Travel to the United Kingdom
Travelling has changed, and you may need to do a little more planning and preparation before take-off. Ensure you check and comply with all airline and government travel requirements before arriving at the airport.
Last updated: 8 January 2022
Many countries are taking precautionary steps in relation to the new COVID-19 variant of concern (Omicron). See Travel Updates for more information.
For arrivals from 4am (GMT) Friday 7 January, fully vaccinated passengers are no longer required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test or isolate when you arrive in England.
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All passengers on international flights operated by Qantas are required to be fully vaccinated (some exceptions for children and medical exemptions apply). In accordance with Australian Government guidelines, a traveller is not fully vaccinated unless at least 7 full calendar days have elapsed since the last dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation. Learn more about our vaccination requirements.
Customers with a COVID-19 vaccination medical exemption must submit their documentation to Qantas at least 7 days before your flight. We're not able to process exemptions at the airport on your day of departure. See more on applying for clearance to travel.
This requirement relates to flights operated by Qantas on a Qantas aircraft, including those booked via another airline or third-party travel arranger. If you're travelling on a Qantas codeshare flight which is operated by another airline on their aircraft, you'll need to contact them directly to understand and meet their requirements.
You should always check the vaccination requirements for the country you're travelling to, and comply with the most stringent requirements that apply to your trip.
You'll be required to present proof of vaccination at the airport.
Before booking and before departure, ensure you check the latest United KingdomOpens external site and AustralianOpens external site government conditions for travel, including any applicable Australian State Government restrictions and requirements, which may include mandatory travel and health declarations, vaccinations, use of face masks, and immigration and entry requirements (which may include renewing your passport, or applying for a visa), or you could be denied entry. This information is subject to change and we recommend you check these websites frequently for any updates.
The following advice applies to passengers who have not been in any countries on the government's 'red listOpens external site' in the last 10 days. If you have been in any of these countries, check the UK Government websiteOpens external site in a new window for more information.
Fully vaccinated passengers
Before departure you'll need to:
- Check if you qualify as fully vaccinatedOpens external site according to the United Kingdom Government guidelines, which includes completing a course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you arrive.
- For arrivals from 4am (GMT) 7 January 2022, you'll no longer be required to take a pre-departure COVID-19 testOpens external site in a new window before you travel to England.
- Book and pay for a COVID-19 testOpens external site to be taken on or before day 2 of your arrival.
- Complete a Passenger Locator FormOpens external site any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in the United Kingdom.
- Have valid evidence of your vaccination status (or exemption) with you. You will need approved documentation for travel - see more about International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates.
- Consider purchasing travel insurance. Qantas Travel Insurance policies (which are available to Australian and New Zealand residents) can provide cover for some COVID-19 related events. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Consider the PDS and TMD (AU) or Policy Document (NZ) available on our website. Issuer: Pacific International Insurance.
If you're travelling on a Qantas aircraft and cannot be vaccinated for approved medical reasons, you'll also be required to submit your exemption documents to us 7 days prior to departure, and show evidence of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test result at the airport. Your pre-departure test must be taken no more than 3 days prior to departure, or as per the government guidelines of the destination country.
If you're not fully vaccinated
Before departure you'll need to:
- Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 testOpens external site taken within 2 days of departure to the UK.
- Book and pay for COVID-19 PCR testsOpens external site in a new window to be taken on day 2 and 8 of your arrival (lateral flow tests will no longer be accepted).
- Complete a Passenger Locator FormOpens external site up to 48 hours before arrival.
- Make plans to self-quarantine in private accommodation for 10 full days after arrival (or full duration of stay if less than 10 days).
Unvaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents wishing to travel overseas (apart from some exceptions for children and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons) are required to apply for a travel exemptionOpens external site to leave Australia and will not be able to travel on a Qantas aircraft.
If you're unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons or you return a positive pre-departure COVID-19 test result, you may still be able to travel with us in some circumstances:
- You can request a vaccination exemption due to a medical condition that prevents you from being vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. You'll also be required to show proof of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test when you check-in. Your pre-departure test must be taken no more than 3 days prior to departure, or as per the government guidelines of the destination country.
- If you've previously had a COVID-19 infection, you may be able to apply for medical clearance based on a past positive infection, provided you're no longer infectious and don’t have any symptoms. Check the government requirements to see if they permit exceptions for past positive infections, for any countries you're travelling to or transiting through, before submitting your request to us.
We're not able to process any COVID-19 vaccination exemptions or medical clearances at the airport on your day of departure, therefore you'll need to ensure you submit your request at least seven days in advance. Otherwise you may not be able to board your flight.
See more information on COVID-19 vaccination exemptions and past positive medical clearance.
Keep up to date with the latest requirements
Inflight and airport services
Find out about any changes to your airport and inflight experience.
See inflight and airport services for more information.
Additional information from the United Kingdom Government
Arriving in the United Kingdom
Failure to comply with the following measures is a criminal offence and you could be fined. This information is subject to change and we recommend you check the UK GovernmentOpens external site website regularly for any updates.
Essential information to enter England from overseas
All persons arriving in the UK must fill in a passenger locator formOpens external site up to 48 hours before arrival. You must declare all countries you have visited in the 10 days before arrival.
Before departure check if any of the countries you have visited are on the red listOpens external site.
If you have visited a country on the red list you must book a managed quarantine hotelOpens external site. You can only enter England if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK. You must enter through a designated port of arrival.
If you have not visited any countries on the red list, check if you qualify as fully vaccinatedOpens external site.
If you qualify as fully vaccinated you must book a test to take on or before day 2Opens external site.
If you do not qualify as fully vaccinated you must:
- provide proof of a negative COVID-19 testOpens external site taken within 2 days of departure to the UK
- make plans to quarantineOpens external site in private accommodation for 10 full days after arrival (or full duration of stay if less than 10 days)
- book tests to take on day 2 and day 8Opens external site of quarantine
These measures apply to all persons (including UK nationals and residents) arriving in the UK from outside the Common Travel Area comprising the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. The British Overseas Territories are not in the Common Travel Area. Public health requirements may vary depending upon which nation of the UK you are staying.
- EnglandOpens external site
- Northern IrelandOpens external site
- ScotlandOpens external site
- WalesOpens external site
Failure to comply with these measures is a criminal offence and you could be fined. There are a limited set of exemptions from these measures. Check the list of exemptions carefully. You may be fined if you fraudulently claim an exemption.
Other requirements may apply; visit UK government website Opens external site in a new windowfor detailed public health advice and requirements, which may also include renewing your passport or applying for a visa.