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Explains what you must do if you are travelling to or from Wales.

First published:
4 October 2021
Last updated:

Overview and travel check list

There are a range of coronavirus related rules in place for international travel. These cover travel from Wales to international destinations and international travellers entering Wales.

Your vaccination status and the rules in place in the country you wish to travel to will have an impact on the steps you will need to take.

Check list before travel:

  • Check if the country you are travelling to is on the red list or not.
  • Check the entry requirements to enter the country you are travelling to. You may need to prove your vaccination status, provide a negative coronavirus test, fill out forms before entering, be tested while in the country and / or face mandatory quarantine.
  • Check how you will prove your vaccination status and or/negative coronavirus test.
  • Check what requirements you have to follow when arriving in Wales.
  • Check the requirements for children and young people (if travelling together or independently).
  • Check you have completed your passenger locator form for when you return to Wales.
  • Check you have booked the correct / any necessary tests for when you are back in Wales.

Which rules to follow

When travelling to Wales from abroad there are rules that must be followed to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus.  The rules which apply to you depend on your travel plans, including:

  • where you are travelling from
  • where you have been in the 10 days before arriving in Wales or elsewhere in the UK
  • if you are fully vaccinated
  • if you are a child

Your COVID status does not change the requirements for pre departure and post arrival tests or isolation where this is necessary.

Travelling within the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland, known as the Common Travel Area

A Common Travel Area (CTA) exists between the UK, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland. 

Travel within the UK, and to the Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, is not counted as international travel. This means that you do not need to test, isolate or fill in a passenger locator form if:

  • you are travelling to Wales from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey or Guernsey
  • you have not travelled anywhere other than these areas in the 10 days before you arrive in Wales

You can show details of recent travel into the CTA, such as a boarding pass or itinerary, to help confirm when you entered the CTA and how long you have spent in the CTA in total.

International Travel (outside of the Common Travel Area)

From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to Wales change to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world

The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.

Arriving from a red list country

If you are arriving in the UK from a red list country (or if you have passed through a red list country within 10 days of your arrival in the UK), you must follow the rules as explained in the guidance. 

There are no countries on the red list at this time.

The red list is updated on a regular basis and so you are advised to check before making travel arrangements.

Rules for travellers arriving from a red list country.

Travellers who are fully vaccinated

If you are arriving from a country that is not on the red list of countries and are fully vaccinated, you must follow the rules for people travelling to Wales who are fully vaccinated.

Travellers who are not fully vaccinated

If you are arriving from a country that is not on the red list of countries and you are not fully vaccinated, you must follow the rules for people travelling to Wales who are not fully vaccinated.

Children arriving in Wales

Read further information about the rules for children travelling to Wales.

International students arriving in Wales

International students

International students travelling to Wales must follow the requirements in this guidance. Read further guidance about what international students must do on arrival in Wales.

Under 18’s attending boarding schools, colleges or university

There are separate rules for young people (under 18) who are attending boarding school, college or university in Wales and arriving from a red list country. 

Read full details of the requirements.  

Short visits

The requirements you must follow are determined at the time of entry into Wales or elsewhere in the UK.

It does not matter how long you intend to be in another country each entry into Wales or elsewhere in the UK is counted separately.

There are no special arrangements for short term visits either abroad or into Wales therefore the same requirements apply for a day trip or a return to Wales.

You must have booked and paid for the post-arrival PCR tests one test (Day 2) or two tests (Day 2 and Day 8) where these are required even if you will not be able to take one or both of them.

You must remain in isolation where this is required for the whole period of your visit. You cannot have visitors and you cannot go out to visit other people except in very limited circumstances such as for compassionate reasons.

You may leave isolation where this is necessary to leave Wales or the UK you do not need to stay for the full 10 days.

International travel from Wales

Before you go you must consult the requirements for visitors for the country you plan to travel to.  Restrictions may be in place, including proof of vaccination, tests, quarantine and reasons for entry.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) provide general guidance for British people travelling abroad (on GOV.UK).

The FCDO also provide advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings. This includes advice and information about entry requirements such as covid tests and isolation for countries that you intend to visit (on GOV.UK).

FCDO travel advice is based on risks to the traveller whilst in their destination country, which is different from the risks of imported infection in Wales or the UK from returning travellers.

Please be aware that requirements for outbound travel will be different from the requirements for inbound travel and both may change at short notice. 

Carriers may have their own requirements for negative tests to allow boarding and travel. 

It is advisable to check the latest up to date guidance before both outbound and inbound travel.

If you are not fully vaccinated or arrived from a ‘red list’ country (where it is permitted for you to enter Wales) for a short visit and you are required to isolate whilst you are here you may leave isolation to return to that country.

An NHS COVID pass is available for people in Wales who have had two doses of vaccination and are travelling to a country that requires COVID vaccination proof.

If it is necessary to show a negative test before you can travel those must not be NHS tests instead you must book and pay for tests from a private test provider (on GOV.UK).