus news
8th May - How to Demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad
Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status allows you to show others that you’ve had a full course of the COVID-19 vaccine when travelling abroad to some countries or territories. A full course is currently 2 doses of any approved vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccination status is available to people who live in England.
You can get your vaccination status in digital or paper format.
The service will go live from Monday 17 May.
How to access your COVID-19 vaccination status
You can access your COVID-19 vaccination status through the free NHS App from 17 May. You can access the app through mobile devices such as a smartphone or by tablet. Proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status will be shown within the NHS App. We recommend that you register with the app before booking international travel.
If you do not have access to a smartphone and know that the country you are travelling to requires COVID-19 vaccination status, you can call the NHS helpline on 119 (from 17 May) and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine. We expect the letter to take up to 5 days to reach you.
Do not contact your GP surgery about your COVID-19 vaccination status. GPs cannot provide letters showing your COVID-19 vaccination status.
If you’ve not been fully vaccinated
People should continue to follow the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to, such as proof of a negative COVID-19 test on arrival. You should carefully research the requirements of your destination country before travelling.
13th April - Restriction on travelling around Scotland is to be lifted from Friday, while people are to be allowed to meet up in larger groups outdoors
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said measures were being eased earlier than planned to help people's mental health.
People will be allowed to meet in groups of up to six adults from six households in outdoor settings.
And they will be permitted to travel across Scotland to do so, as long as they do not stay overnight.
Other restrictions are expected to be eased from 26 April
5th April - England's lockdown roadmap will see holidays abroad return 'as soon as possible'
Boris Johnson has unveiled the next steps in easing England out of lockdown, as the government hopes to reopen foreign travel 'as soon as possible'.
However, it's not quite time to start packing your suitcase, as the Prime Minister didn't confirm whether holidays could resume from May as it's hoped.
Currently, under the lockdown roadmap the earliest foreign travel could resume is May 17th. When it does return, this will include a 'traffic light system'.
The government's interim roadmap review showed that it hopes non-essential travel abroad could return "as soon as possible", although it is still "too soon to know what is possible".
Ministers have said the current lockdown ban on international travel will remain until at least 17th May, with the government’s global travel task force due to report on recommendations for next steps on 12th April.
But today the PM is expected to set out a system under which countries are assessed across a range of factors and assigned one of three risk ratings.
We are not there yet’ on foreign holidays, says PM Boris Johnson has said he cannot guarantee that overseas holidays will open up from 17th May, telling the press conference that “we are not there yet”. The government says it hopes people will be able to travel to and from the UK to take a summer holiday this year, “but it is still too soon to know what is possible”.
Don’t book foreign holidays ‘until the picture is clearer’ says government
5th April - Free, rapid twice-weekly COVID-19 testing for everyone in England is being promised by the government - starting this Friday.
So far, rapid testing has been available to those most at risk and people who need to leave home for work, including frontline NHS workers, care home staff and residents, schoolchildren and their families.
Now rapid testing will be offered to everyone, with people encouraged to take regular tests to help prevent outbreaks and help the population reclaim a more normal way of life.
Tests will be available through:
A home ordering service, which allows people to order lateral flow tests online to be delivered to their home
Workplace testing programmes, on-site or at home
Community testing, offered by all local authorities
Collection at a local PCR test sites during specific test collection time windows
Testing on-site at schools and colleges
A new "Pharmacy Collect" service will be another option. People over 18 without symptoms will be able to visit a participating local pharmacy and collect a box of seven rapid tests to use twice a week at home.
29th March - Boris Johnson announced that the summer holiday announcement would be made on April 5th
23rd March - Overseas travel ban extended. Holidays will be banned until the end of June
Under draft laws published yesterday to implement Johnson’s road map out of lockdown, leaving the UK without a “reasonable excuse” such as work or education will be illegal until June 30th. People who travel from England to another part of the UK with the aim of leaving the country, or who go to an airport trying to do so, face fines of £5,000.
Officials stress that the travel ban has been extended to June for legislative convenience, and does not pre-empt a review of foreign travel due next month. A government source said the ban had been extended “to stop people travelling before May 17th. It will interact with the government’s global travel task force, which reports on 5th April” at which time we will know much more.
22nd March - As reported in the UK Press - Ban on leaving UK 'without reasonable excuse' included in new Covid laws in force next week
A ban on leaving the country without a reasonable excuse is included in new Covid laws coming into force in England next week until at least early May.
The legislation for restrictions over the coming months was published on Monday, as the government sets out its roadmap for coming out of lockdown.
From March 29, leaving the UK is banned unless a person has "a reasonable excuse".
Another change the legislation sets out is to allow protests to once again be permitted under certain circumstances.
The rules will be up for review in 35 days, taking the travel ban through until at least 3rd May.
Exemptions also apply including for those needing to travel for work, study, for legal obligations or to vote, if they are moving, selling or renting property, for some childcare reasons or to be present at a birth, to visit a dying relative or close friend, to attend a funeral, for those getting married or to attend the wedding of a close relative, for medical appointments or to escape a risk of harm.
Rule breakers face a fine of £5,000.
The travel ban does not apply to those going to the common travel area of the Channel Islands, Isle of Man and the Republic of Ireland unless that is not the final destination.
The legislation also sets out rules for protests to take place once more. from next week protest will be considered a permitted exception to the rules banning group gatherings.
The document said this is as long as "it is organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, a public body or a political body",
The demonstrations can only go ahead if the organiser "takes the required precautions in relation to the gathering", the law says, which is likely to include making the event "Covid-secure" like ensuring people wear face masks and are socially distanced.
8th March - *Covid-19 Travel Declaration Form for international travel from England* Complete a travel declaration form to confirm that you are legally allowed to travel abroad from England.
If you are travelling from England to Spain, please be aware that as of Monday 8th March 2021, you will need to complete a travel declaration form providing the reason for your journey abroad and confirming that you are legally allowed to travel from England.
You must complete this form if you are travelling outside the UK from England, and you may be fined if you do not. Different rules apply for international travel from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
You should print a copy of the completed form or save it to a mobile phone or other device. Carriers will be checking the forms have been completed before boarding.
For further details including information about the legally permitted reasons for international travel and a link to the form, please see: https://www.gov.uk/.../coronavirus-covid-19-declaration...