Quarantine information and support

We're looking forward to welcoming you to Manchester and we want to make the transition from your home country to the UK as easy as possible.

We've put together some useful information around quarantine, terms you might be hearing, what you will have access to once you're here and how we'll support you.

Quarantine and testing

We understand that you may have questions about quarantine requirements and arrival arrangements.

Please familiarise yourself with the UK government guidance on travel which categorises travellers according to their country of origin and COVID-19 vaccination status. This advice continues to be subject to review, and new rules can take effect at short notice. We'll keep this page updated as much as we can but you should always check the UK government guidance when preparing to travel. 

The rules for international travel to England have now changed from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world.

  • All travellers from red list countries, regardless of vaccination status, will still have to enter mandatory quarantine.
  • The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status. 

University discount for PCR testing

The University has negotiated a discount with an approved provider to help Manchester students with PCR testing requirements. The package from Regenerative Labs, one of the government’s approved test providers, provides:

  • a dedicated portal to book your test package prior to departure;
  • a significant discount on the range of test packages you may require (day two and eight; day two, five and eight; TTR tests);
  • wrap-around services for the delivery and collection of tests, for your convenience.

Arrivals from red list countries

If you're travelling from a designated red list country, you must follow the rules below if you are:

  • fully vaccinated
  • partially vaccinated
  • not vaccinated

If you've been in a country or territory on the red list in the last ten days, you'll only be allowed to enter the UK  if you're a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the UK.

Before you travel to England, you must:

Quarantine in a managed hotel

When you arrive, you must quarantine in a managed hotel. Quarantine for students domiciled in, and travelling from or via designated red list countries will be managed directly by the government in designated red list hotels (Managed Quarantine Service MQS).

You'll need to book your place through the government booking portal and we'll reimburse the cost of a required quarantine stay (11 nights, ten full days) in government red list hotel accommodation for University of Manchester students.

We strongly recommend that you travel with enough time to undertake the maximum quarantine period (ten days) before the latest start date for your course. For courses without a remote study option, any quarantine must have been completed before their latest start date/latest acceptance date (as advised on your CAS). This means you must be in Manchester, fully registered and able to physically attend classes.

Arrivals from non-red list countries who are fully vaccinated

The below guidance is for those travelling from a non-red list country who:

  • have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days:
  • are under an approved vaccination programme in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas;
  • have had a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) is also recognised;
  • are under a formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in the US, Canada and Australia and have a proof of participation (digital or paper-based) from a public health body.

You must:

  • book and pay for a day two COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England;
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive;
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day two after you arrive.

You don't need to:

  • take a pre-departure test;
  • take a day eight COVID-19 test;
  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for ten days after you arrive.

You must be able to prove that you've been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum:

  • forename and surname(s);
  • date of birth;
  • vaccine brand and manufacturer;
  • date of vaccination for every dose;
  • country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer.

If your document from a public health body doesn't include all of these, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied boarding.

If you're fully vaccinated in the US, you'll also need to prove that you're a resident of the US.

If you're fully vaccinated but don't qualify under these fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules.

Arrivals from non-red list countries who aren't fully vaccinated

You must follow these rules if you:

  • don't qualify under the fully vaccinated rules;
  • are partially vaccinated;
  • aren't vaccinated.

Before you travel to England you must:

After you arrive in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for ten days;
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day two and on or after day eight;
  • you may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

We strongly advise that you familiarise yourself with the current government guidance.

Supporting you through quarantine

If you need to quarantine you'll be able to access our Welcome provision online and details of the Students Union provision (including the opportunity to be paired with a Buddy).

We hope you'll take advantage of a number of activities intended to help support you.

These peer to peer activities, popular with students last year, are offered to help you make friends and keep in touch, even if you need to quarantine or self-isolate.

If you're living in University Halls, you'll receive a check in call from your Residential Tutor as part of your arrival process.

Late applications for University accommodation may be accepted on an exceptional basis. Please contact accommodation@manchester.ac.uk.

Under 18 travel and start dates

If you're under the age of 18, there are certain things you need to consider when organising your travel to the UK.

Under 18 travel to the UK in October 2021

If you're under the age of 18 and need to travel to the UK, you might be concerned about getting here in October 2021, before your latest start date.

