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What are you looking for, latest covid-19 information.

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Woman, meditating in green valleys, near lake. High sun


Britain and Northern Ireland currently have no official COVID-19 restrictions in place, however there is still guidance on what to do should you catch coronavirus while here on holiday. For more information, please check the official government websites using the links below.

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Northern Ireland

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What are the current UK travel rules?

By Becky Lucas , Abigail Malbon and Rick Jordan

What are the current UK travel rules

What are the current UK travel rules, as England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are constantly changing restrictions? Here's everything we know.

Can I travel on holiday right now?

Yes. Monday 17 May 2021 was the first big date in the holiday calendar following many Covid lockdowns – the date from which travel abroad became possible again. Destinations were graded according to the government's traffic light system – green , amber and red – with each colour indicating different rules around testing and quarantining upon return to the UK. 

However, on Monday 4 October 2021, the travel rules changed once more. Green and amber list countries are now ‘non-red’ countries, with the red list of countries that should not be visited left in place. While there are currently no countries on it, quarantine hotels were phased out from the end of March 2022, making it likely that the red list itself has also been quietly dropped. 

On Friday 18 March, all Covid travel rules within the UK were removed – which means that travellers do not need to test, quarantine or even fill in a passenger locator form , regardless of their vaccination status, upon return to the country. 

As for holidays within England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – they are permitted. On Monday 19 July 2021, all group-size limits were removed in England, and residents are now free to travel domestically with as many people as they wish. Scotland, Wales and Ireland followed shortly after. 

Can I go on a cruise from the UK?

On Monday 2 August 2021, international cruises started again from England. However, you should ask your cruise operator and your travel insurance provider about medical facilities on board the ship and what happens if there's an outbreak on board. To confirm whether international cruises are permitted from ports in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is wise to check the relevant government website. 

Can I travel on holiday from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland?

Overseas travel from all three nations is allowed. Travel in and out of Scotland is possible, and all holiday accommodation, including hotels, is open. Travel within Wales and self-catered stays have been allowed since Saturday 27 March 2021 and travel in and out of its borders has been allowed since Monday 12 April; on Monday 17 May, all hotels and holiday accommodation were permitted to open. Northern Ireland relaxed more measures on Monday 24 May, when hotels and other holiday accommodation were allowed to reopen.

Can I travel from England to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland?

Travel between England, Wales and Scotland is allowed, with overnight stays in self-catering and self-contained accommodation permitted, and hotels and B&Bs. 

For the full list of countries and proof of vaccine accepted, see the government's website . 

Should I book a holiday in the UK?

Staycations are surging right now. British holidays have been selling like hot teacakes: we advise that anyone booking a UK holiday is clear about its refund conditions. See our insider recommendations on the UK holidays to book , other UK destinations to visit , our favourite UK hotels and UK Airbnbs , and the best places for camping in the UK .

What were the key dates for lockdown easing in England?

Note dates varied in Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland. These are the correct dates for changes in England

Note: dates varied in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. These are the correct dates for changes in England

Stage 1: March

All schools reopened on Monday 8 March, and outdoor socialising allowed one-on-one between members of two household bubbles. Since Monday 29 March, outdoor gatherings have been permitted for up to six people or two households (even if more than six – with a support bubble counting as one household). Outdoor sports have restarted. 'Stay Local' replaced 'Stay at Home' messaging. What did 'Stay Local' mean in England? The government website suggests it means remaining within your local area – village, town or city neighbourhood – as much as possible. However, day trips were no longer illegal from Monday 29 March , though still not advised.

Stage 2: Monday 12 April

Self-catering holiday lets, including Airbnb, reopened for individuals or families, along with campsites with no shared facilities. Staycation holidays are possible, and the 'Stay Local' guideline ended, so trips longer than just day trips are no longer advised against. Non-essential shops reopened, along with hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality, including pub and outdoor restaurant gardens and terraces . Zoos and amusement parks have also reopened.

Stage 3: Monday 17 May

Hotels and B&Bs can now reopen and overseas holidays allowed to a few destinations, according to the traffic-light system. Most outdoor restrictions have been lifted ( so the first, smaller festivals can take place ), and limited mixing indoors will be allowed – so two households or six people from different households can meet for dinner and drinks inside, while 30 can meet outside. Pubs and restaurants, cinemas , theatres, museums , exhibitions and sports stadiums all to reopen, and some large events (up to 4,000 people) allowed. Children are no longer be required to wear masks at school – and we're finally able to hug other people again.

