We updated this story after the UK government provided clarification
What’s the latest?
The UK government announced its relaxed Covid travel rules on Friday, meaning that vaccinated travellers from Europe to England would no longer need to take pre-departure tests, and can use cheaper lateral flow (antigen) tests for their ‘Day 2’ test after arriving.
However, there’s a huge change that people in Germany have to be aware of after the UK government effectively shelved its traffic light system. The UK is replacing it with a single red list, with simplified travel measures for arrivals who have not visited a country on the red list in the past 10 days.
Most of the changes come into force from 4am on October 4th. These rules at present affect only arrivals in England, the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have so far not indicated a change to their definitions.
Note that fully vaccinated passengers will be able to replace day 2 PCR tests with cheaper lateral flow tests from the end of October.
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See also on The Local:
What does it mean for unvaccinated people?
Previously and up until October 4th, unvaccinated people coming from Germany to the UK could skip quarantine, because Germany was on the green list.
But soon unvaccinated travellers coming from Germany (and other European countries) to the UK will need to quarantine for 10 days and:
What does this mean for vaccinated people?
People who’ve been vaccinated in the EU and travelling from Germany will need to:
- book and pay for a day 2 Covid-19 test
- complete a passenger locator form
As mentioned, they will no longer need to take a pre-departure test, and can use lateral flow tests for day 2 later in October.
What about those who’ve received one Covid jab and a booster shot?
While the announcement spells good news for many travellers who have been vaccinated in Europe, certain people still face quarantine, despite being fully jabbed.
The UK’s Department of Health and Social care confirmed earlier this week to The Local that there was no change in policy or relaxation of those who had received only jab after recovering from the disease.
The rules say: “You must have had a complete course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive in England.”
What about people who’ve had mixed-vaccine doses?
Earlier this week, there was some confusion over whether people who’ve received mixed vaccine doses in Europe (known as Kreuzimpfung in Germany) will be classed as fully vaccinated by the UK.
Up to this point anyone who had one dose of AstraZeneca and then a dose of Pfizer or Moderna in a European country is not considered fully vaccinated by the UK government.
- UK says European travellers with mixed doses are classed as fully vaccinated
- German words you need to know – kreuzgeimpft
However, the UK government has updated its information regarding its new Covid border rules for England (Devolved countries Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland may announce different policies) after complaints that its policy towards those with mixed vaccine doses was confusing.
Here’s a summary of what the UK government’s new rules are for travel to England regarding mixed doses:
- From 4am Monday 4th October, you will qualify as fully vaccinated if you are vaccinated either under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe or USA.
Where 2 doses of a vaccine are required for a full course, you will be able to mix 2 different types of vaccine, for example Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna
You will be able to have the 2 vaccinations under 2 different approved programmes, for example Australia and Japan, UK and USA, EU and Canada.
- The government also states: “Until 4th October, mixed vaccines are only permitted if you are vaccinated under the UK, Europe, USA or UK overseas vaccination programme.”