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Students from India and Other Countries Can Avoid the UK’s Managed Hotel Quarantine Requirement

The UK government has announced that from 4:00 AM BST on Sunday, August 8, 2021, India, Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE have moved from the red list to the amber list. This positive development means that international students from these countries entering the UK will be able to avoid the expense of a 10-day, managed hotel quarantine. However, students from an amber list country who are not considered to be fully vaccinated according to UK guidelines will still need to complete a 10-day quarantine at the place where they are staying in the UK, such as their halls of residence or private accommodation, and must adhere to the requirements outlined below.

Please note that this information is subject to change. As always, students studying in the UK are encouraged to monitor GOV.UK for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 travel restrictions. More country-specific travel information can also be found for Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

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Amber List Requirements – Pre-Arrival

Prior to arriving in the UK, all travellers entering from an amber list country must:

Take a COVID-19 Test

All travellers must take a COVID-19 test within three days of departure, even if the traveller is fully vaccinated.

Accepted COVID-19 tests include:

  • A nucleic acid test, such as a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or a test using derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) tests
  • An antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device

The test can be presented as a physical document, email, or via an electronic device, and must include

  • The traveller’s name (matching the name as it appears on the travel documents)
  • Date of birth or age
  • The result of the test
  • The date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
  • Test provider name and contact information
  • Confirmation of the device used for the test, or that the test was a PCR test

Travellers must present their negative COVID-19 test before boarding and will be denied boarding without it. More information can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Book Two COVID-19 Tests

Travellers will be required to book two additional COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day two and again on or after day eight of the mandatory 10-day quarantine.

Please note that travellers will require the booking reference numbers for these tests before completing their passenger locator form.

Complete the Passenger Locator Form

Travellers must complete the passenger locator form online at any time 48 hours prior to travelling. The information will be used to contact the traveller in the event “someone [they] travelled with develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.” The completion of this form is mandatory.

Before filling out the passenger locator form, travellers should have the following at hand:

  • Passport details
  • Travel details, including dates and times
  • The address where the traveller will stay in the UK
  • The booking reference numbers for the two COVID-19 tests the traveller must take after entering the UK

A QR code will be sent by email and can be printed or displayed on a mobile phone as proof of completion.

Illustration of students walking against backdrop of London

Amber List Requirements – On Arrival

Travellers must take a COVID-19 test on or before their second day.

This applies even if travellers are fully vaccinated as per:

  • The UK vaccination program
  • The UK vaccine program overseas 
  • An approved vaccination program in the US or Europe

More information on what it means to be fully vaccinated can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Travellers who don’t qualify as fully vaccinated must complete a 10-day quarantine at the place where they are staying in the UK, such as a halls of residence or private accommodation.

Students should contact their university for more information on quarantine support and monitor all enrollment dates.

Illustration of red ping

Travellers from the Red List

Travellers from the red list must book a 10-day/11-night managed quarantine package, which includes: 

  • The hotel stay
  • Food and beverages
  • Transfers
  • Security
  • Two COVID-19 tests

Travellers can only make a reservation for a government-approved managed quarantine facility 14-days before arrival. Reservations can be made through the online booking portal.


Visit GOV.UK for more information on guidelines for travelling from a Red, Amber, and Green List country.

Please monitor GOV.UK for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 travel restrictions.