Airport Transit And COVID: Do I Need To Quarantine?

Do I need to quarantine at my final destination if I transit through an airport? From 15 February, new rules will be implemented for travellers to the UK. With airports and airlines resuming operations after the lockdown, which airports are open to transit passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Check out our latest blog on Airport transit in London hubs and the new quarantine rules.

In this post:

Airport Transit and Quarantine?

There are now a limited number of countries you can visit without quarantine and that are exempt from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice of essential travel only. Visit our blog; “Which countries can you visit without UK quarantine?” for details.

Although countries are starting to open up, we’re still amid a global COVID-19 pandemic. Some airports are still closed to transiting passengers (e.g. Singapore is still restricting passengers transiting through the airport)… and if you’re transiting through a few hubs, you will need to self-quarantine on arrival into the UK or go to a government-managed quarantine facility (e.g. arriving from Doha – a major transit hub). We’ve outlined which airports you can airport transit from without quarantine on arrival and which ones are accepting transit passengers in this article.

Visit our page on which countries are OK for UK travellers, for a detailed look at what’s happening with the quarantine rules.

What Are Transit Stops?

A transit stop is where passengers can get on or off, and it can apply to coaches, ferries, trains or flights. If your journey involves a transit stop be sure to check if you need to self-quarantine on arrival. In the UK, if the transit country is not on the list, you will need to self-isolate on your return especially if new passengers get on, or you get off and on again.

Abu Dhabi

Open to transiting passengers. All passengers transiting through Abu Dhabi airport will require a PCR test. It is mandatory to have a COVID-19 PCR test before you fly with Etihad Airways from anywhere outside of Abu Dhabi.

Yes, you must present a negative COVID-19 PCR test result before every Etihad Airways flight. You should take your test 48 or 72 hours before your flight, depending on where you’re flying to or from and your transit time.

Quarantine is mandatory in government designated hotels for all arrivals into the UK from the UAE for British Nationals. Non-British nationals are not allowed to enter the UK as UAE is on England’s ‘red-list’.


Quiet check-in desks during the coronavirus pandemic at Schipol Airport, Amsterdam

Open to transiting passengers.

We travelled through the airport recently and it was quiet and felt closed. The British Airways lounge was closed but you can access other lounges with your Priority Pass.


Entry into Thailand is restricted. The airport remains closed to transiting passengers. Thai passengers can transfer at Bangkok Airport when the transiting time does not exceed 12 hours.

It has relaxed some rules around international passenger flights to operate into Thailand for certain categories including, Thai nationals, foreigners with work permits, students and families of Thai nationals. However, the country remains closed to visitors.


Hamad International Airport is open to transiting passengers.

Qatar Airways is one of the only airlines still flying across the world. Although Doha is closed to visitors, the airport remains open to transiting passengers. Quarantine required in government managed facilities.

Qatar has been added to England’s red list of countries, meaning a ban will be put on commercial and private planes travelling from the red list countries.

We travelled on Qatar Airways through Doha airport earlier in the year, to read about what travelling at the height of the pandemic check out our blog: Qatar Airways Business Class KL to Doha during coronavirus

qatar airways planes
Qatar Airways planes parked at Hamad International Airport


Open to transiting passengers. All transit passengers must obtain a negative COVID-19 certificate before arriving in Dubai.

Dubai is also open to visitors, however, you need a negative PCR certificate issued by the local government approved laboratory. The UAE government has specified designated laboratories on this list.

Quarantine is mandatory in government designated hotels for all arrivals into the UK from the UAE for British Nationals. Non-British nationals are not allowed to enter the UK as UAE is on England’s ‘red-list’.

Frankfurt / Munich

Open to transiting passengers. Quarantine required upon arrival into the UK.

Hong Kong

Open to transit passengers with through tickets only, and your transit must be less than 24 hours. You can only transit on a single booking and have all your boarding passes doing an airside transit.

Passengers starting their journey in the Chinese Mainland are able to transit Hong Kong International Airport provided they meet the above requirements.

Transiting to destinations in the Chinese Mainland remains restricted.


Open to transiting passengers.

Turkey was removed from UK’s travel corridor list, so you’ll be expected to self-isolate for 14 days after transiting through Istanbul.


Open to transit passengers, but you’ll have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival into the UK.

Kuala Lumpur

Open to transiting passengers. You can transit via Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as long as you remain airside. Transiting between the two Kuala Lumpur terminals (KLIA and KLIA 2) if you need to go to airside and not have a one through ticket. No quarantine required on arrival into the UK.

London or the UK

Open to transiting passengers, but you need to provide a negative COVID test before you can transit through the airport. For further details of transiting through London read our dedicated blog “Can I transit through London during COVID?”

If you’re transiting airside you won’t need to self-isolate as you are only transiting via the UK. All arrivals will need to complete a passenger locator form.

There are 2 types of transiting:

  • ‘airside’ – you do not pass through UK border control before you leave on your connecting journey
  • ‘landside’ – you do pass through UK border control, but come back through it and leave the UK within a short amount of time (usually 24 hours)

For landside transits, you must complete a passenger locator form which the UK border controls may request upon entry into the UK. If you’re arriving from a country, not on the UK travel corridor list, you’ll be expected to quarantine for the duration of your stopover/layover (e.g. in hotels or if you’re visiting relatives). You are allowed to travel to and back from the airport.

Visiting a red-list country in the last 10 days means you can’t transit or enter the UK. The full list of countries are on the UK government website.

