Changes to entering the UK using EU ID cards

From 1st October 2021, most EU, EEA and Swiss nationals will need to use a valid passport to travel to the UK. ID cards will no longer be accepted as a valid travel document to enter the UK, though some exemptions will apply. 

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    Coronavirus update

    What's happening at Heathrow and how we're looking after our passengers and colleagues


    At Heathrow, our number one priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and colleagues.

    We continue to follow the advice of the UK Government on measures and restrictions required, and are still working closely with health professionals and our airlines partners to safely handle flights.

    NOTE: This information has been prepared based on, and following, the advice of Public Health England and the UK Government.
     

    Changes to travel rules

    From 4 October, the rules for traveling internationally will change. Testing and quarantine requirements will depend on your vaccination status, as well as the country you are travelling from. Until then, the current traffic light system remains in place.

    Before you travel

    Due to changing requirements for destinations around the world, we are unable to provide guidance for travel to or from individual destinations.  We recommend you follow these steps to enable you to plan your trip.  This information is provided by or based on UK Government guidance.

    If you are planning to transit through Heathrow, please follow this specific guidance.

    Frequently asked questions

    General information

    As we continue to welcome passengers from around the world, wearing a face covering will still be required whilst in our terminals.  We also ask passengers to respect social distancing where possible.

    Face coverings remain mandatory on all Transport for London (TFL) services.  Other operators are following Government guidance which recommends face coverings are worn whilst on board.  Face coverings are required at our bus terminals and train platforms.

    Terminal 3 has reopened All flights operated by Air France, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Finnair, Iran Air, Jazeera Airways, Kenya Airways, KLM, Middle East Airlines (MEA), Phillippine Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, Sri Lankan, Virgin Atlantic and Vistara have re-located from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3.

    From 11 September, Royal Brunei Airlines will operate from Terminal 3.  Other airlines will return to Terminal 3 over a phased period of time, dates for which will be communicated beforehand.  

    If you are unsure, please continue to check with your airline before travelling to confirm the terminal for your flight. 

    We recommend checking the Government Foreign Travel Advice to check the entry requirements for your destination as many restrictions remain in place. 

    A traffic light system is in place in England with testing and quarantine requirements in place depending on the country you are arriving from.  We recommend checking Government guidance before you book travel, to determine the requirements on your arrival back into the country: 

    • Green List - Countries on the green list do not require those travelling to self-isolate but passengers will need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two of their arrival back to England
    • Amber List –
    • UK, EU and US residents who have been double vaccinated are not required to quarantine on their return to England, however will still need to take a pre departure test and a PCR test on day two of arrival back to England. 
    • Passengers who have not been double vaccinated will need to complete a mandatory 10-day self-isolation period in addition to booking an approved Government testing package for day two and eight of their isolation, and they will have the option for an additional “test to release” on day five to end self-isolation early. Passengers must also take a pre-departure test before returning to England.
    • Red List - Those travelling to countries on the Red list will still be required to book a mandatory 10-day Government Hotel Quarantine package ahead of their return to England; and must take a pre-departure test.

    More information on the restrictions can be found on the Government website including the status for each country.

    The government have fines and sanctions to enforce this. More information is available on the government website.

    It continues to be a legal requirement for all passengers to:

    • Provide a negative COVID-19 test taken no earlier than three days before departing for England.
    • Complete a passenger locator form providing their journey and contact details up to 48 hours before their travel.  

    Airlines are responsible for checking that you have the above documentation at check-in for your flight to the UK.

    If you are at the airport and experiencing the symptoms of a cough, fever or shortness of breath please make yourself known to the nearest colleague who will be able to support you.

    You are able to drop-off your loved ones as normal, however we ask that you only enter the terminal should you need to, for example, if you are helping someone into the terminal who requires assistance before they have been greeted by the care team.

    To help everyone keep safe, please greet arriving passengers outside the terminals.  We recommend using our short stay car parks as these are a short walk to the terminal buildings.  If you’re meeting someone who requires assistance, then you are exempt.

