As hosts of COP26 we recognise the world must urgently come together – in person and inclusively – to agree on action to tackle climate change. We are working tirelessly to deliver a safe, successful COP26 and are really looking forward to welcoming all of you.
This document provides the detailed information that all UNFCCC registered COP participants (including party, observer, media and international organisations) need in order to plan their journeys to Glasgow. We know how important clarity is, so we hope it provides the reassurance and level of clarity required to plan your travel to COP26.
Separate guidance for those attending the World Leaders’ Summit (WLS) and for those who have been invited to both the WLS and COP26 will be provided through diplomatic channels.
The safety and security of everyone at COP26 and in the surrounding community is of the utmost importance. We showed at the G7 this summer that, with the right precautions, it is possible to safely run in-person events and we have therefore put a comprehensive set of Covid-19 mitigation measures in place. They include strongly recommending that everyone coming to COP is fully vaccinated, a bespoke test, trace and isolate regime, social distancing, face coverings and enhanced hygiene/ventilation. Everyone coming to COP26 has an important role to play in keeping themselves, their fellow participants and the community safe.
The UNFCCC COP26 Code of Conduct defines the behaviour expected before departing to England or Scotland and throughout the event in terms of Covid-19 safety, and to ensure a fair and inclusive event. Breaches of the Code of Conduct risk the safety of everyone and as such will be taken very seriously; if serious breaches occur those involved will not be permitted further access to the event and/or criminal prosecutions will be pursued.
The COP26 travel regime is a specific set of protocols put in place to protect public health in England and Scotland during the pandemic. The UK and Scottish Governments have both amended legislation on their travel regimes for COP26, and will recognise, uniquely for the COP26 summit, all Covid-19 vaccines. These changes will help ensure an inclusive summit and can be done safely as a result of the comprehensive set of Covid-19 measures in place for COP26. We all need to work together to keep numbers at COP26 to the minimum that is
essential – we ask each and every delegation, organisation and individual coming to consider carefully if they are essential.
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to evolve, we will keep our Covid-19 measures for COP26 under constant review. Whilst we will try to avoid last minute changes, if they prove necessary we will update you on our website as quickly as is possible.
The COP26 specific travel regime only applies to people who have been registered to attend COP26; have had confirmation of their registration from the UNFCCC secretariat; have confirmed compliance with the health protocols; and have received written confirmation from the UK Government that the COP26 travel regime applies to them (this includes, but is not limited to, members of party delegations, accredited observers, media, speakers and international organisations). Registration is via the UNFCCC website. For anyone travelling in order to attend COP26 Fringe Events, including the Green Zone, COY16 and protest marches, the normal regulations apply. The normal rules are available for England and Scotland on the linked websites.
Summary of Travel Rules
The UK travel regime is based on assessments of the Covid-19 risk in each country and territory alongside wider public health factors. Travellers can sign up for email alerts here to be notified of updates to the regime in England. Travellers are also reminded to check the COP26 website for updates to ensure they understand the latest entry requirements and Covid-19 rules.
The requirements for people entering England and Scotland under the special arrangements for COP26 differ depending on whether they:
● have been in a red listed country or territory in the 10-days immediately prior to their arrival into England or Scotland. (The current red list for England is here, and for Scotland is here.)
● are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, noting that those under 18 and those who have participated in Covid-19 clinical trials will be treated as if they were fully vaccinated. (All Covid-19 vaccines are acceptable for the purposes of COP26.)
● have been invited, by the UK Government, to both the World Leaders Summit and COP26. (Separate guidance will be provided through diplomatic channels in this case.)
To support these rules, the UK Government :
● will recognise all Covid-19 vaccines for the purposes of attending COP26 (participants will need to state their vaccination status through the UNFCCC registration process and, where applicable, on their passenger locator form)
● will provide a confirmation letter via the UNFCCC portal which participants can
provide to their travel operator and/or UK Border Force to help facilitate their travel
● will provide required PCR or LFD tests except for the Pre-Departure test required before entering the UK and any testing required to exit the UK and onward travel. which will need to be organised and paid for by attendees themselves
● will fund all required Managed Quarantine Service stays for those (vaccinated or unvaccinated) who would otherwise find it difficult to attend COP, including :
○ all Registered COP participants from the Global South;
○ all Registered COP participants who are observer, non-state actors, media and representatives of international organisations; and
○ all registered party participants who are from developing countries on the red list.
This does not apply to anyone who is not a UNFCCC registered COP26 participant, including those people travelling to attend fringe events or the climate march.
More detail on each of these measures can be found in the following sections – please ensure you read and understand them fully alongside the COP26 Code of Conduct which will be available on our website in due course.