Updates and guidelines for students interested in studying in the UK

It is important to stay up to date with the latest travel restrictions, guidelines, and updates if you are an international student interested in studying in the UK. This guide summarizes the latest information to provide you with guidance and support during this unprecedented period.

The UK government announced that international travel rules to England have changed starting from Monday 4th October 2021, from the previous red, amber, green system. Currently, travellers are classified into two lists: low-risk and red list. The good news is Sri Lanka and many other countries were recently taken off the UK Red List for international travel.

Since October 4th, vaccinated passengers arriving from low-risk countries will be permitted to take a lateral flow test, instead of the longer and more expensive PCR lab testing previously required.

For students travelling from a country not on the red list (e.g. Sri Lanka), what you need to do depends on whether you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, the US or the UK vaccine programme overseas.

If you are fully vaccinated:

  • On or before your second day in the UK, take the COVID-19 test
  • Within 48 hours of arrival, complete a passenger locator form

If you are not fully vaccinated:

  • Take a pre-departure COVID-19 test the three days before arriving in the UK
  • Take a COVID-19 test on day 2 and day 8 after arrival in the UK
  • Within 48 hours of your arrival, complete a passenger locator form
  • Quarantine at their accommodation for 10 days

UK government has removed all COVID-19 restrictions in England on July 19th, ending social distancing measures and limiting the number of people who could meet. Since then, restrictions have also been lifted in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Update: New Graduate Route

After opening up the Graduate route to applications on 1st July 2021, the UK will be able to retain the brightest and best international students, contributing to society and the economy.
Graduate applicants will not be required to have a job offer to apply for the graduate route. There will be no minimum salary requirements or limitations on the number of applications. Students who complete the route will be able to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their careers as they wish.

The new route will enable the government to meet the goal set out in the International Education Strategy of increasing the number of international students in higher education in the UK to 600,000 by 2030.

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