    If you are planning to travel during this time of uncertainty and wish to cancel your parking booking, Heathrow has a flexible cancellation policy which allows you to cancel up to two hours before.

    The majority of our retail stores are open so you can continue to purchase items in arrivals and departures. Food and beverage outlets remain open for takeaway and table service, so passengers can grab a bite to eat.  

     

    In addition, Travelex stores in Terminal 2, 3 and 5 are also open. 

     

    No retail outlets will be open in our Red List Arrivals Facility at Terminal 4.  

    Arrivals from Red List Countries

    Red list routes will likely be a feature of UK travel for the foreseeable future as countries vaccinate their populations at different rates. We’re adapting Heathrow to this longer-term reality and have opened Terminal 4 as a arrivals facility for red list passengers arriving on direct flights.

    All arrivals into the UK from a red list country are required to book the UK Government’s Hotel Quarantine package. Proof of booking will be checked by your airline before departure to the UK, and by Border Force, on arrival into Terminal 4.

    The quarantine process applies to passengers arriving directly from a red list country, who will be met from their flight by a dedicated transfer bus and taken to the Terminal 4 Red Arrivals Facility.

    The process also applies to passengers arriving by an indirect route into Terminal 2 ,3 or 5, who have been in a red list country in the past 10 days. These passengers will disembark into the respective terminal and follow the red triangle Terminal 4 connections route for their transfer to the Terminal 4 Red Arrivals Facility. 

    In both cases, passengers’ baggage will be transported to Terminal 4 for collection. Due to additional processing timescales, the collection of baggage may take longer than normal.  Baggage enquiry contact details are provided in the Terminal 4 baggage reclaim hall if required.

    Book managed quarantine in a hotel

    There are numerous measures in place in Terminal 4, as in our other terminals, to keep passengers and colleagues safe, including requirements for negative tests pre-departure for international arrivals, enhanced cleaning regimes, dedicated COVID marshals to enforce social distancing and mandatory use of face coverings throughout the airport.

    All transiting passengers must take a pre departure COVID-19 test to present to your airline before traveling to the UK. 

    If you are transiting through Heathrow, for onward travel to a domestic destination, having been in or traveled through a red list country, you must carry out your ten-day UK Government hotel quarantine at a Heathrow location.

    Book managed quarantine in a hotel

    If you are transiting from a red list country to another international destination, you will not be required to quarantine or take a day 2 and day 8 test, however you must remain airside (not pass through UK border control). 

    Meeting at arrivals will not be permitted.  Terminal 4 will be operating as a dedicated Red List Arrivals terminal, so all arriving passengers must be booked into the UK Government’s Hotel Quarantine package meaning they will be escorted to the hotel directly by Government contractors. 

    Yes, Terminal 4 is currently operating as a dedicated Red List Arrivals Facility so all departing flights continue to operate from either Terminal 2, Terminal 3 or Terminal 5.

    No shops or restaurants will be open in Terminal 4.  This is to protect our passengers and colleagues.

    Can my child fly to Heathrow as an unaccompanied minor from a red list country?

    The UK Government guidance advises that children arriving in England from a red list country should not be travelling alone. 

    If it is not possible for someone with responsibility for the child to travel with them then arrangements must be made (by the parent or guardian) for a parent, guardian or approved adult to meet the child upon arrival at Heathrow and enter managed quarantine with them. The unaccompanied minor must be a UK or Ireland resident or have residency rights in the UK. 

    Contact details and ID / passport information will be required about the parent, guardian or approved adult who is designated to enter managed quarantine, in order for the child to enter the UK.

    Please check with the airline to see if they offer an Unaccompanied Minor (UM) service on red list arrivals flights.

     

    What is the definition of a minor? 

    UK law defines a minor as someone under the age of 18.  UK Government’s Managed Quarantine Service (MQS) policy is that anyone under the age of 18 needs to quarantine with a parent, guardian or approved adult.

     

    Where at Heathrow do I meet my child?