The UK’s government on self-isolating with transit stops

Quarantining when you arrive in the UK

If you’re travelling to England, and aren’t arriving from a red-list country, you must:

  • take 2 coronavirus tests after you arrive in England – you’ll need to book these before you travel
  • either quarantine in the place you’re staying or in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days when you arrive in England


Restrictions apply. Based on the current rules you are not allowed to enter Spain unless you’re a Spanish national or work or live in Spain.

Transiting for less than 24 hours to an international destination and staying in the international zone (air-side) of the airport is permitted. You should have one ticket and not pass border control for this to be permitted. All flights from UK, Brazil and South Africa are restricted, unless you are a national or resident of Spain.


Singapore Changi Airport

Restrictions apply for transiting passengers. Open to transit passengers on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flights on specific routes including Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, and London (Heathrow) to any destination to the Singapore airline network. Other countries that are OK include Australia; China; Hong Kong; Japan; New Zealand; South Korea and Taiwan.

Transiting passengers are kept apart. This is to ensure the health and safety of all passengers and staff. Ground staff at Changi Airport will issue passengers with wristbands indicating your designated transit areas. You should not remove the wristbands throughout the time you’re in the transit holding area.

For the latest cities approved for transit flights through Singapore, you can visit the Singapore Airlines website.

The table below shows the permitted transit routes

If you arrive into the UK from Singapore, you won’t need to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

Do Your Research

While we’ve made every effort to ensure we’ve presented accurate information, the situation is changing continually. If you flying and having part of your journey through airport transit be sure to check if you need to quarantine.

We therefore recommend you check directly your home and destination government websites before travelling. For more detailed information about travel to the UK during the COVID pandemic visit:

Got some useful intel that would help us improve this page? Please drop us a comment below.

While you’re here, don’t forget to sign-up to our newsletter and stay up-to-date with our posts on BoardingGroup.One


  1. AvatarTim Reply

    Thanks for the article – I’ve been searching specifically for transit information. Was this article last updated on 17th Sept? Thanks

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hey Tim, yeah, but we do try to keep this blog post updated with the latest info. The situation changes daily so we do encourage you to triple check the latest rules. Where are you planning on transiting to? I can have a look at the latest guidance for you if helpful.

  2. AvatarHolly Randall Reply


    I need to get to Tanzania and may have to go via Doha airport but I’m confused as to whether I must quarantine AT the airport which is what I’m reading, because the Uk is a “risk” country…


    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi Holly,

      If you’re travelling from the UK to Tanzania via Doha, you won’t have to quarantine at Doha Airport. Doha Hamad International Airport is open for transit passengers. Qatar remains closed to international travellers, which means you can’t have a stop-over as you can’t leave the airport, your ticket must check you in all the way through to Tanzania. When you return to the UK via Doha, you’ll be expected to quarantine for 14 days, as Qatar is not exempt from UK’s quarantine list.

      When you arrive into Tanzania, you’ll be subjected to medical screening and you must complete a “Traveler Surveillance Form” and present it to the Port Health Authorities on arrival.

      I hope this helps? Let us know if you have more questions. Our advice would be to call your airline to double-check as well, in case some of the rules may have changed. They seem to be changing daily at the moment.

  3. AvatarKristi zyber Reply

    If I fly from Peru to Turkey and I have a layover in London Heathrow do I need to provid a pcr test? Thanks in advance.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi Kristi, there are currently no restrictions for arrivals from the UK (London Heathrow) to Turkey.

      All passengers travelling into Turkey should follow the rules:
      – All passengers are required to wear masks at the airport and during the flights.
      – All passengers must complete the passenger information form when arriving to Turkey.
      – All passengers will undergo a medical examination and those showing symptoms will have tests performed.
      – Passengers with a positive test result will take medical treatment.

      However, you need to check the rules for travellers from Peru as PCR tests may be required with results conducted at least 72 hours before travel. I would call the airline to confirm, as you may be required to show this before check-in if you have one ticket from Peru to Turkey.

  4. AvatarAtif Khawaja Reply


    I am traveling from Canada to Pakistan and transiting in London, UK for 11 hours. What do I need to check or what I need to do in order to make sure the travel goes as planned?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      It’s best to check with your airline to confirm.
      The current requirements for entry to Pakistan are that you must complete an International Passenger Health Declaration Form which must be presented before departure to Pakistan. As you’re transiting through London, you may have to provide a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) RT-PCR test result. The test must have been taken at most 96 hours before departure. This won’t be required if you’re travelling direct from Canada. Do you have a through ticket (I.e. you’re not leaving the airport in London?)

  5. AvatarSabrina Reply

    Hi, I’m travelling to Barbados from Marseille, France in 10 days and have an overnight layover in London, I arrive in Heathrow from Marseille but my flight for Barbados leave from Gatwick the next day. I will have to leave the airport to spend the night at a airport hotel then go to Gatwick airport to take my flight for Barbados. Am i allowed to do this?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi Sabrina, as you’re leaving the airport and flying from Gatwick you’re considered as an arrival from the UK. The Barbadian authorities will also ask your travel history. The UK has been designated as a high risk country, which means you need the following before arrival
      – a negative PCR COVID-19 test 72 hours before arrival. Failing to show this may mean you are refused boarding and can’t enter the country
      – you will also need to quarantine for 7 days and undergo a health screening on arrival. During your quarantine you’ll be required to do another PCR test 4-5 days after the first

      – you can quarantine at a government facility (free) or your own villa/hotel under strict quarantine
      Hope this helps – if in doubt please call your airline carrier and embassy to confirm the rules.
      Visit the Barbados government website for details of entry to

  6. AvatarSabrina Reply

    Thank you so much for your help! I’m only transiting in BB, my final destination is Bequia, but this time I won’t leave the airport. So as a in transit passenger, I need a negative test which I will need to enter Bequia as well.

