UK Government Lifts ‘All But Essential’ Travel Advice For India

On Tuesday, August 17, the UK government updated its official travel advisory for India, lifting all but essential travel advice. On August 8, the UK moved India from its red list travel ban to its amber list. Now, however, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advisory has been updated to coincide with the easing of the rules.  

“Following the peak of India’s second COVID-19 wave in May, pressure on the Indian health care system has lifted, as the number of COVID-19 cases has fallen,” the FCDO update read

“A limited number of flights between India and the UK continue to operate. To book tickets and to see important guidance prior to travel you should check airline websites,” it noted. 

“Before you travel, check the ‘Entry Requirements’ section for India’s current entry restrictions and requirements. These may change with little warning. Monitor this advice for the latest updates and stay in contact with your travel provider,” it said. 

With the update, travellers are now better placed on their travel insurance options. 

The UK has recently reduced the cost of Covid-19 tests for international students from countries on the amber list. While all arriving passengers had to pay 88 pounds per test, travellers from India will now have to pay 68 pounds (USD 94).  

If passengers returning from Green list or Amber list countries like India are fully vaccinated, they will be required to pay 20 pounds (USD 27) less per Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. The PCR test has to be taken on or before the second day after the traveller arrives in England. 

For passengers arriving from Amber list destinations, even if they are not fully vaccinated, the price of the two tests would fall from 170 pounds to 136 pounds (USD 235 to USD 188).  

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) confirmed that the reduction in price does not affect arrivals from Red list countries or a test purchased from a private provider.   

The National Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace provide Coronavirus tests for international travel. However, unlike normal lateral flow tests (LFT) or PCR for individuals with symptoms, these tests are paid for.  

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