Stage 4: Monday 19 July

All large events and live performances back on the calendar with no cap on size, nightclubs allowed to reopen, and all remaining social contact restrictions lifted – including the limit on six people or two households at gatherings and in restaurants and hotels. Although this was originally forecast to change from Monday 21 June, the government announced that the date was to be pushed back by four weeks to Monday 19 July, as the highly transmissible Delta variant was pushing up infection numbers. From 21 June, however, there was no longer a cap on the number of guests allowed at weddings. The UK then officially moved to Stage 4 from Monday 19 July. On the same day, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated at a press conference that vaccine passports, available through the NHS app, would be necessary as a condition of entry to clubs and other venues with large crowds from September, in order to indicate whether a person has received both Covid-19 vaccine doses, tested negative for the virus or has natural immunity from it after having previously contracted. However, this policy has now been scrapped in England. 

What about the rest of the UK?

Wales, Scotland   and Northern Ireland are following the same rules as England – although Scotland continued the legal requirement for face masks in some settings for longer, until 18 April. England and Wales were first to end the free testing system for asymptomatic Covid sufferers, from 1 April 2022, while Scotland did so from 18 April and Northern Ireland is to follow on 22 April. Only Scotland will continue to provide free PCR tests for anyone with symptoms until the end of April, while England, Wales and Northern Ireland (the latter after 22 April) now provide them only for people with symptoms from certain, more vulnerable groups (which Scotland shall also do, from May). \

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What are England’s latest Covid travel rules?

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Travel restrictions are changing for some travellers again – so keep up to date with our guide to the latest rules.

What’s happening?

Every three weeks, ministers review the traffic light system that grades countries across the world on their case, vaccine and variant rate, then decide on changes to the green, amber and red list.

Those decisions were announced on Wednesday and will come into force from 4am this coming Sunday. They will initially apply to England only, with the devolved administrations considering whether to follow suit.

It is mostly good news for travellers, with no countries taken off the green list that means passengers do not need to quarantine when they arrive in the UK – regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

New countries added to the green list are: Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway.

Several places that have been on the red list for some time are also being upgraded to the amber list: India, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (which includes Dubai and Abu Dhabi). This means anyone fully jabbed can avoid isolating, while those who have not had both doses of a two-dose vaccine still need to quarantine for up to 10 days at home. France was also moved from the “amber-plus” list to the regular amber one.

However, there was some bad news, with Georgia, Mexico, Réunion and Mayotte added to the red list – meaning incoming travel is banned for all except UK residents and nationals, who themselves must quarantine in a hotel for 11 nights.

Were there any other changes?

The cost of a quarantine hotel is rising substantially, in a move that will put off those allowed to still travel to the UK from red list countries from coming even more.

From 12 August, the cost for one adult will rise from £1,750 to £2,285, while the additional rate for further adults or children over the age of 11 in the same party will rise from £650 to £1,430. Kids over five will still pay the same rate of £325.

The mooted “ amber watchlist ” that ministers were considering introducing has been officially killed off. This would have been for countries at risk of going red, to warn travellers in advance of any changes. Despite some initial support from the Foreign Office and the Department for Transport, other cabinet ministers, Tory MPs and aviation industry figures said it would have complicated the traffic light system further and put more people off heading abroad.

What are the rules in some popular destinations?

France: Having been the sole country put on the amber-plus list three weeks ago due to the prevalence of the Beta variant , ministers caved and returned France to the regular amber list. That means anyone fully vaccinated in the US, UK or Europe with a vaccine approved for use by one of the respective regulators (FDA, MHRA and EMA) can avoid quarantine when they arrive. They must still test negative before they depart from France and again before day two after arrival, and must also complete a passenger locator form.

Spain: Ministers did consider putting Spain on the amber-plus list but decided against it, meaning the same rules apply as before, and the same as those that will be in force for France. Passengers returning from Spain will be asked to get a PCR test instead of a lateral flow one, so that if they do have Covid it can be more easily sequenced and checked for variants to monitor the level of Beta entering the UK.

Portugal and Greece: These also remain on the amber list, so travel is fairly uninhibited for those seeking a last-minute summer getaway.

U S: Also still on the amber list. However, only Americans are allowed into the US from Britain, and even then they are formally discouraged from travelling to the UK. Washington has kept in place tough restrictions for those travelling across the Atlantic due to the prevalence of the Delta variant in the UK, where it now makes up about 99% of new cases and is partly blamed for fuelling a severe rise in cases stateside.

What has the reaction been?

Sun-seekers and those who have waited 18 months to see family and friends have largely welcomed the opening up of travel further.

However, Tory MPs have targeted the expensive testing regime that passengers are still required to fork out for, and demanded the government do more to bring the prices of these down.

The Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi has also hit out at Pakistan not being moved to the amber list after India was. She said the reason for red list changes seemed political, with ministers, she alleged, deciding to move Qatar and the UAE because they were richer countries, and India seen as a significant trade target.