  7. AvatarDiana Reply

    Hi I need to get to Spain from Poland with a stopover in Manchester. As the flight is with Ryanair I will have to go back through security I believe. Is this possible?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hello Diana,
      As you’re arriving from Poland (which is not on the UK travel corridor) and you’re going through border controls, you’re expected to quarantine for the entire duration of your stopover (e.g if you have a long layover and heading to a hotel or if you’re visiting friends, you’re expected to remain there until your next flight). You’ll also be expected to complete a UK passenger locator form. If you have booked separately with two airlines where there are no transfer agreements in place, then you will need to reclaim your baggage and check-in at the relevant terminal at Manchester airport. Are you passing border controls and coming back through again? or do you have a longer layover?

  8. AvatarStewart Reply

    I am transiting through Nairobi and Amsterdam. There is no information that I can find if I need a negative Covid test result for transiting through Nairobi. Kenyan Airways is also not available for the information. Does anyone have information to help with this question?

    I know I will have to quarantine, but just not sure about requirements for transiting.

  9. AvatarMichael Reply

    if I come from Moscow to Hithrow and then I will go as the transfer passanger directly to my next flight to Frankfurt? Must I to the quaratine too?

    thank in advance,

  10. AvatarMichala Masarykova Reply

    Hello, I’ll be flying from Istanbul (after having spent around a month in Turkey) to Marrakech with an overnight layover at Stansted airport (late evening arrival from Istanbul and early morning departure from London). Given that people travelling from Turkey need to self-quaranteen, would this apply to me as well even though I wouldn’t be staying in the UK? Will I be able to leave the airport and stay in a hotel next to the airport before flying to Marrakesh the next morning or would I have to spend the night at the airport?

    Many thanks for your advice.


    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi Michala, you’re meant to self-quarantine for the entire time you’re in the UK. You are OK to go to the hotel but according to the rules, you’ll have to remain in your room until your next flight. Hope this helps.

  11. AvatarDominika Reply

    Hello, I’m flying from Prague to Lisbon with transit in London Stansted. I recon it is not mandatory to self-quarantine since I’m only transiting. However Stansted doesn’t have the option to stay in the international transit area like bigger airports do, so I would officially have to cross the UK border. Would that be a problem or is it fine if I show them my connecting flight ticket? Thank you in advance. Dominika

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi Dominika, technically you should complete a passenger locator form before you arrive into the UK. As you’re transiting, you should be OK to move through the airport pass the border controls and check-in again to catch your next flight. If you’re staying in the UK for longer, then expect to self-quarantine while you’re in the UK. Hope this helps.

  12. AvatarEnzo Reply

    Hello! Nice info!

    I plan to travel from Dubai to Buenos Aires, layover in LHR for 8hs, flights not booked yet but would be with BA. I understand that since it is a transit stop with no immigration there won’t be problems. My only concern is the Passenger Locator form. Is that mandatory for transit passengers as well?


    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hello there, you’re right, you can transfer through the airport. As you’re not leaving and going through border controls, you are not expected to complete a passenger locator form. However, if you’re planning on staying in the UK, you’ll have to complete a passenger locator form.

  13. AvatarValerie M Reply

    Hello, I will be flying from Amsterdam to London Gatwick Monday 2/11, but my second flight is on Wednesday 4/11 to Kingston, Jamaica. I didn’t have any other flight option and I can’t do quarantine… Will they let me stay at the airport of London Gatwick for 36 hours to catch my next flight to Kingston? I’m only transiting, I’m not entering the UK. I’m really afraid they gonna deny me on the plane or tell me I need to do quarantine.. Thanks of your answer in advance !

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hey Valerie, you can transit through the airport however if you intend to go through border controls to stay in a hotel at Gatwick, you’re expected to complete a UK passenger locator form and expected to self isolate at the hotel for the entire duration you’re in the UK. Hope this helps.

  14. Avatarjack fandango Reply

    im travelling 4th november from bangkok to london heathrow with qatar airways and transit in doha for about 3 hours .do I need a pcr covid test

  15. Avatarburak Reply

    hi, I am travelling from Riyadh-KSA to Toronto-Canada transitting from Heatrow-London. Do I need any test? or any quarantina in Heatrow. My flight transit duration 4-5 hours not leaving Airport.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hey, as you’re only transiting and not leaving the airport, you’re allowed to stay at the airport and catch your connecting flight.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi there, if you’re transiting and flying straight to Ghana, you won’t need to quarantine at the airport. However, if you’re planning on staying in the UK for less than 14 days as part of you’re transit, then you’re expected to quarantine the entire time you’re in the UK.

      1. AvatarFrank Reply

        Thanks so much…. yes I have a 6 hours layover transfer in London. So no quarantine… I was so worried thanks again 1k

  16. AvatarChiara Reply

    Hi, I’m travelling from Grenada to the UK with a transfer in the US. I’ve applied for the transfer Visa (ESTA), do you know if I need to carry also a negative covid test for the transfer?
    Thank you

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi, with the new UK government rules, you must provide a COVID-19 negative test 72 hours before arrival into the UK. In addition, you need to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival, however, you can shorten to five days if you show another COVID-19 negative test result.

  17. AvatarSergio Reply

    Hi, I plan to go to Dayton in USA from Madrid. However, I have two connections: at heathrow and also at Philadelphia. Would I have to self-quarantine or not? I am not sure if connections are allowed without quarantine. Could I pass the border and then get in again before the flight, I mean without leaving the airport? Thanks!