    Unaccompanied Minors who are accepted by an airline for travel, arrive into the red list arrivals facility at Heathrow Terminal 4. Once at Terminal 4, the unaccompanied minors meeting point is the National Express cabin on the arrivals forecourt, near bus stop 12. 

    Please note: Terminal 4 is not open to the public and therefore services and facilities are very limited.

     

    How do I get to Heathrow Terminal 4? 

    Parking and drop off is available within the Terminal 4 multi-storey car park for parents, guardians or approved adults. Parking charges apply. 

    Public buses stopping at Terminal 4 are the 482, 490 & 555.

    The London Underground Service at Terminal 4 is not in operation.

     

    Who is allowed to meet the child at Heathrow?             

    Only one adult who will quarantine with the unaccompanied minor can meet them at Heathrow. If the child is exempt from having to quarantine, still only one adult can meet them at Heathrow.

     

    How far in advance should l arrive at Heathrow?

    The parent, guardian or approved adult must allow sufficient time to travel to Heathrow Terminal 4 to ensure they meet the unaccompanied minor in arrivals. The parent, guardian or approved adult will be contacted as part of the process the day prior to the child’s arrival into Heathrow to confirm contact details and verify that appropriate collection arrangements are in place.

    Transiting passengers

    All international arrivals are required to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken no earlier than three days before departing for England. This applies to passengers transiting the UK.

    If you are transiting through the UK to another international destination, you do not need to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on arrival or on day 2 and day 8; but you must present the following to your airline before departure:

    If you will be passing through Immigration, you need to do the following when you complete your passenger locator form:

    • Select ‘Stay in the UK’ under the “Your travel plans” section
    • Reply ‘No’ to any questions about whether you are required to complete COVID-19 tests on arrival
    • For passengers arriving from green or amber list countries:  Reply ‘No’ to the question ‘Have you visited a Red List country within the past 10 days and/or are required by law to quarantine in a government approved facility?’
    • For passengers arriving from red list countries:  If you are transiting to another UK destination, you must complete 10 days mandatory hotel quarantine at Heathrow.  If you are transiting to an international destination, you do not need to quarantine on arrival or take a COVID-19 test on day 2 and day 8, but must remain airside (not pass through UK border control).

    If you have a boarding pass issued for your onward journey, you will be able to stay airside (not pass through UK border control) during your connection. This means that when you arrive into Heathrow, you will not need to pass through immigration or customs and can follow the purple signs for connections and make your way to the departing gate once it opens.

    If you are transiting landside (passing through UK border control), you are not required to to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on arrival or on day 2 and day 8, however you should not leave Heathrow during your transit.

    Please ensure you have the correct passport or visa to enter the UK. You must present the following to your airline before travelling to the UK, and these documents may also be checked by Border Force on arrival at Heathrow:

    For more information, please visit the UK Government website

    If you are transiting domestically, and you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days, then you are required to enter into managed quarantine at Heathrow. This applies whether transiting airside or landside.

    Passengers arriving from an amber list country with a connecting flight on a separate day must complete 10 days quarantine in a separate location.

    Please ensure you have the correct passport or visa to enter the UK. You must present the following to your airline before traveling to the UK, and these documents may also be checked by Border Force on arrival at Heathrow:

    For more information visit the UK Government website

    If you are transiting through Heathrow, for onward travel to a domestic destination, having been in or traveled through a “red list” country, you must carry out your ten day hotel quarantine at a Heathrow location. 

    Book managed quarantine in a hotel 

    If you are transiting domestically but have arrived from a green or amber list country, you can continue your journey but must follow the testing and quarantine requirements when you reach your domestic destination. 

    For more information about transiting, visit the UK Government website

    Testing

    There are a number of different COVID-19 tests available and the requirements on testing required when travelling vary significantly by country.

    We are working with Government approved, independent testing providers to offer different types of testing to fulfil requirements. Read our dedicated page on COVID-19 Testing for more information.

