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Key information about travel restrictions and guidelines during COVID-19

Updated 8th July 2021

  • Which countries are on the UK travel 'green list'?

    Check out our dedicated traffic light explainer here.

  • Where can I travel from the UK without quarantine?

    Following the UK government’s announcement on 7th May that international travel will no longer be illegal and the recent changes we have created handy guide to answer this question.

    We’re afraid the green list isn’t as simple as last year’s travel corridors. The UK traffic light system only covers the rules on arrival into the UK.

    The best way to find out the rules is to search the restrictions between any two other locations here!

  • Where can I go on holiday right now from the UK?

    We have created a handy guide to answer this question.

    We are keeping it updated so you can check back whenever you hear something on the news. Or even better, sign up to our newsletter to get the most important updates in your inbox every week.

    To see the official rule for COVID-19 travel where you live follow these links: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Travelling from elsewhere? Check your national government’s guidelines for exit information.

  • Will the traffic light list change?

    Yes, every three weeks. We keep our guide up-to-date and of course be sure to sign up to our newsletter if you haven’t already to get all these updates direct to your inbox – we trawl the news so you don’t have to!

    We are still hopeful that a number of our favourite destinations in Europe including France, Greece, Italy, and mainland Spain as well as other other hotspots including the US will move to the Green list in the coming weeks and months.


  • What is Unlocked all about?

    Unlocked Travel provides key information and travel advice on travel restrictions during COVID-19.

    The data we draw on to provide you with a quick and comprehensive service is publicly available. But trawling through government websites to work out where your government will let you go and who will let you in at the other end can be so time-consuming and difficult to navigate!

    So we do the work for you to help make travel booking easy and fun again.

  • How up-to-date is Unlocked for the latest restrictions?

    Our information is updated every 24 hours or less so you can rest assured that what you see is as up to date as you will find anywhere. However, no system is perfect and the rules are changing every day, so we recommend you use the links provided on our website to check the rules in your destination country.

    Unfortunately, while our information is up to date it cannot predict the future and any changes made by governments and travel companies can impact your plans.  We strive to provide the best information on the internet at your fingertips, but we are not legally liable for any mistakes.

    We urge all users to check restrictions on the relevant government websites for origin and destination before booking, and to check the terms and conditions of their hotels and flights including cancellation policies relating to COVID-19. Please see our terms of use for more details – our job is to provide you with the best information that we can and we are not liable for inability to travel.

  • Where can I find out more information about travel restrictions?

    All our data is pulled from official sources and we try to always provide links in our searches to make your job easier. Given how complex the rules can be, we would recommend you also check the relevant government tourism website for your destination to make sure the guidance matches.

    In the UK, visit for the latest government advice. If you are searching from outside the UK, please visit your equivalent foreign ministry or whichever government department deals with travel.

  • What are the different types of Covid tests and what will I need to travel?

    The following is based on the official guidance from the UK government’s (NHS) and US government’s respective health departments (CDC; FDA) relating to tests. For more details please review the websites using the links or your respective national government websites.

    COVID-19 tests are available that can test for current infection or past infection.

    • A viral test tells you if you have a current infection. Travel restrictions often require a negative viral test to enter or leave a country.
    • An antibody test might tell you if you had a past infection. Antibody tests should not be used to diagnose a current infection and are not part of common travel requirements.

    The two main tests for travellers are:

    1. PCR tests – mainly for people with symptoms, they’re sent to a lab to be checked
    2. Antigen tests – only for people who do not have symptoms, they give a result in 30 minutes using a device similar to a pregnancy test

    Use our search results to check which type of test you will need for entry into your chosen destination if needed.

    Note that in the UK any tests available publicly (the free ones!) are only for domestic use and not for international travel which is why private testing is needed.

    In the UK, Ireland, USA or Canada, Unlocked Travel users receive an exclusive 30% discount on your PRE-FLIGHT at-home COVID-19 tests with LetsGetChecked. Test results should be available within 48hrs, however it can take up to 72hrs from the time the sample is received by the lab. You must be 18+ to use this test.

  • Where can I book a private COVID-19 test? Lots of the countries that I want to visit require a negative result

    If you’re not eligible for testing through a local NHS clinic or testing centre in the UK (check here), there are a number of places offering testing.

    Note that in the UK any tests available publicly (the free ones!) are only for domestic use and not for international travel which is why private testing is needed.

    In the UK, Ireland, USA or Canada, Unlocked Travel users receive an exclusive 30% discount on your PRE-FLIGHT at-home COVID-19 tests with LetsGetChecked. Test results should be available within 48hrs, however it can take up to 72hrs from the time the sample is received by the lab. You must be 18+ to use this test.

