Studying in the UK and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Studying in the UK and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for International Students

If you are an international student interested in UK study and need advice and support throughout this unprecedented period, please read below for the latest information.

SI-UK is closely monitoring local conditions and government advice in the UK, as well as across all our global offices. If you need to speak to someone, please reach out to our team on 020-7287-7040 or arrange a free online consultation with SI-UK London today.

Study UK and Coronavirus Updates

  • Last update: 11th October, 2021.

- International Student Vaccine Priority in the UK

International students in the UK are able to access vaccinations as they are rolled out across the country, meaning you may receive the vaccine quicker in the UK than your home country and will be protected when returning home.

Full guidance released by NHS England confirmed that the COVID-19 vaccination is now being offered to everyone aged 16 or over in the UK for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. Once you have registered with a local GP in the UK, you can book your COVID-19 vaccination.

- Red List Removal

Throughout September and October, more countries have been removed from the UK Red List for international travel, including:

  • Afghanistan
  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)
  • Costa Rica
  • Cuba
  • Egypt
  • Kenya
  • Mexico
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Indonesia
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Paraguay
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Thailand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Uganda
  • Uruguay
  • Zambi
  • Zimbabwe

- England's COVID-19 Travel Rules Simplified

The UK government has announced that from 4am Monday 4th October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system previously used. Two lists will now be used to classify travellers, low-risk and red list.

From October 4th, vaccinated passengers arriving from low-risk countries will be permitted to take a cheaper lateral flow test, rather than the privately administered PCR lab tests now required. Unvaccinated travellers from low-risk countries will be required to take a pre-departure test, plus PCR tests on day two and day eight, and to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival.

If students are travelling from a country not on the red list, what they need to do depends on whether they're fully vaccinated against COVID-19 under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas.

If students are fully vaccinated, they must: 

  • Take a COVID-19 test on or before your second day arriving in the UK 
  • Complete a passenger locator form within 48 hours of arriving 

If students are not fully vaccinated, they must: 

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

The latest red list countries can be found here.

- UK Universities to Cover Quarantine Costs

For international students who need to complete a period of quarantine in managed hotel accommodation, a number of UK universities have announced they will reimburse the 10-day hotel quarantine and testing fees. Speak to an SI-UK consultant to learn more.

- UK Vaccine Rollout

The COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is amongst the best in the world and the UK is expected to be one of the first countries to be fully vaccinated.

- UK Restrictions Lifted

On July 19th the UK government removed almost all COVID-19 restrictions in England, meaning an end to social distancing measures and caps on the numbers of people allowed to meet. Since then, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have also followed with a similar lifting of restrictions.

- Online Consultations

If you would like to discuss your current application with one of our consultants, or have any questions about COVID-19 and its implications for UK study, we welcome one-to-one Skype/Zoom calls with our team who will be happy to help. Alternatively, you can call us on 020-7287-7040.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQ

The below list of questions and answers will be updated when new information is released from the UK government and UK universities.

Students that have been issued a visa and decide not to travel, must inform the institution they are due to attend so their visa status can be updated. Should students wish to defer their studies, they would need to apply for a new visa as their current visa would not cover the full period of study for the next course.

UK universities are currently making plans that will cover all potential scenarios for the coming academic year. Many campuses will be open, but hybrid learning will continue to take place, with face-to-face tuition and digital lectures and seminars allowing social distancing guidelines to be followed.

UK universities and SI-UK are accepting applications as normal in preparation for January and September intake.

There will be no changes to how scholarships are allocated and many UK universities are currently finalising revised scholarship plans for future entry.


 My consultant was very helpful and motivating. She helped me every step of the way, even when the deadline was so close. I feel I could not have done it without her. I'd highly recommend this service to any and all of my many friends interested.  

Brishti Basu Biosciences at Coventry University

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  • manchester
  • University of Birmingham
  • sheffield
  • southampton
  • manchester
  • exeter
  • cardiff
  • warwick
  • loughborough
  • edinburgh
  • bristol
  • lancaster
  • durham
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  • sussex
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