Qureshi said Pakistan was “not a country that was going to achieve our rates of vaccination” and so it was “complete discrimination” not to move the country to the amber list.

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Politics latest: Crunch week for Rwanda bill after MPs reject Lords' amendments

The Rwanda bill cameback to the Commons as a new daily record is set for small boat crossings. Earlier, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appears in front of MPs on their return from the Easter break to discuss the UK's involvement after the drone and missile attack by Iran.

Monday 15 April 2024 23:07, UK

Rishi Sunak

  • Commons rejects all Lords amendments to Rwanda bill in government victory
  • Record set today for daily small boat crossings
  • Sunak urges all sides to 'show restraint' as he condemns actions of Iran in Israel
  • Labour offers support as Starmer says attack 'left world a more dangerous place
  • 'We are not prepared for war,' says former UK military chief
  • Serena Barker-Singh: Growing calls from Tory backbenchers to proscribe Iran's Revolutionary Guard  
  • Live reporting by Ben Bloch  and (earlier)  Guy Birchall and   Faith Ridler

A series of votes has taken place in the House of Commons on amendments to the legislation to rescue the embattled Rwanda scheme.

The bill passed the House of Commons earlier this year, but the House of Lords passed a series of amendments, which MPs voted this evening to approve or reject.

All the Lords amendments were rejected, and the bill now returns to them, where they could accept the bill without them, or insist on more amendments.

The amendments voted on by MPs this evening were:

  • An amendment to make sure the legislation has "due regard" for international law (rejected);
  • An amendment that states it is only safe in Rwanda while the provision in the treaty with the UK is in place (rejected);
  • An amendment to check whether Rwanda complies with its treaty obligations (rejected);
  • An amendment allowing individual appeals based on safety in Rwanda (rejected);
  • An amendment requiring age assessments for those being deported to be carried out by the local authority (rejected);
  • An amendment preventing those who say they are victims of modern slavery from being deported (rejected);
  • An amendment to prevent the deportation of those who have served with or for the UK's armed forces (rejected).

Thank you for joining us on the Politics Hub for a busy day as MPs returned to Westminster after the Easter recess.

Here's what happened:

  • Rishi Sunak gave a statement to the Commons after Iran's attack on Israel, saying: "All sides must show restraint";
  • But he rebuffed calls from MPs across the House to proscribe Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which is responsible for much of the terrorism and instability in the Middle East;
  • Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron told Sky News that he urges Israel "not to escalate" in the Middle East, agreeing with US president Joe Biden's assertion that they should "take the win" of having prevented Saturday's attack;
  • The Commons rejected seven Lords amendments to the government's flagship Rwanda bill, meaning the parliamentary ping-pong continues;
  • That came on the day that a total of 534 people crossed the Channel in small boats on Sunday, the highest number on a single day so far this year;
  • The Lib Dems demanded that ex-PM Liz Truss be stripped of the Tory whip over "conspiracy theories";
  • In a series of interviews promoting her new book, she refused to rule out standing again for the Tory leadership, saying she has "unfinished business".

Join us again from 6am for the very latest political news.

Former home secretary Suella Braverman has penned an op-ed in which she attempts to dismantle arguments against designating Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) a terrorist group.

She says in a Telegraph article that the IRGC is "the world's chief sponsor of terrorism" that is "responsible for plotting terrorist attacks, hostage-taking and indoctrination around the world, including in the UK".

She writes that 70 MPs and peers from all parties are demanding proscription, which she argues would "cut the head off the snake here in the UK and [render] it much more difficult for these terrorist sponsors to operate on our streets, and in our communities".

"I’ve heard the argument that the UK would lose access to Tehran by banning the IRGC, but this is weak.

"What good did this so-called 'access' do to stop or mitigate October 7? What good did it do to deter the drones and missiles fired on Israel this weekend? Or the attacks on people in the UK?"

That argument, Mrs Braverman says, is "Foreign Office-speak for: 'We support the status quo and don’t see the need to change things, thank you very much'."

She goes on: "Equally delusional is the claim that our sanctions regime is sufficient to deter the IRGC. This is naive when we know the IRGC circumvent sanctions."

She says Rishi Sunak's government "risks being left on the wrong side of history if it continues to stall on this important step", adding: "It's time we grew a backbone."

Despite Rishi Sunak's woes and battles with his pesky party and peers, the government still wins important votes in the Commons with hefty majorities of around 70.

In six votes on government moves to throw out Lords amendments to the Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill, the majorities were 65, 71, 70, 70, 74 and 59.

So the bill now goes back to the House of Lords for another bout of ping pong - round 3, where the outcome of votes on further amendments is less predictable.