    For departing passengers – Please check carefully for any testing requirements, including the type of test, for travelling to different destinations via the Foreign Commonwealth Office website.

    What are the testing requirements for entry into England?

    All international arrivals, including UK nationals, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test taken no earlier than 3 days before departing for England.  This applies to passengers transiting the UK, as well as those whose final destination is the UK.  For more information, please visit the Government website.

    How will the proof of having a test result be enforced?

    Prior to departure, passengers will need to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result to their airline, in addition to their passenger locator form. On arrival back into England, Border Force will conduct spot checks to ensure that individuals are compliant with the new rules. If not, passengers will be subject to an immediate fine of £500. These checks will also apply to UK nationals, however children under the age of 11 will be exempt.

    Will passengers still need to quarantine on arrival?

    A traffic light system is in place and International travel is permissible with testing and quarantine requirements in place for different destinations. 

    • Green List - Countries on the green list do not require those travelling to self-isolate but passengers will need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two of their arrival back to England
    • Amber List –
    • UK, EU and US residents who have been double vaccinated are not required to quarantine on their return to England, however will still need to take a pre departure test and a PCR test on day two of arrival back to England. 
    • Passengers who have not been double vaccinated will need to complete a mandatory 10-day self-isolation period in addition to booking an approved Government testing package for day two and eight of their isolation, and they will have the option for an additional “test to release” on day five to end self-isolation early. Passengers must also take a pre-departure test before returning to England.
    • Red List - Those travelling to countries on the Red list will still be required to book a mandatory 10-day Government Hotel Quarantine package ahead of their return to England; and must take a pre-departure test.

    For more information visit the UK Government website

    How much does it cost to quarantine in a Government-approved hotel, and what's included?

    A single-cost charge will apply to everyone returning to the UK from red list countries, all of whom must quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

    It will cover the costs of:

    • Transport from the port of arrival to the Managed Quarantine Facility (hotel)
    • Food
    • Accommodation
    • Security
    • Essential wrap-around services
    • Testing.

    Passengers will be provided with three meals a day, access to WIFI and access to welfare and health support. Passengers will not be able to choose their own hotel or book accommodation without using the Government booking service.

    Hotel quarantine – including travel to the hotel, meals and beverages, 2 COVID-19 tests and end-to-end security

    Rate

    Rate for 1 adult in 1 room for 10 days

    £2,285

    Additional rate for 1 adult (or child over 12)

    £650

    Additional rate for a child aged 5-12

    £325

    More information can be found on the Government website.

    A traffic light system is in place and International travel is permissible with testing and quarantine requirements in place for different destinations. 

    • Green List - Countries on the green list do not require those travelling to self-isolate but passengers will need to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two of their arrival back to England
    • Amber List –
    • UK, EU and US residents who have been double vaccinated are not required to quarantine on their return to England, however will still need to take a pre departure test and a PCR test on day two of arrival back to England. 
    • Passengers who have not been double vaccinated will need to complete a mandatory 10-day self-isolation period in addition to booking an approved Government testing package for day two and eight of their isolation, and they will have the option for an additional “test to release” on day five to end self-isolation early. Passengers must also take a pre-departure test before returning to England.
    • Red List - Those travelling to countries on the Red list will still be required to book a mandatory 10-day Government Hotel Quarantine package ahead of their return to England; and must take a pre-departure test.

    For more information visit the UK Government website

    Passengers who have not been in a red-list country can shorten their mandatory 10-day quarantine period through the Test to Release scheme, by completing a negative COVID-19 test from day five onwards, in addition to the two mandatory tests on days two and eight.

    You will need to opt into the Test to Release scheme and enter your test booking details in the Passenger Locator Form, which must be completed prior to arriving into the UK. If you decide to take part in the Test to Release scheme once you have arrived in England, you will need to update your  Passenger Locator Form.

    The test must be taken via the Government's approved list of private testing providers. Both of the independent test providers operating at Heathrow - Expresstest and Collinson - are included on the Government's list.