  • What is a PCR test?

    “PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing is considered the “gold standard” in COVID-19 detection. This test actually detects RNA (or genetic material) that is specific to the virus and can detect the virus within days of infection, even those who have no symptoms. The test are usually done in a clinic or hospital with results processed in a laboratory. Private providers offer ways to take your tests at home, or while travelling. [source]”

    In the UK, Ireland, USA or Canada, Unlocked Travel users receive an exclusive 30% discount on your at-home COVID-19 tests with LetsGetChecked. Test results should be available within 48hrs, however it can take up to 72hrs from the time the sample is received by the lab (you must be 18+ to use this test).

    More information in our handy guide!

  • What is an antigen or a lateral flow test?

    Called a rapid lateral flow test in the UK, this is an established technology, adapted to detect proteins (antigens) that are present when a person has COVID-19. The best-known example of a lateral flow test is the home pregnancy test kit.

    Able to be done at home, antigen testing is a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes.

  • Do I need a vaccine to travel? What is a vaccine passport?

    As a rule, no you don’t need to be vaccinated to travel to many countries in the world. But for others only fully vaccinated travellers are being allowed in.

    While rules vary by country and depending on where you are travelling from, in most countries you will not be banned from travel but may face some degree of restriction (quarantine, testing). Always check our search to find out.

    A vaccine passport is some form of certification which shows you have been vaccinated. As an example, the EU has launched the EU Digital Covid Certificate while in the UK the government has launched a similar programme through the NHS app. Different countries also issue and accept paper certificates.

    Recognition and acceptance of certificates and vaccines varies so be sure to use our search function to understand the requirements to travel whether you have been vaccinated or not.

  • Will my travel insurance cover me for COVID-19?

    Not all travel policies will cover COVID-19 unfortunately. If you have an existing policy we advise you to check your terms carefully. Travel insurance has never been more important so make sure you are covered (and not just for COVID) before you travel to avoid the costs and stress of anything going wrong while you are away.

    If you are looking for travel insurance we recommend World Nomads – we have used their cover for years ourselves and they now provide solid COVID protection (as long as your national government does not advise against travel to that country).

    Click here to get a quote directly through Unlocked Travel.

    World Nomads travel insurance covers people from over 130 countries, with medical and evacuation cover, 24-hour emergency assistance and over 150 adventure activities. To see their FAQs for your country click here.

  • Can I book flights/hotels directly through Unlocked?

    No – we are not a travel agent, however we are partnering two of the largest flight and hotel search engines in the world to help you unlock the best deals for your adventure.

    If you are looking for flights, visit our flights page which is powered by is our favourite search engine which combines air and ground transport, ride-hailing, and micro-mobility, so you can get from any A to any B easily.

    If you are planning on booking accommodation visit our hotel page to search, the world’s largest hotel booking website and part of the Kayak network. They pull together prices from,, Agodo and Expedia to provide the very best accommodation deals available.

  • Is Unlocked Travel only for the UK?

    No! We are based in the UK but our website has been designed to function for all global citizens wherever you are. Some of our recommendations in these FAQs are UK-focused as a result but the system is built for everyone and over time we will expand our offering to be as global as our club members are.

  • Is Unlocked Travel free to use?

    Yes! It’s completely free to sign up to receive the latest updates and offers via our weekly bulletin.

    We’ll send you a weekly bulletin – you can opt out any time! Though ideally you’ll save us in your favourites so you make sure you catch the up-to-date announcements.

    At this stage you can’t save favourite search results but look out for new features over the coming weeks…

  • What are the terms of use?

    Please read this fair use policy carefully before using

    Services provided by us are primarily intended for individual and personal use by the general public. They are not intended for use by travel agents, including independent or freelance travel agents.

    You may not use the website to undertake services as an agent, on behalf of an agent or to provide information for another website or service.

    Reasonable and fair use of this website will be determined by Nomos Group Ltd and enforced by monitoring searches and rate limiting.

    You agree to comply with this policy in connection with your use of the services. Any material or conduct that in our judgment violates this policy in any manner may result in suspension or termination of the services or removal of user’s account with or without notice.

    To report a violation of this policy, please contact us.


    If you are interested in using the services outside of the above fair use policy please contact us on with details of intended use to discuss potential exceptions and extensions to the rate limit currently in place.

    Reporting violations

    We reserve the right to change this policy at any given time, of which you will be promptly updated. If you want to make sure that you are up to date with the latest changes, we advise you to frequently visit this page.

  • Do you have any advertising opportunities?

    Yes, get in touch with us for more information on partnerships, advertising and collaborations. We would love to hear from you!

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    • Signing up for our news bulletin at Contact Us
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