The word from the Lords while MPs were trooping through the lobbies in the Commons was that peers will vote another three or four times on Tuesday, setting up another round of ping pong on Wednesday.

One Lords insider told Sky News: "Some will fall into line tomorrow, clothes peg on the nose and all that, but if the crossbenchers hold firm it's unlikely to be enough to defeat anything pressed to a vote.

"Round 3 on Wednesday is likely to be different, though, as the crossbenchers might then fade a bit and more Tories might be ready to start voting with the government. We'll see."

We will indeed. Opening the two-hour debate in the Commons, illegal migration minister Michael Tomlinson was uncompromising - "The entire passage of the bill should prevail."

"We simply cannot allow amendments that provide for loopholes which would perpetuate the current cycle of delays and late legal challenges to removal."

Veteran Tory MP Sir Bill Cash, a serial rebel on Europe for more than 30 years, said the Lords amendments were "ridiculous" and pleaded: "Let's get the House of Lords to calm down a bit."

Good luck, as they say, with that.

So what happens after the bill, as we expect, finally receives Royal Assent and limps on to the statute book later this week?

The parliamentary battle over the bill will be over. But Mr Sunak's battle to get planes in the air and illegal migrants deported to Rwanda almost certainly won't be.

Cabinet minister Victoria Atkins more or less admitted on Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips on Sky News that the government still doesn't appear to have found an airline to take the migrants to Africa.

In other words, the government may win votes in the Commons with hefty majorities, but many of the details of the Rwanda policy are still unclear and opponents are unlikely to give up their fight to keep the deportation flights grounded.

By  Faye Brown , political reporter

Liz Truss has refused to rule out running to be Tory leader again, saying she has "unfinished business" with the Conservative party.

The country's shortest serving prime minister also said the governor of the Bank of England should resign over his response to her catastrophic 2022 mini budget, and that opponents were attempting to "smear" her by blaming the event on the UK's subsequent economic woes.

The Lib Dems branded her a "national embarrassment" following the comments, while Labour said the prospect of her returning to office "will send shivers down the spine of working people".

Ms Truss's tenure in Downing Street lasted just 49 days after her £45bn package of unfunded tax cuts triggered mass market turmoil.

The former prime minister has since doubled down on what she was trying to achieve , and is touring the media ahead of the publication of her book: Ten Years to Save the West.

Read the full story here:

The government has won the final vote of the evening and rejected a seventh Lords amendment.

This one would have prevented the deportation to Rwanda of those who have served with or for the UK's armed forces.

The result is:

  • Reject: 312
  • Approve: 253

The government has won another vote in the Commons over Rwanda bill amendments.

This one is slightly more complex.

The House of Lords passed an amendment to the bill aiming to stop suspected victims of modern slavery, trafficked to the UK, from being deported to Rwanda.

The Commons rejected that last month - but the Lords insisted on the amendment and sent it back to the Commons.

If the Commons rejected it directly a second time, the entire bill would have failed, which obviously the government does not want.

Therefore, Home Secretary James Cleverly proposed another amendment mandating that he or the person in his job produce a report each year on how the bill is operating in relation to modern slavery laws.

MPs voted, and rejected the Lords amendment and therefore accepted the home secretary's modification.

  • Reject: 320
  • Approve: 246

A total of 534 people were detected crossing the English Chanel on Sunday - the highest number in a single day so far this year, according to Home Office figures.

The cumulative number of arrivals by small boats in 2024 now stands at a provisional total of 6,265.

This is 28% higher than the total at the equivalent point last year and 7% higher than the total at this stage in 2022.

Some 10 boats were detected on Sunday, which suggests an average of around 53 people per boat.

Downing Street said the numbers were "unacceptable" and demonstrated the need for the Rwanda deportation scheme to get off the ground.

Read more from our political reporter Faye Brown here:

Another vote, another government win.

MPs have rejected a Lords amendment to the Rwanda bill that would require local authorities to conduct age assessments for those being deported to Rwanda.

The result:

  • Reject: 319
  • Approve: 249

The government has just defeated another amendment passed by the House of Lords.

This amendment would have allowed individuals to appeal to the courts to stop their deportation to Rwanda on the basis of safety - something the government does not want to be possible.

And in good news for the PM, it has been rejected by the House of Commons.

MPs have just voted on two amendments to the Rwanda legislation, proposed by the House of Lords.

The two being voted on are:

  • To mandate that Rwanda is deemed only a safe country once the provisions in the treaty have been fully implemented;
  • A mechanism to check Rwanda is complying fully with the treaty - and suspend the treaty if the Independent Monitoring Committee deems it is not.

The government won the vote comfortably, and both amendments have been rejected.

The result of the vote is:

  • Reject: 317

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