UPDATE: The current national lockdown in England means both domestic and overseas holidays are banned. Travel is only allowed for business and education reasons. After December 2, overseas travel from England will once again be permitted, if not exactly encouraged.
Over the past few months, you likely will have heard about the UK’s ‘air bridges’ for quarantine-free travel to around 70 countries. For anyone eager to get out and explore the world again, it sounds like the stuff of lockdown-induced dreams.
Look closer at the details, however, and your options don’t seem quite so expansive. Just because the UK has opened up a ‘travel corridor’ with a country – removing a mandatory self-quarantine period on arrival back to the UK, and revoking the official advice against travel – doesn’t mean you’re welcome there.
In fact, in many cases, countries on the UK’s safe-travel list still have their borders closed to international visitors and no flights available. In other places, you’re free to travel but you’ll still face a 14-day quarantine on arrival.
So the question is: where can you actually go, and not have to quarantine either when you land or when you return home? Here are all the countries and territories currently open to UK travellers, along with information on flights, testing, and health and accommodation forms you may have to fill out.
(An up-to-date list of UK ‘travel corridors’ can be found here. But remember that, as in the case of Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Belgium, France and Turkey, the British government may choose to reimpose restrictions at a few hours’ notice, meaning you could still have to quarantine when you get home. Note also that rules may differ slightly for travellers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.)
Antigua and Barbuda
This Caribbean archipelago is allowing in Brits, but you must complete an accommodation form in advance and a ‘health declaration’ form on the flight, as well as provide a negative test result from within seven days of arrival. British Airways is running direct flights.
As of November 28, Brits can travel to Aruba without having to quarantine on their return home. To avoid having to self-isolate on the Caribbean island, all visitors have to do is provide a negative test result from within the past 72 hours, buy Aruba’s own health insurance policy, and fill out this form. There are no direct flights.
The British overseas territory is allowing in UK visitors, but you must first apply for a ‘travel authorisation’. You must present this, alongside a negative test result from within the past 72 hours, when you land. Further PCR tests will take place at the airport on arrival. You must then self-quarantine while waiting for the results. BA has restarted direct flights.
You must fill out a ‘health declaration’ form before departure and present a negative test result from within the past 72 hours on arrival. There are no direct flights.
Dubai is now welcoming British travellers without any major restrictions. All visitors are required to fill out a ‘health declaration’ form and provide valid health insurance on arrival. You will also have to present a negative PCR test result from within the past 96 hours, or take a test at the airport. Several airlines are already running direct flights.
Greece (but only the islands of Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos)
As of November 14, mainland Greece and most of its islands will be removed from the ‘travel-corridor’ list. Brits will only be able to visit Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos without having to self-isolate on their return. All visitors to Greece, including British travellers, are now subject to random testing at ports and airports. If chosen, you will then have to move directly on to your accommodation, where you will be required to quarantine for 14 days in the event of a positive result. You must also fill out this ‘passenger locator’ form before you leave, and provide a negative test result from within the past 72 hours on arrival. Most flights have been cancelled due to England’s nationwide lockdown.
Iceland (but only if you’ve already had Covid-19)
Arrivals from the European Economic Area (including the UK) can now enter the country freely, with only one requirement: they’ll need to provide evidence that they’ve previously had, and recovered from, Covid-19. Otherwise, you’ll have to be tested at the border, then have to quarantine for five days before being tested again on the sixth day. No direct flights are currently running, but they may start again in December.
As of October 25, the Maldives is now on the UK’s ‘travel-corridor’ list. All international visitors must present a negative test result from within 96 hours of arrival. British Airways is already running direct flights.
There are no quarantine restrictions for tourists. All arrivals are expected to present a negative test result from within the past 72 hours, and will also have to take a second test after a few days. There are no direct flights.
There are no quarantine restrictions. All travellers will, however, be required to bring a negative test result from within the past five days, and take another test on arrival and self-isolate while awaiting the results. There are no direct flights.
Spain (but only the Canary Islands)
As of October 25, the Canary Islands have been back on the UK’s ‘travel-corridor’ list. From November 14, you will need to provide a negative test result on arrival when checking into accommodation. Several airlines are already running direct flights.
Brits arriving on the Caribbean island must provide a negative test result from within the past week. There will be further temperature checks at the airport, and you must spend your entire stay at an ‘authorised’ hotel. BA is running direct flights from London.
Turks and Caicos Islands
As of November 14, the British overseas territory will be added to the UK’s ‘travel-corridor’ list. You will have to provide a negative test result from within the past five days on arrival, along with valid health insurance and a completed ‘travel authorisation’ form. There are no direct flights.
Remember, many countries are still warning against all non-essential travel and some are quarantining all overseas arrivals, including their own returning citizens. Check all the relevant restrictions before you think about travelling.