Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19): jobs that qualify for travel exemptions

Border Force

January 18
04:00 2021


Jobs that will no longer qualify for travel exemptions

As of 4am Monday 18 January 2021 the following jobs no longer qualify for travel exemptions:

  • advertising productions
  • business directors bringing jobs and investment to the UK
  • journalists
  • National Lottery
  • performing arts professionals
  • television production
  • high-end television production and film
  • ornamental horticulture workers

Jobs that qualify for travel exemptions

To help protect the country from coronavirus, people entering the UK must:

Some people dont have to take a COVID test or fill in a passenger locator form or self-isolate on arrival in the UK, because of the jobs they do.

This guidance lists the jobs that qualify for an exemption and tells people:

  • if they need to self-isolate
  • if they need to complete a passenger locator form
  • if they need to take a coronavirus test before travelling to the UK
  • any conditions they will need to meet or evidence they will need to show

Travel corridors

Travel corridors are suspended from 4am Monday 18 January.

Anyone who is not exempt, arriving in the UK after 4am on Monday 18 January will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

Restrictions in the UK

Once in the UK you must follow any local or national restrictions:


This guidance provides a high level summary of the international travel regulations.

Published 22 May 2020
Last updated 18 January 2021 +show all updates
  1. Eight categories of jobs removed from exemptions.

  2. Added information on which jobs will no longer qualify for an exemption.

  3. All arrivals from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela must self-isolate.

  4. Exemptions for COVID tests to enter England added.

  5. All arrivals from Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe must self-isolate.

  6. Reference to Euratom removed from relevant exemption.

  7. All arrivals from South Africa must self-isolate.

  8. Exemption for essential high-speed rail workers added.

  9. Requirement to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in UK replaced by 10 day requirement.

  10. Exemptions added for certain senior executives, journalists, newly signed elite sportspersons, performing arts professionals, television production.

  11. Specialist technical workers - subsea telecommunications infrastructure added to list.

  12. Exemption for seasonal poultry workers added.

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