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UK Now Only Accepts Passport as Travel Document for Entry

Photo source: WTTC

Photo source: WTTC

From October 1, most EU, EEA and Swiss citizens now need a valid passport to enter the UK as the government has stopped accepting national identity (ID) cards as a travel document.

According to a government announcement, the UK Border Force has stopped accepting ID cards in a move that will strengthen the country’s borders. The move was first announced in October 2020.

“By ending the use of insecure ID cards we are strengthening our border and delivering on the people’s priority to take back control of our immigration system,” Home Secretary Priti Patel said.

The UK government highlights that ID cards are “some of the most abused documents” seen by Border Force officers and, last year, almost half of all false documents detected at the border were EU, EEA or Swiss ID cards.

“We must clamp down on the criminals that seek to enter our country illegally using forged documents,” Patel added.

Photo Source:

According to the UK government, ID cards are a “notoriously insecure form of travel document”, because among other things some cards do not have biometric data, making it easier to falsify the data recorded; and they are more difficult to cross-reference with criminal record databases than passports.

The UK government has made it clear that some EU, EEA and Swiss travellers that fulfil specific requirements (those in the EU Settlement Scheme or with equivalent rights) may continue to use their identity cards upon their arrival in the UK until at least 2025.

For further details on visiting the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, press here.

Covid-19 rules to enter UK change for fully vaccinated travelers

It is reminded that the UK has certain Covid-19 rules for international travel to England.

From October 4 the UK will scrap its current traffic light system which lists countries as green, amber and red and change it to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world.

Photo source: Heathrow Airport

Photo source: Heathrow Airport

There will also be changes to the testing requirements when returning from a non-red list country, if travelers are fully vaccinated:

– From 4am on Monday 4 October, travelers will no longer need to take a pre-departure test in the three days before they return to the UK.

– From the end of October, travelers will no longer need to take a PCR test on day two of their arrival in England or Scotland – instead they will need to take a lateral flow test (which is cheaper). If the lateral flow test is positive, the travelers will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test at no additional cost. Wales and Northern Ireland have not yet announced if PCR tests will be replaced with lateral flow tests.

Photo source: WTTC

Photo source: WTTC

If travelers are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated, there are currently no changes to the testing or quarantine requirements. This means, if travelers arrive into the UK from a non-red list country, they will still need to take a pre-departure test, a PCR test on day two and day eight, and quarantine at home for 10 days.

Arrivals into the UK from red list countries remain the same. Travelers will still have to take a pre-departure test and pre-book a mandatory 11-night quarantine hotel package, which will include two PCR tests, taken on day two and day eight, regardless of your vaccination status.

All travelers, regardless of their vaccination status and the country they are travelling from, will still need to complete a passenger locator form any time in the 48 hours before they arrive in the UK.

For details on England’s changes to international travel rules from October 4, press here.

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