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Sergio. Because you’re transiting through Heathrow, you will not need to self-isolate and can board your onward flight as arranged. If your connection involves a hotel stay, you will be expected to isolate for the duration of your stay in the hotel until you return to the airport for your onward flight. For Philadelphia, you’ll need have an ESTA for your transit and destination, and be mindful that you may be ask to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test at any US entry point.

  18. AvatarChristine Jonas Reply

    Hello… VA flight from Antigua to London Heathrow is on the 25th of November as they are still flying… I will land at 10am…. I then have a one way flight from heathrow to Funchal at 2pm same day with a lay over in Portugal of 14hrs…i do not plan to leave the airport….will I be able to take my flight when I land at Heathrow?…will I need to fill out a form or anything?….i will return to the UK on the 14th…passing through Portugal airport again from Madeira….any advice would be greatly appreciated..thank You.

  19. AvatarMaria Rebelo Reply

    Hello, my flight will be from Azores (which is on the travel corridors) to London, with a layover in Lisbon (which is not on the travel corridors).
    Will I need to self isolate when arriving in the UK due to the layover in Lisbon?

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Maria, because you’re getting off the plane and spending time in the terminal at Lisbon, the UK government view this as having visited mainland Portugal. You will be expected to self-isolate for 14 days.

  20. AvatarJelmar Reply

    Hello, my girlfriend and I are considering flying from Amsterdam to Cancun. It is a British Airways flight and we would have to leave Heathrow Airport to take our next flight from Gatwick airport 5 hours later. Would this be allowed? We have tried to contact our embassy in the UK and the UK embassy in our own country, but no goverment official seems to be able to provide an accurate answer. Does anyone perhaps have an official government website/source with the answer to our question? Thanks a lot for your help!

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Jelmar. The UK rules allow you to travel from Heathrow to Gatwick for your onward flight without needing to isolate. You will also be permitted to do same on your return journey. Have a great trip!

  21. AvatarAgata Bąk Reply


    I’m planning to fly from Poland (WAW) to Sal (SID) with UK (BHX) transit. I would arrive to BHX at 19.12 evening (with Ryanair) and leave (BHX-SID with Tui Airways) next day in the morning. I will have checked luggage so I must pass border control. Will I be allowed to reach my plane to Sal on 20.12 morning without self-isolation? Will I be let in on UK border? I would spend less than 12 hrs on BHX.

    Your answer would be much appreciated.
    Kind regards,

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Agata. You would be permitted to transit after you have cleared UK border formalities. You will not be required to self-isolate for this short period, but you should follow social distancing guidelines and wear a face covering. TUI may not allow you to check-in until the following morning. The airport may also close overnight – booking a hotel nearby might make the layover more comfortable. If you stay at a hotel, you should self-isolate while you’re there. Take room service instead of using the restaurant.

  22. AvatarTara Reply

    Hi I am travelling from London Heathrow via Doha (Qatar Airways) to Iran on 27th Dec. I see that Qatar requires PCR test from passengers travelling FROM Iran. But from what I see on Qatar Airways website, no Covid test needed for flights out of Heathrow with transit in Doha?
    Is that correct?

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Correct. When travelling from London via Doha, you may transit in Doha airport without needing to provide a negative PCR test result. While unlikely, be mindful that the authorities may still ask you to undergo a swap test at the airport.

  23. Avatarolivia Reply

    Hi. Where can i find the rules about transiting via the uk. I have a flight from Zimbabwe to the UK and a separate flight to China. Must I quarantine in the UK or not. And where can i find the rules please?

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Olivia. If you’re taking a separate onward flight to China, you will need to clear UK immigration to collect your bags and check bag in. You won’t be required to self-isolate while you’re waiting for your onward flight; however, you should self-isolate if you leave the airport for any reason during your layover (such as to stay in a hotel). The UK doesn’t currently require arriving passengers to present negative PCR test results.

  24. AvatarJohn Reply

    Hi, we can’t find any official rules for transit through Heathrow? We plan to go from Sweden to Jamaica over the hollidays. The flights are via Heathrow, with a 13 hr layover on the way out and can’t find any info on transit if you don’t enter the UK. Will we be stuck in self isolation and miss the connecting flight? And does the rules change after Brexit 31 dec? Is there any government site with this information or where do you get your sources from?

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi John. You will be able to transit through Heathrow and board your onward flight, without needing to self-isolate in London. If you leave the airport to spend some of your layover in a hotel, you should self-isolate in your room (use room service for meals), before returning to the airport. While the details of post-Brexit border controls still aren’t clear, it’s highly unlikely the UK Government will restrict the movement of EU tourists through UK airports. Enjoy Jamaica!

  25. AvatarOliver Kerr Reply


    I know this is mostly about the UK, but I wonder if you know anything about Madrid airport. I am flying to Costa Rica, via Madrid, but had to book 2 separate flights LHR-MAD (with BA) and MAD-SJO (with IB) meaning my bags will come out at MAD and I’ll probably have to go get them. However the flights are 5hrs apart and I won’t be leaving the airport.

    Spain asks for neg tests for pax from the UK, but not for transit pax. as I will have to go landslide to get my bags and check in again, do you have any idea wether I need a test for this as I have an onward flight? I’ve tried looking everywhere and have mixed answers. Will they let me through just so I can get my bags and check back in without a test?

    I figure as I’m leaving immediately they may just let me through? Maybe with an escort?

    I don’t want to be fined, but I just don’t know the answer.

