Travelling home internationally while COVID-19 restrictions apply

We know that COVID-19 and travel restrictions have made international travel more difficult for members of our community who live outside the UK.

You may be making complex decisions about whether you can or should travel outside the UK. You may need to conside travel restrictions at your destination or on return to Leeds. This page provides information and support for students who are considering travelling out of the UK to the place that they normally live when not studying in Leeds.  

  • If you are a student currently outside of the UK preparing to travel or return to Leeds, you can find useful information on our arriving page. 

  • If you are a student travelling internationally for study abroad or a placement, please view the latest advice on our coronavirus website

Students in the UK considering travelling home internationally 

Here are some important things to consider when deciding to travel and planning your trip. 

Is international travel permitted/recommended by the UK government? 

Official travel advice to and from the UK is being regularly updated. You must follow the latest UK government guidance on international travel. Since 17 May there are no legal restrictions on leaving England to travel internationally. However, if you plan to return to the UK, there are different rules for entering England depending on which country you will be returning from.

You should also check any restrictions in the country you are travelling to. For example, you may require evidence of a negative COVID-19 test and you may need to undertake a period of self-isolation in that country. 

Check with your airline what is required from passengers arriving at your destination. You can also contact your national embassy in the UK for information about travelling home. 

We also recommend that you check any restrictions relating to travel insurance.

COVID-19 testing for international travel  

Depending on the rules in place at your destination, you may need proof of a negative COVID-19 test. You must check the testing requirements for your airline and your destination. It is likely that you will require a PCR test. You can search online for private COVID-19 PCR testing in Leeds. The tests provided for free on campus are Lateral Flow tests so cannot be used to to meet these requirements. It is not possible to get a free COVID-19 PCR test from the NHS for international travel purposes. 

Travelling safely within the UK 

If you decide to travel home, follow government safer travel advice while in the UK to ensure you are travelling safely. You must not travel if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

You must follow all safety guidance even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Possible changes to requirements for returning to England after your visit home

If you are thinking about travelling out of the UK and planning to return, you should consider the UK government requirements for people arriving in England. There is a ‘traffic light system’ for international travel, and you must follow the rules when returning to England depending on whether you return from a red, amber or green list country. 

You should also be aware that these requirements could change while you are away, which could make it more difficult or expensive for you to return to the UK. 

For further information about returning to Leeds and how we can support you, visit our travel and arriving pages.   

If you need support 

If you have questions about travelling from or to the UK, you can contact internationalwelcome@leeds.ac.uk  

We understand that you may also need other support due to the different impacts of international travel restrictions.  

Financial Pressure and Hardship 

We understand that many students are experiencing unexpected costs related to COVID-19. If these costs are causing you financial pressure, contact LUU Help and Support for advice about sources of hardship funding

If you are unable / decide not to travel home internationally during the vacation period 

We understand that you may feel disappointed or isolated if you are unable to travel home during the University’s vacation period. However, there is lots of support available for students who will be staying in Leeds over the vacation. You can find out more about what the University is doing to support you during the vacation on our Summer in Leeds webpage

If you need advice about your visa 

If you need advice about how travelling internationally or staying in the UK affects your visa, visit our coronavirus visas and travel page

View our further information about how we can support you