International travel: restrictions and quarantine (self-isolation)

Travel restrictions and quarantine (self-isolation) advice for international students coming to Bristol and students going abroad.

Travel to the UK

If you choose to travel to the UK we are ready to welcome and support you. Check the government advice about entering the UK.

What you must do before you travel and when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you travel.

Countries are rated as red, amber or green for coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Red list: High-risk countries
  • Amber list: Moderate-risk countries
  • Green list: Low-risk countries

Each list includes rules you must follow to enter England. Find out which list your country is on.

What you must do when you arrive in the UK if you have been in green, amber or red countries or territories
Action to completeGreenAmberRed
Passenger locator form yes yes yes
Pre-departure test yes yes yes
Managed quarantine at hotel no no 10 days
Self-isolation at own accommodation no 10 days n/a
Test to release n/a On day 5 no
PCR testing On or before day 2 On or before day 2 On or before day 2
Further PCR testing no day 8 day 8

Find out about help for testing for travel.

If you have to quarantine (self-isolate) for 10 days when you arrive

Contact us as soon as possible if there are temporary UK quarantine restrictions for arrivals from your country of departure. Email

When you arrive in the UK, you will not be allowed to leave the place where you’re staying for the first 10 days. This is known as self-isolating.

During this time you may receive a visit from someone from Mitie, a company employed by the government to make sure you are complying with your legal duty to self-isolate.

The staff will be wearing NHS Test and Trace uniforms. They will identify themselves verbally and present an ID card with information including their name, role and employer.

Support during quarantine (self-isolation)

Support is available if you need to self-isolate. Complete the Coronavirus self-reporting form.

Read our self-isolation guidance for students.

Breaking quarantine rules

If you break the quarantine rules, you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.

Get tested before you return to campus

Get tested before you return to campus. You must have completed your self-isolation first.

Travel from the UK

You can travel internationally but must follow the rules.

Travelling to a country on the red list

If you are travelling to a country on the government's red list, make sure you are aware what the rules are when you return to the UK from a red list country.

Undergraduate students on study and work abroad placements

If you are already overseas and are happy to stay there we recommend you continue your placement with the awareness that the global situation remains volatile. If you return to the UK at any point, follow the government guidance on entering the UK.

When you travel 

If and when you do travel, make sure you have appropriate travel insurance in place. We provide free business travel insurance if you are travelling on approved University trips. You should apply for insurance cover from our Insurance Office and ensure our Global Opportunities team are aware of your travel.

  • Follow Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for the country you are travelling to. Check quarantine periods and border restrictions.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about your time abroad contact our Global Opportunities team for support and advice.
  • Remember to always let the Global Opportunities team know you are travelling.

Before you return to campus

Get tested before you return to campus. You must have completed your self-isolation first.

Tests for travel

We will pay for you to take a test in certain circumstances. Find out about tests needed for travel and claiming back expenses.

How to quarantine (self-isolate) when you travel to the UK

When you enter or return to the UK you may need to quarantine (self-isolate). Find out what you need to do. 

The Test to Release scheme

If you have been in a country or territory on the amber list in the 10 days before you arrive in England you must quarantine for 10 days on arrival.

If you choose the Test to Release scheme

  • You can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test.
  • You cannot take a test until you have been in England for 5 full days.
  • If the result is negative, you can stop self-isolating.
  • You cannot be refunded for the cost of this scheme.

If you do not choose the Test to Release scheme

NHS COVID-19 app

Download the official NHS contact tracing app to know when you’re at risk from Coronavirus and to alert your loved ones, and your community.

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