Changes to rules for travel to the UK from October 4 September 20, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday, UK Government highlighted changes to the requirements for entering the UK which will come into force on October 4.

Click here to read the guidance.

Since the initial announcement, the devolved administrations have indicated that they will accept the changes to the travel list, but not all of the relaxations allowed in England will be adopted regionally. England has indicated that LFT tests will be accepted for Day 2 tests (although a date for implementation has not been confirmed). Scotland has already indicated that PCR tests will still be required there. New Scotland guidance is here, and Wales guidance here, with Northern Ireland yet to update. BSA will issue a full update of the new guidance in Friday’s newsletter.

BSA is aware of two key issues for boarding schools:

  • There is no mention of “children” in the new guidance relating to October 4.  We do not anticipate an issue with this, and the expectation is that boarders Under 18 travelling from non-red-list countries will not need to quarantine regardless of vaccination status, but this is not yet clear.
  • Almost all countries currently on the green list will be covered by acceptance of appropriate vaccinations in their countries, so most travellers will remain exempt from quarantine. This means that over 18s from those countries will not need to quarantine (if fully vaccinated), and this will also be true of Bahrain, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and South Korea, which are currently on the amber list. HOWEVER, this is not true of Hong Kong, which is currently on the green list but is not yet covered by the new arrangements.

BSA has already received a lot of correspondence on the Hong Kong issue, and is seeking clarification from relevant Government departments. Hong Kong Government reports today that they are aware of the matter and liaising with British colleagues. About two-thirds of those vaccinated in Hong Kong have received BioNTech, which is on the UK-approved list, and a third have received Sinovac, which is not.

We shall issue further updates as soon as we have them, but would urge all members who have not yet completed our survey to do so, as this will assist our conversations.

Click here to take part in the BSA survey.

Our sincere thanks to the very many schools who have already done so.  

Best wishes,

The BSA Team