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International Students


There are a number of measures in place when travelling to the UK to help against the spread of coronavirus. The information below provides an overview and contains links to Government webpages which you are advised to read in full. Please note that there is no exemption from the requirements if you have been vaccinated. The requirements are subject to change.

Negative COVID-19 tests

You must have proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test in order to travel to the UK. You must take the test in the 3 days before the service on which you will arrive in England departs.

Contact details

Prior to travel, you will need to provide journey and contact details anytime in the 48 hours prior to arriving using an online form. To complete the form you will need your travel details (including times, dates, and flight number), your passport, and the address where you will stay in the UK.

Travel Testing Package

You will need to book a travel testing package in advance of travel. This will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your quarantine after arriving in the UK. Day 8 tests are not required for countries on the Green list from 17th May (see below). Please note that these tests must be booked in advance of travelling to the UK. It is not possible to use the University's asymptomatic testing programme to take these tests instead of booking one of the government-approved testing packages prior to arrival. 

Quarantine requirements on arrival

Most arrivals to the UK currently need to quarantine for 10 days after arrival (the day you arrive in the UK does not count towards your 10 day total – it is ‘day 0’). This may also be referred to as a period of self-isolation.

Countries and territories are listed as Red, Amber or Green and the specific requirements depend on where you are travelling from, and where you have visited or passed through in the 10 days prior to arrival in the UK if applicable. A small number of countries are exempt from quarantine requirements.The Government intends to review these lists regularly so it is possible countries could move between Red, Amber and Green at short notice.

Red list There is currently a travel ban to the UK from red list countries but this does not apply to those who hold UK residence rights which includes if you hold a student visa or a status under the EU Settlement Scheme. If you arrive in the UK from one of the countries on this list, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days in a managed ‘quarantine hotel’. This includes where you have visited or passed through one of these countries in the 10 days prior to arrival in the UK. In addition, you can only arrive at specific airports so you are advised to check this before booking your travel.

If you would be coming to Cambridge from one of the countries on the red list for a short period of study with a visitor status, you would not be able to travel to the UK at this time.

Amber list You will need to quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days.

It may be possible to shorten the self-isolation period if you have a negative COVID-19 test after arrival in the UK in accordance with the ‘test to release’ scheme. The earliest you can take one of the approved tests is 5 days. If you use the ‘test to release’ scheme, you still need to take the day 2 and day 8 tests. The ‘test to release’ scheme cannot be used by those who are travelling from the ‘red list’ of countries.

Green list You do not need to quarantine unless your COVID-19 test result, taken on or before day 2 after you arrive, is positive or if NHS Test and Trace informs you that you travelled to England with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. You must only have been in or travelled through a green list country in the previous 10 days.

An overview guide of requirements for each category is provided here.

If you have any questions about these requirements to travel to the UK, or wish to check what you need to do in your particular circumstances, contact the University’s COVID Helpdesk by emailing or calling 0044 1223 339514.