The lifting of travel restrictions has been promised for over a week, but this afternoon the government announced a list of 59 countries the are now exempt from a 14 day quarantine, when arriving in the UK.
If you are returning to, or visiting England from destinations that have a reduced risk of re-importing coronavirus, then you will no longer need to self isolate for 14 days upon your return.
This new rule change, comes into effect from Friday 10th July (a week today).
The 59 Countries are as follows:
|Antigua and Barbuda||Greece||Norway|
|Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba||Italy||Spain|
|Curaçao||Japan||St Kitts and Nevis|
|Czech Republic||Lithuania||St Pierre and Miquelon|
|Faroe Islands||Malta||Trinidad and Tobago|
|French Polynesia||New Caledonia|
Please note that Ireland was already exempt, as part of the common travel area, as are The Channel Islands and The Isle of Man. In addition, the government will be exempting the 14 British Overseas Territories.
This list might be added to over the coming days following further discussions between the UK and international partners.
Please note that if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, information for you will be published in ‘due course’ by the devolved administrators.
Frustratingly there are some notable absences from the list including Portugal, Sweden, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the USA, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Foreign Office Advice
In line with this, the Foreign Office has changed its advisory against ‘all but essential travel’ to a number of countries from tomorrow (4th July). You are now safely able to travel to the below countries, knowing your travel insurance is valid and you would be able to access consular services, should you need them. Slightly confusing however that the two lists do not quite match.
The 67 exemptions are:
- Czech Republic
- France (overseas territories of France are listed separately, where included in the exemption)
- The Netherlands (not including the constituent countries and special municipalities located in the Dutch Caribbean)
- Portugal (only The Azores and Madeira)
- San Marino
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Cayman Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- St Vincent and The Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- Wallis and Futuna
- British Antarctic Territory
And just to confuse us all even more, there are a couple more anomalies.
Australia, New Zealand, Greece and Cyprus are all listed (in both categories), despite these destinations already having made clear they will continue to enforce restrictions on British travellers.
Greece recently extended its UK flight ban until 15 July (so not too long to wait), while Cyprus is barring entry to anyone who has been in the UK in the past 14 days. Australia and New Zealand, meanwhile, are not expected to reopen their borders (to anyone) for some time.
As a travel professional, even I’m finding this a challenge to digest, so it would be no surprise if you are too.
If you would like me to try and help with any clarity on your specific trip that you have booked with Haslemere Travel, or with a trip that you are looking to plan, then please do contact me directly on 01428 658777 or firstname.lastname@example.org. As always I will do my very best to help.
This information is ever evolving, so I will keep updating you, when anything new is announced. Until then, take care.