    I would appreciate any insight or knowledge.


    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Oliver. Our understanding is you’d need to clear immigration, so you’d need to comply with all the entry requirements for Spain – a negative PCR test and/or self-isolation for 14 days. If it were us, we’d probably travel with a test result rather than risk being blocked from passing through to the departures area. This result would also then cover you for your arrival in SJO. Please also bear in mind that Brexit will force border formalities between the UK and Spain to change on 1st January 2021.

    2. Avatarsandra hurford Reply

      I wonder how you got on with your Madrid transit. My understanding is that only spanish residents are allowed into spain but my son hopes to fly from Dubai to Costa Rica via Madrid next month

      1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

        Based on the current rules you are not allowed to enter Spain unless you’re a Spanish national or work or live in Spain. Passengers who are transiting for less than 24 hours to an international destination and staying in the international zone (air-side) of the airport is permitted. So, your son should have one ticket and not pass border control for his trip to be permitted.

  26. AvatarKristy Khem Reply

    Hi, will I need to quarantine in London if: I am leaving China, transiting Hong Kong (7hours transit), then fly to London Heathrow (8hours transit), then fly to Barbados? I don’t plan to check in any luggage.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hong Kong is on the travel corridor list, so won’t need to self-isolate, but if you’ve recently been to China then you’ll have to self-isolate when you’re in London. You’re OK to remain in the airport if you’re transiting, but if you head out of the airport, you should be isolating until your flight to Barbados.

  27. AvatarErin Reply

    Hello. I am travelling from Dublin to Abu Dhabi via London (3 hour layover). If Ireland were deemed a safe country with no quarantine but the UK is deemed a non-safe country with quarantine, would I be required to follow the instructions from Ireland or the UK?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      If passengers get on or off your plane then you’re considered as visited the UK/London. I believe all entry into Abu Dhabi will need a negative cover PCR test, so do check that out and research this before you travel

  28. AvatarJr Torres Reply

    Good day, I will be travelling from Cayman Islands to Manila Philippines , via heatrow going to Malaysia . Will there be any restrictions on this layover ?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi, if you have one ticket that takes you from the Cayman Island to Malaysia via Heathrow without leaving the airport or going landside, then you’re seen as a transit passenger. You may still need to provide a COVID-19 negative test 72 hours before departure, as per the new regulations for all arrivals into the UK.

  29. AvatarMichelle Sinjorgo Reply

    Good day,
    I will fly from Amsterdam the Netherlands to Stansted and within a few hours my next flight departs to Malta. Besides the location form, what else should I do or prepare? Do I need to undergo a PCR test?

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      From 8th January 2021, all travellers to the UK must present a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours prior to departure.

  30. AvatarNathan Reply

    i’m traveling from brussels to south africa through London (all with british airways) do i need a Passenger Locator Form ?


    1. Avatar1A Reply

      You don’t need a passenger locator form if you’re transiting air side. If you have to pass through UK immigration to connect with your onward flight, you’ll need to complete a passenger locator form.

  31. AvatarAntonio Bodrini Reply

    I’m traveling from Sweden to Malta with a 11h landside layover in Manchester. Will I be required to present a negative test. Upon arrival to the UK, or upon departure from the UK?

  32. AvatarGailute Pupkeviciute Reply

    If I’m traveling from Uk to Mexico – Cancun and have connected flight in America do i have to qurantine in Mexico?

  33. AvatarMarc Rosendahl Reply

    Please help! I travel from Munich / Germany to London Heathrow with Lufthansa on the 15.1.21 arrival time 19:00 with a layover to the 16.1.21 to fly with Virgin Atlantic to Antigua at 11:00 in the morning so less than 12 hours layover. I will stay in the Ibis hotel really close to the airport
    1. Do I need to go into quarantine. Longer than the layover night?
    2. What I have to check to make sure I still can take the flight to Antigua
    3. Is there something special I have to consider?
    Thanks and best regards

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Marc,
      You will need to provide a negative PCR test to be allowed to board your flight to London. You will not need to isolate for longer than your layover duration and will be able to return to the airport to board your onward flight to Antigua. We’d recommend checking in with Virgin Atlantic 2-3 hours before your flight departs, but not less than 90 minutes. There is a state of emergency in Antigua at the moment, so we’d recommend reading about that before you travel:

  34. AvatarSantiago Gaspar Reply

    I’ will fly from Berlin to London on 1/21 and then to Mexico on 1/22.
    In London, I need to change airports and stay one night. Is this allowed? I will be at the hotel that night.
    I have doubts about the quarantine, is impossible for me to do 10 days of quarantine.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi there, you now need to have a COVID-19 negative test before entering the UK. With the UK closing all travel corridors, and you’re not doing a short layover and going landside, you are expected to quarantine for the entire duration while you’re in London, provided you can show a COVID-19 negative test.

  35. AvatarRya Reply


    Thank you in advance for your response. My husband and I will be traveling from Toronto to Sofia with a 12-hour layover at LGW. Are we required to stay at the airport or can we get a nearby hotel for the day? Our flights are with two different airlines. We will be getting a COVID test 48- 72 hours prior to our departure.

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hello. Provided your PCR test is negative, you’ll be able to fly to Gatwick, travel straight to a nearby hotel for your layover, then travel straight back to the airport to connect with your onward flight to Sofia. Most hotels in the immediate vicinity of the airport remain open.

  36. AvatarNIkki de Launay Reply

    I am traveling from NY thru Heathrow with connecting flight to Edinburgh-same day-will they allow me to make my connection or stop me at Heathrow

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Nikki. You’ll need to have a negative PCR test result, taken within 72 hours of your departure from NY. Assuming that comes back negative, you’ll be able to board your flight London and then connect with your flight to Edinburgh.

