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International Travel Update

Volume 703: debated on Tuesday 9 November 2021

This statement provides an update on international travel.

From 4 am on Monday 22 November, the Government will recognise vaccines on the World Health Organisation’s emergency use listing (WHO EUL) at our border.

In practice, this means that Sinovac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin will be added to our list of approved vaccines for inbound travel, benefiting more fully vaccinated people from countries around the world. The WHO emergency use listing process includes a review of quality, safety and efficacy data performed by WHO experts, and many countries including the United States, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Iceland are already recognising the WHO EUL vaccines. These vaccines are in addition to the existing vaccines we recognise at the border, namely, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer BioNTech and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson).

As such, from 4 am on 22 November, travellers who have proof of vaccination with a full course of these approved vaccines will be treated the same as those fully vaccinated in the UK, and so will not have to self-isolate on arrival or take a pre-departure test, and need to take only a lateral flow device (LFD) test post-arrival (with confirmatory PCR if positive). This will benefit passengers with proof of vaccination from the over 135 countries and territories in scope of the policy.

Further, all under-18s coming to England from non-red list countries will be treated as fully vaccinated at the border and will be exempt from self-isolation requirements on arrival, day eight testing and pre-departure testing.

While public health is a devolved matter, the Government work closely with the devolved Administrations on any changes to international travel and aim to ensure a whole-UK approach.

The Government continue to keep our measures under review and will not hesitate to act if we perceive a risk to public health.