Last Updated: October 14, 2020
Like the rest of the world, the UK has paid a heavy price. And as a foreword from the Prime Minister: We will remember 2020 as the year we were hit, along with all other nations, by a previously unknown and remorseless foe. The United Kingdom reopened its borders to welcome international tourists as of June 8, 2020. All visitors flying from other countries will be able to enter the UK with strict new quarantine measures set by the UK government.
An air corridor will soon become open between London and New York. Authorities in both the UK and the USA are discussing the possibility of allowing air travel between the two major cities with no restrictions in order to facilitate the movement of people during the holidays. The plan could be effective by Thanksgiving so people could easily reunite with their loved ones. Although quarantine requirements will be lifted for Americans entering the UK once this plan will be rolled out, all travelers will be tested for Covid-19 before their flight and again upon arrival.
Who Can Enter the UK?
All travelers, resident, and tourists traveling into the UK from any country must provide their journey and contact details. Anyone who failed to do this before arrival might take them longer to enter the UK. That is to say, all travelers who can travel to the UK pre-COVID can now travel back there again.
Please note that you may be fined up to up to £100 if you refuse to provide your contact details. You may be fined more if you break this rule more than once. You may also be fined up to £1,000 if you refuse to self-isolate, or you could face further action.
October 2, 2020 update: Starting October 3, travelers arriving from Turkey, Poland, and the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius, and Saba will need to quarantine for 14 days. Authorities have also increased the fines for travelers who fail to isolate, from £3,200 to £10,000.
Here are the countries that can enter the UK:
Is There A Mandatory Quarantine?
Yes, there is. When you arrive in the UK, you shouldm’t leave the place where you’re staying for the first 14-days you’re in the UK. Not unless you are arriving from an exempt country. But you should follow separate advice if whether you need to self-isolate in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. This is because there are different self-isolation rules and penalties depending on whether where you are traveling to.
You’ll still need to self-isolate if you’ve been to or made a ‘transit stop’ in the previous 14 days in any country that is not on the list. A ‘transit stop’ is a stop where passengers can get on or off a coach, ferry, train, or plane. Your ticket should say if a stop is a transit stop.
However, these measures do not apply to travelers entering England or Northern Ireland and it is unclear whether either they will remove these additional areas from their own lists of quarantine-exempt countries over the coming days.
September 8 update: On Sept. 4, Scotland and Wales updated their entry restrictions for travelers from certain countries. They require travelers coming from mainland Portugal, Gibraltar, French Polynesia, and the Greek islands of Crete, Mykonos, Zakynthos (Zante), Lesbos, Paros, and Antiparos to self-isolate for 14 days upon the arrival.
September 11 update: Travelers coming from mainland Portugal, Hungary, French Polynesia, and Reunion should self-isolate for 14 days on arrival starting 0400 on Sept. 12. The restriction does not apply to travelers arriving from the Portuguese islands of Madeira or the Azores. As of the same time, travelers arriving from Sweden will no longer require to self-isolate upon arrival.
“Safe Corridors” Country List Exempt From Quarantine
Travelers who have spent the last 14 days in any of these countries are exempt from the quarantine requirement
September 19 update: Effective Sept. 19, authorities in England will require international travelers from mainland Slovenia and Guadeloupe to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival due to the increasing COVID-19 activity in those countries. On the same day, travelers arriving from Singapore and Thailand will no longer self-isolate upon arrival.
Who Is Exempt From Providing Details or Self-Isolation?
You do not need to complete the form or self-isolate if you’re traveling from one of the following places, and you were there for 14 days or more:
- the Channel Islands
- the Isle of Man
What Other Measures Have Been Put In Place?
The government guidance says all flight passengers should remain at least 2m (6ft) apart from other people wherever possible and consider wearing a face covering. People traveling through Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands airports should cover their faces and wear gloves.
What Is Open in the UK?
- Indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor gyms, indoor sports courts and facilities, indoor swimming pools.
- All indoor and outdoor hospitality including cafes, bars, pubs, and restaurants.
- Hotels, hostels, and bed and breakfast.
- Hair salons, barbers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning booths, massage parlors, tattoo parlors, body & skin-piercing services.
- Cinemas, theaters, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks & activities
- Museums and galleries.
- Amusement arcades and other entertainment centers.
- Indoor and outdoor attractions at aquariums, zoos, safari parks, farms, wildlife centers & any place where animals are shown to the public as an attraction.
- Indoor and outdoor areas of visitor attractions including, gardens, heritage sites, film studios & landmarks.
- Places of worship.
- Pubs and restaurants will reopen but for table service only.
The government is requiring everyone to follow social distancing measures. As per the law, travelers should wear face coverings in the following settings: shops, supermarkets, indoor transport hubs, indoor shopping centers, banks, building societies, post offices, and on public transport.
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