  37. AvatarLouise Smit Reply

    Hello! Now that hotel quarantining is mandatory for everyone: if we are transiting in the UK are we allowed to leave Heathrow and take a taxi from Heathrow to Gatwick for our connecting flight? (just transiting a few hours.)
    (I know we need a PCR test.)
    Thankyou so much for your advice; I’ve been searching for ages and you are the most useful source of information I’ve come across!

  38. AvatarNico Pedrazzini Reply

    Hi there! My Gf and I will be arriving to London on 3/19 and we need to change airports (arrive to Heathrow @9:00 and depart from Gatwick @14:00) as our final destination is Milan. The thing is that we’ll be arriving from Canada but we’ll have transited the US, Mexico and Argentina the prior 10 days. My question is: Will we be able to board and fly to London with the actual restrictions?
    Thank you very much!!!

  39. AvatarSam Reply

    I’m travelling from Costa Rica to Bangkok.
    It will include a 20 hour landside in the UK. I plan to book a night at a nearby hotel.

    Is this allowed with the new rules that will come into force on the 15th Feb? Will i be allowed to leave the hotel the following day, head back to Heathrow and board a flight?

    The flight departs the UK on the 17th Feb,

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Sam,
      You will need to take a PCR test in the 72 hours BEFORE you board your flight to the UK. Assuming you get a negative result, you’ll be able to enter the UK from Costa Rica and connect with your flight 20 hours later. The current advice is that you should go straight to your hotel, self-isolate until your check-in time, then travel straight back to the airport.
      Further guidance here:

  40. AvatarLexi W Reply

    Hi, first: thanks so much for doing this page! I’ve been reading through all the comments and it’s… a lot.

    I’m traveling to Jersey(the UK one) from the US. I land in Heathrow and then catch my connecting flight from Gatwick. Do I have to isolate in England or can I continue to Jersey and isolate there?

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Lexi. You’ll be permitted to travel directly from Heathrow to Gatwick and board your onward flight to Jersey. Once in Jersey, you must travel directly to the place you reside and isolate for 10 days. Please remember that you can only board your flight to London if you present a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours of your departure time.

  41. AvatarColin Nicholas Reply

    My wife has a negative PCR test and is flying from Miami to Manchester in 2 hours. Can she transit straight from Manchester to Liverpool (I will transport her) to go to the Isle Of Man. Her mother passed and she has an exemption certificate to go to the Isle Of Man tomorrow 23rd Feb

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Colin. Assuming your wife has only travelled within the USA, or hasn’t visited any so-called red list countries in the last 14 days, she will be able to pass through the UK border and self-isolate when she reaches her final destination in the UK.

  42. AvatarShakeel Rehman Reply

    Hi Colin we are traveling from Pakistan to uk on Etihad airways which changeover in Abu dehbhi . Do we have to quarantine in the hotel ? because UAE in red list.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hello Shakeel, UAE is on the UK’s red-list which means you’ll need to go to a government managed quarantine hotel. This is based on the current rules. Also, you can only enter the country if you’re a UK national / live or work here. Otherwise you’ll be denied boarding. Hope this helps.

  43. AvatarAndrew Numoi Reply

    My flight is from Austria via DOHA then to Singapore. Is it possible to transit through DOHA and any other documents required at the airport. Please let me know.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Passengers from all destinations served by Qatar Airways can continue to travel with the airline and transit through Hamad International Airport.

  44. AvatarJames Foley O'Neill Reply

    Hi, can I fly from Uk – Copenhagen (airside transit) – Shanghai if I have the correct visa, I’m a UK citizen

  45. Avataraleksandra harrison Reply

    Hi. I am travelling from spain to dublin in the evening and then onto birmingham uk early the next morning. Do i need covid tests before i fly into dublin and will i need to fill in a passenger locator form. I dont intend leaving the airport. Thank you

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      There is a legal requirement for all travellers to quarantine on arrival for 14 days into Dublin. All passengers arriving in Ireland must complete a Covid-19 Passenger Locator Form. If you don’t fill out this form you can be fined up to €2,500 or get a prison sentence of up to 6 months.

      With the current travel restrictions, if you’re not a UK citizen or legal right to be in the UK, you may not be able to enter Birmingham

  46. AvatarLucy Reply

    For example. I travel to the Maldives but have a chang over at Dubai airport. On arriving back in England, will I have to check into a quarantine hotel or self isolate at home?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi there, Dubai is currently on the UK red-list, which means you need to quarantine in a government quarantine facility, not at home. Thanks

  47. AvatarNick Reply

    Dubai Resident flying home. If I fly to say Turkey, Georgia maybe and stay for 11 nights and then fly to UK, do I have to quarantine in a UK hotel or just do the 10 days at home. Does my original destination of the UAE count still after the 11 day stay?

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Nick. Because you’re planning to be in non red list country for the 10 days directly preceding your entry to the UK. The red list rules will not apply.
      The UK Government rules state that entry is restricted if travel involving a red list country happened in the last 10 days. If you arrived directly from UAE, and you have a lawful right to enter the UK, you would be subject to a quarantine hotel. Spending 11 days in Turkey and then travelling to the UK makes you exempt.

  48. AvatarOluwole Ajala Reply

    I am a British citizen and I live in South of France, I will be travelling to Nigeria via LHR but since there are no flight between TLS and LHR at the moment I will have to go to Madrid to get to LHR around 5:30pm on Saturday but my next flight to Nigeria will be 11am the next day, will the quarantine apply to me if France is added to the red list?