     

    How much is the home quarantine test package?

    The Government testing package (including two COVID-19 tests) cost from £175 per person. It will be delivered to your address and needs to be booked in advance. 

    For more information please visit the Government webiste

    Some countries require passengers to show proof of a completed, negative, COVID-19 test within certain timeframes of departure. The types of test and timing required vary by country which is why we recommend passengers check the  Foreign Commonwealth Office website for the latest travel information.

    We are working with independent providers to offer different types of testing to fulfil requirements for certain destinations. Read our dedicated page on COVID-19 Testing for more information.

    At the airport

    The majority of shops and restaurants are open in our terminals.  

    Travelex stores in Terminal 2, 3 and 5 remain open.

    No retail outlets will be open in our red list arrivals facility in Terminal 4.

    Should I wear a face covering when I travel?

    We require all passengers aged 11 and older to wear a face covering at all times inside our terminal buildings including our bus stations and railway platforms. 

    Please speak to a colleague if you have any concerns or queries about wearing a face covering whilst at Heathrow.

    All passengers should remember the UK Government advises that people should wash their hands often and for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. You are welcome to use our toilet and washroom facilities for this, or make use of the readily available hand sanitiser dispensers found in hundreds of locations across the airport.

    Where can I get a face covering at Heathrow?

    We require all passengers aged 11 and older to wear a face covering at all times inside our terminal buildings.

    If you forget to bring a face covering with you, they are available to purchase from a range of retailers or vending machines at the airport but you may be refused entry to the terminals without one.

    What should I do if I am unable to wear a mask, for example for medical reasons, or if I rely on lip reading?

    We understand that in exceptional circumstances, some passengers may not be able to wear a face covering. The government has issued guidance on who this may apply to. Please be reassured that if this applies to you, you are still welcome to fly and we ask that you notify colleagues in our terminals when you arrive at Heathrow.

    Additionally, you may wish to speak to our colleagues at the Assistance desk before Security about wearing a sunflower lanyard.

    Aside from face coverings, we kindly remind all passengers to practice regular hand washing in our washrooms, sanitiser stations as well as to keep a safe distance from others at all times.

    We currently advise passengers to arrive 3 hours before their flight (European and intercontinental).  Other guidelines can be found on our dedicated page.

    If you are still in any doubt, please contact your airline who can confirm.

    The safety of passengers and colleagues is our priority and we are continuing to implement new measures to reduce the risk of transmission at the airport, in line with Government advice.

    Existing measures in place at the airport, which you may now be familiar with, include:

    • Hundreds of hand sanitiser dispensers
    • Social distancing and one way systems
    • Enhanced and more frequent cleaning
    • Mandatory face coverings for all passengers over the age of 11
    • UV cleaning methods, including UV robots
    • Perspex screens
    • Anti-viral cleaning of all key passenger touchpoints  

    A team of dedicated hygiene-technicians, who thoroughly disinfect the airport and answer passenger queries on the methods being used.

    If you have any queries, please speak to one of our Heathrow Covid Marshals who patrol the terminals. They are recognisable by their pink hi-vis vests.

    We ask all passengers to continue to follow government advice as best they can while we work to ensure all our passengers have a safe and enjoyable journey.

    Where can I find hand sanitiser facilities at Heathrow?

    Our toilets and washroom facilities are open and stocked with hand soap for you to use.  We have also installed hundreds of hand sanitiser dispensers at key locations across the airport. These facilities can be found in all areas of the terminal including in security entrance areas, toilets, and main concourses.

    Can I still get assistance for my journey through Heathrow?

    We understand that if you have an impairment or mobility difficulties, you may require additional assistance at Heathrow, and would like to reassure you we are continuing to offer assistance to passengers that need it at this time.

    Your first point of contact for requesting assistance should always be your airline, so please contact them directly and they will be happy to help you. If you would like further reassurance or advice, you can always contact Heathrow’s customer service team by ringing 0844 335 1801 and pressing option 4, or emailing passengersupport@heathrow.com.