Non-red list country under 18 arrivals

According to UK government guidance if you're arriving from a non-red list country as an under 18 UK citizen (or a citizen from one of the 50 countries the UK recognises vaccination status), regardless of whether you're vaccinated or not, you'll be treated in the same way as a fully vaccinated UK adult citizen. This means that you:

  • won't have to do a pre-travel test before travelling to the UK;
  • won't have to self-isolate on arrival;
  • will have to take a day two test after arriving (currently a PCR test, but Lateral Flow Tests will be accepted by the end of October 2021).

Red list country under 18 arrivals

If you're arriving from a red list country and are under 18, you must: 

  • secure a negative COVID-19 test result three days before you travel;
  • complete a ten day period of quarantine upon arrival in the UK;
  • book and pay for a day two and day eight COVID-19 test package to be taken during your quarantine after arrival;
  • complete a passenger locator form with details of where you will quarantine, when you will arrive, and the travel test package booking number. 

You can complete the quarantine period in a Managed Quarantine Hotel or with a host family in the UK (the whole household will also have to quarantine for this period).

If it isn't possible for someone with responsibility for the minor to travel with them, the parent, guardian or appropriate adult will need to notify DHSC by emailing: MQS_new_Exemptions@dhsc.gov.uk at least 14 days before the date of travel, and request a specific exemption for them to travel alone. Exemptions will only be provided in exceptional circumstances.

In general, a child won't be able to travel alone unless the parent, guardian or appropriate adult already in the UK can enter managed quarantine with them on their arrival. Adults completing the booking on behalf of a child they have responsibility for should include details of an appropriate adult who will be in the UK who is designated to enter managed quarantine.

Please note that The University of Manchester support package for quarantine costs would only cover the child/student. 

We'll be monitoring changes in the coding of countries as this is reviewed by the government on an ongoing basis.   


If you're unable to travel/start the course then we can consider deferring your place to a September 2022 start date. We ask applicants in this situation to discuss their application and personal situation with their Admissions Team within the relevant academic School or Department at the earliest opportunity.

Under 18 and starting your course in the autumn

If you're under the age of 18 and need to travel to the UK, you might be concerned about whether you can start your course in autumn 2021.

This will depend on your individual circumstances: 

  • where you turn 18 between now and your start date;
  • whether you can travel to the UK and quarantine;
  • if your course has told you that they have a remote study option until January then you may want to take up that option. You may need to bear in mind that there may still be travel restrictions (including for under 18s) later in the year. 


If you're unable to travel/start the course then we can consider deferring your place to a September 2022 start date. We ask applicants in this situation to discuss their application and personal situation with their admissions team within the relevant academic School or Department at the earliest opportunity.

Other COVID information

Get a COVID-19 vaccine in the UK

You do not need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel to the UK. However we strongly encourage you, if possible, to have one or both doses of the vaccine in your home country. 

Everybody in the UK aged 16 or over is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. This means that if you need to get your second dose or both doses once you arrive, it will be free and available for you.

COVID-19 medical treatment

There is no charge to international students or overseas visitors for COVID-19 testing, even if the result is negative. There is also no charge for any COVID-19 treatment provided if the result is positive or up to the point that it is negatively diagnosed. The same is true of most other infectious diseases.

A guide to COVID terms

We've put together a glossary of terms to help you understand some of the language being used in the UK around COVID-19:

  • Quarantine – a period of isolation on arrival in the UK following international travel.
  • Self-isolation – a period of isolation in response to developing symptoms of COVID-19 or following close contact with an infected person (related to NHS COVID-19 app).
  • Household – people living within the same house or flat.
  • Social distancing – maintaining the following basic practices to minimise the spread of COVID-19: hand washing and sanitising; 2 metre distancing from others; and face coverings.
  • Red list – UK government travel classification of countries with different rules for entry to the UK.
  • Lateral Flow Test (LFT) – a quick self-test for antibodies to be used if you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • PCR test – a more accurate test to be taken if you do have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Single/double vaccinated – this refers to whether a person has had a first dose or both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine such as the Astra Zeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
  • ‘Ping’/’Pinged’ – receipt of a notification from the NHS COVID-19 Track and Trace app asking you to self-isolate following close contact with an infected person.

Study arrangements for Semester 1

Depending on the course you will be joining at Manchester, there may or may not be an option for you to study remotely from outside the UK. For example, it will not be possible for you to study remotely if you are joining a course related to science, engineering, biology, medicine or health subjects due to laboratory, examination and accreditation requirements.

  • Your academic School will send further information about this to you, however if you have any questions, you can contact the School directly using our search tool.

The latest arrival date in the UK to qualify for the UK government’s Graduate Immigration Route visa is 6 April 2022.