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Oluwole. Assuming France stays off the red list, you’ll be able to transit in the UK and fly onward to Nigeria. If any of the countries you travel through to reach the UK are added to the red list, you’ll be required to quarantine in a hotel as soon as you arrive in the UK.

  49. AvatarSHan Reply

    My family is traveling from Lahore to London Heathrow on transit etihad flight via Abu Dhabi and Frankfirt. Do they have to quarantne at government designated hotel?
    They are 1- adult and 3 children below 11 year old. Do all of the have to book the covid test kit (NHS one) before travel or only adult has to book that kit?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Abu Dhabi/UAE is currently on the UK’s red list which means transiting through the country means that you will need to quarantine in a designated government hotel.

  50. AvatarRukhsana Reply

    If my husband travels from Islamabad to Istanbul via Doha , he is at Doha airport for two hours. Will he need to quarantine in the uk if he gets back before the 9th ?
    He lands in Istanbul on the 7th April

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi there, Unfortunately Doha, Qatar is on England’s red list – which means even if you’re transiting for 2 hours, your husband is expected to quarantine in a government managed hotel upon arrival into England. There is also a travel ban at the moment, which means only UK residents are allowed to enter. The rule may change next week, so do keep checking.

  51. AvatarNatalie Reply

    Hi, I wrote previously but its not showing. We have permission to relocate to the Isle of Man, and are travelling from canada to heathrow. Driving up and getting ferry across. We have confirmed that this route is allowed to arrive at our quarantine place in Isle of Man. However, we are getting mixed information from home office and ‘test’ email about requirement to pre-purchase covid tests. Isle of Man is part of common travel corridor, as per gov website BUT it has its separate rules and covid tests, they do not accept the UK ones. So we would buy and throw away essentially. The home office on the phone said we do not as we are leaving the UK within 48 hours so dont need to pre-buy. How do we know which one is right? And how on earth are we to fill out the locator form when none of the 3 options applies. Isle of Man is not in the UK, its independent.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi there, COVID and the rules for travel can be quite complicated and confusing, so I would always take official advice for the countries you’re entering!

      As you’re still arriving in the UK and going through border controls, I would class you as an arrival (as you’ll have to go through immigration) before making your onward journey.
      However, if the Home Office say that you don’t need to pre-purchase a test and that it’s not necessary, be sure to get confirmation from them in writing, so you can show the border controls on your arrival. It’s their rules that you’ll have to abide by after all, so I would take their advice for your unique situation.

      Also, as the Isle of Man is your final destination, you should abide by the local rules on entry and quarantine too. Hope this helps and let us know how you get on.

  52. AvatarAruna Raj Reply

    I live in the US. End of this month I am travelling to India via London Heathrow airport. My original transit flight was on same day but recently the transit flight got cancelled and I had to rebook transit flight for the next day. Now I have layover of 25 hours in Heathrow airport. Can I get out of the airport and return next day for the transit flight? Is there any restrictions when I return to the security check?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      You should be able to transit if you’re not from a red list country. However, you are expected to quarantine in your hotel until your next flight. So you should not be visiting different places in the UK, as you should only be going to the hotel and then back to the airport. This is based on the current rules.

  53. AvatarSam Reply

    I am travelling to London Heathrow from JFK New York in May. My final destination is Manchester UK where I will be visiting for 7 days. I have a roundtrip return. Would I be able to take a train from London Euston or another plane to get to Manchester which is my final destination. Or do I have to stay in London and quarantine?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi there, you should be able to make your way to Manchester, but the advice is to avoid public transport.

      The rules are changing and the UK will go into a traffic light system from 17 May. We’re not sure which colour the US will be, but judging by the vaccination rates let’s hope it’s not a red country. The rules are below

      Green: arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK – but will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday
      Amber: arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of 10 days and take a pre-departure test, and a PCR test on day 2 and day 8 with the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early
      Red: arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for ‘red list’ countries which include a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8

  54. AvatarCraig Leach Reply

    Wanting to get home to Jersey from South Africa. Advice from NHS appears to have changed and now told that I must quarantine at LHR and can no longer transit through terminal 5 to the Jersey flight.
    This counters your earlier advice on this blog and would appreciate your up to date comments.

    1. Avatar1A Reply

      Hi Craig.
      The London or The UK section of this page suggests you read: where we provide our best interpretation of the latest rules.
      While always stop short of offering advice, I’ve had a look at the latest rule for South Africa and they’re consistent with our most recent posts.
      From 15th February, arrivals to London from red list countries is banned for all but UK residents. Residents may enter, but must quarantine in a government-approved quarantine hotel at their point of entry. Onward travel to another destination is not permitted until you have completed the 10-day hotel stay. South Africa is currently on the UK Government’s red list, which means UK residents arriving from South Africa must go straight to a quarantine hotel and stay there before continuing travel within the UK. Arrivals from red list countries are allowed at the following airports:
      London City

      Hope that clears up the confusion. Best of luck for the return journey!

  55. AvatarPatricia Diaz Reply

    Hi, I’m a UK passenger planning to travel to Miami (USA) from Colombia and staying 10-14days quarentine in USA before travelling to London, would I need to quarentine 10 days in a hotel on my arrival?

    Many thanks for your help,


    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi Patricia,
      If you have been in any red-list countries (Colombia is currently on the list) in the previous 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British, Irish or third-country national with residency rights. You will need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel. However, as US is not on the red-list and you’ll be staying more than 10 days there, you should follow the rules of self-isolation and potential for test and release at day 5.

