Situation Update

Latest travel update

On 04 December Government issued the following update

    • Nigeria to be added to the travel red list from 4am Monday 6 December following 21 cases of Omicron reported in England which are linked to travel from this country, with 134 UK cases now reported in total

    • In light of emerging evidence on the Omicron variant, from 4am on Tuesday 7 December anyone aged 12 and above wishing to travel to the UK will need to show a negative pre-departure test (LFD or PCR) as close as possible to departure and not more than 48 hours before to slow the importation of the new variant

    • Government working at pace to expand Managed Quarantine Service capacity, but passengers are advised that hotel bookings may be limited as new hotels are onboarded

    • These are temporary measures that have been introduced to prevent further Omicron cases from entering the UK, and will be examined at the three-week review point on 20 December

Test and Trace guidance update
This guidance has been updated to reflect changes to self-isolation requirements for contacts of people who have been identified as a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of coronavirus (COVID-19). These contacts must stay at home and self-isolate even if they are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months. The public health advice for people with symptoms of, or a positive test result for COVID-19 remains the same for everyone. The guidance for businesses on what to do if an employee is required to self-isolate has similarly been updated

Face covering guidance
The hotels and guest accommodation, and events and attractions guidance has been updated with a summary of where face coverings will be mandatory within these settings and other settings within the visitor economy. Customers and staff are legally required to wear face coverings indoors in shops and on public transport services. For the full list of settings where face coverings are required please see the face coverings guidance.  If you operate premises where people are required to wear a Face Covering, you can download a poster to remind customers on the following link

Day 2 PCR testing

The Day 2 PCR testing and self-isolation requirement for all arrivals into the UK will come into effect from 4:00am on Tuesday 30 November. 

  • After 04:00 Tuesday 30 November 2021 lateral flow tests will no longer be accepted and all travellers arriving into the UK will be required to book and take COVID-19 PCR tests. 
  • The Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive have also announced that they will align with the requirement for all fully vaccinated arrivals being required to take a PCR test within two days of arrival and to self-isolate until a negative test result is received.


Self isolation guidance update

The guidance regarding self isolation has been updated to say that anyone arriving into England after 4am on 30th November, even if fully vaccinated and have not been to a red list country must:

  • self isolate
  • take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after you arrive – lateral flow tests will not be accepted
  • can only leave isolation their PCR test result is negative

The Health Secretary also added that changes will be made to the rules on self-isolation for close contacts. Close contacts of anyone who tests positive with a suspected case of Omicron must self-isolate for ten days, regardless if they have been vaccinated or not.

Red list update

It was announced on 26th November that 6 African countries would be added to the red list. This has now been expanded to 10.

Guidance update: rules for children no longer depend on their place of residence

The guidance for people travelling to England from another country has been updated to state that: Travel to England rules for children no longer depend on their place of residence. This means that:

  • Children aged 17 and under do not have to quarantine on arrival in England. This applies whether they are vaccinated or not.
  • Children aged 4 and under do not have to take any COVID-19 travel tests.

5 to 17 year olds:

  • do not have to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England
  • must take a test on arrival in England – before the end of day 2 at the latest (arrival day is day 0)
  • from 4am on 30th November, 5-17 year olds must take a PCR test

Unclear Test Results

The Government has updated the guidance for overseas visitors undertaking Lateral Flow and PCR tests on Day 2 of entering England. If the results of these tests are unclear, the person must self-isolate for 10 full days. However, they can choose to take another private test and if the result is negative, they can then stop self-isolating.

Working Safely During Coronavirus guidance updates

Despite the easing of almost all restrictions, the primary guidance for businesses in various sectors regarding rules and restrictions, and safe working practices is still “live” and has been updated. The updates largely consist of improvements to readability, with minor changes to sections on managing risk, what to include in your risk assessment going to the workplace, and reducing contact for workers. Additional information added to sections on ventilation, people who need to self-isolate, COVID-19 cases in the workplace, and equality in the workplace.

New laws to resolve remaining commercial rent debts

The Business Secretary has announced new laws and a Code of Practice are being introduced to resolve the remaining commercial rent debts and accrued because of the pandemic. Commercial tenants are protected from eviction until 25 March 2022. This aims to provide time for landlords and tenants to negotiate how to share the cost of commercial rent debts caused by the pandemic. From today the negotiations will be underpinned by a new Code of Practice which provides a clear process for settling outstanding debts. Read the Code of Practice

Guidance for managing overseas travel for education or work placements
The Department for Education has published travel guidance for both students and education providers managing work or education placements overseas linked to the Turning Scheme and other opportunities. The guidance states that participants should be made fully aware that they will need to comply with any local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements in their destination country and providers should be ready to make any quick changes to projects and mobilities due to the potentially rapidly changing situation on a country by country basis.

Autumn and Winter Plan for England

Health Secretary set out the Autumn and Winter Plan for England. The plan sets out a Plan A scenario and outlines a Plan B contingency plan for England that would only be enacted if the data suggests that further actions are necessary to protect the NHS.

Latest Figures

Correct as of 29 November 2021

Latest News/Advice

Travel to the UK what you need to know

Testing before you travel to England

Red List Countries

Quarantine Guidance

Covid-19 Response Autumn & Winter Plan

Global Travel Taskforce Report

Restart Grant Eligibility

Guidance & Support Gov.uk

Health & Wellbeing

Latest UK case statistics

Latest global case statistics

Mental Health & Wellbeing

NHS advice on self isolation here

Travel & Education

Travel Guidance

DFE guidance for schools

VisitBritain Consumer Tracker

UNWTO Tourism Recovery Tracker

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