  56. AvatarErik Reply

    Hello there,

    My fiance’ is transiting through Heathrow via the Philippines/Hong Kong/ a 9h 30min layover at Heathrow with her final destination being Brigetown, Barbados. She will have her negative Covid test, does she need a transit Visa when she arrives at Heathrow?

    Thank You in Advance

  57. AvatarCharlie Reply

    We are UK nationals but resident on West Coast of USA. I know the UK Gov guidance is constantly changing but we’re looking for some advice on the regs as of now. In June, we plan to fly to LHR and then transit landside to Portugal from Stansted….but with an overnight stay in a Stansted airport hotel as our Portugal flight departs the following morning (day after we arrive in LHR). Are we currently permitted to do this? We are fully vaccinated and will have had a pre-departure COVID test in USA.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi there, the US is on the UK’s “amber” list from 17 May, which means you’ll need to self-isolate in your airport hotel for the duration of your stay. You are allowed to move between airports. However, a lot can change between now and June so our advice is to keep checking the rules. The point of the traffic light system is that countries can move from one colour to another quickly and with minimal warning.

  58. AvatarFrancesco Reply

    Thanks for the article!
    After the 17th of May, if a passenger comes to UK from an EU country not on the green list to pickup a minor and then flying back within 24h would this be considered a transit?
    Many thanks!

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      If you’re coming from an amber list country you’ll be expected to quarantine for the duration you’re in England. Technically you’re visiting for a day and flying back.

  59. AvatarCharlie Reply

    Thanks…got it about move between airports…but no one can tell us whether we can stay over night at airport hotel during transit landside not even []who I was directed to by UK consulate. UK Border forces Normal website still says 24 hours for Layover/transit landside but this is not reflected in COIVD regs…!?

  60. AvatarMandy Graham Reply

    Thanks for the article.
    I’m travelling to Nigeria (Amber list) for business and all connecting flights are either Istanbul, Barcelona, Qatar, Casablanca or Frankfurt. Some of these are on the UK red list. If I’m only in the country for a connecting flight (no more than 8hrs at the longest and not leaving the airport) do I have to quarantine in a UK hotel for 10 days on returning to the UK? Or can I isolate at home? I’ll be gone roughly 3 weeks.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Yes, you’re expected to quarantine in a government facility if you return to the UK and have visited a red list country within the last 10 days. You won’t be able to isolate at home.

  61. AvatarRufus Reply

    Thanks for the article.
    I have a trip coming up next month from SF -> 4 days in London-> 4 days in Paris. If by then the 2 weeks quarantine for UK visitor is still in place, can I quickly buy a ticket to CDG upon arriving in UK and do a landside transit and therefore avoid the quarantine in France? Thanks in advance for your reply

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi there, the rules at the moment state that ALL passengers arriving in France from the UK will be required to self-isolate for seven days on arrival. Exit from this self-isolation period is subject to providing a negative test results after 7 days. So if you’ve visited the UK, you’re expected to quarantine upon arrival into France. As with COVID rules, they can change very quickly so it’s best to do your research and check the latest information.

  62. AvatarElaine Musa Reply

    I have my air ticket booked for 12th June, returning on 19th June – Manchester – Paris – Tunis, then Tunis – Marseille – Manchester with only a short lay over both ways and won’t be leaving the airport. Are the airports in france allowing transit passengers. Thanks.

  63. AvatarJessie Castro Reply

    My boyfriend is travelling from Pakistan to Amsterdam transitting in Turkey for 3 hours. Is there any requirement in Turkey and Amsterdam as to quarantining. Thank you.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Travellers to the Netherlands should self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival with the option of a test to release after 5 days. Quarantine requirements are also applicable to travellers who have been vaccinated. Travellers from countries on the Dutch government’s safe list are exempt from quarantine requirements. The UK is currently not on the safe list; travellers from the UK are therefore strongly recommended to self-quarantine upon arrival.

      Pakistan isn’t on the safe list, so I expect the rules above apply

  64. AvatarToyomi Reply

    I’m travelling from Ukraine to London but I’m using Turkish airlines so my transfer flight is in turkey. This is a connecting flight. Do I need to stay in a government facility,I ask because transit and transfer are 2 different things. When I fill in the passenger locator form it doesn’t ask me to for hotel booking.

  65. AvatarChristell De witt Reply

    I have a consern that no one can give me a direct answer. I’m flighting out of South Afrika on the 27 of June to st Vincent. Arriving on Monday 28 of June I have a connecting flight at Barbados within 3 hours. do i need a visa. And do i need to quarantine.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      Hi there, South Africa remains on the UK’s red list. Do you have one ticket and you won’t need to go through border control before arrival in Barbados?

  66. AvatarChris Tonge Reply


    Have a overnight layover through Stansted from Lanzarote due to flight cancellation onward to Copenhagen. Can we stay in the airport or can we book a hotel? Flights 28th July.

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      If you are transiting landside, you must be entering England for the sole purposes of continuing a journey to a country outside of the Common Travel Area or to the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. You must either:
      remain within your port of entry until your departure from England, or
      travel directly from your port of entry to another port of departure in England

  67. AvatarChiarito clau Reply

    I am traveling from Spain to Us with a 12 hour layover in Heathrow. I was planning to stay in the airport. But I see the lounges are not open 24/7. I arrived at Heathrow at 10pm, and leave the next morning. I have united pass but i am flying British airways. Can I still use the united lounge?
    I don’t think I will go through border control at all. Will I?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      United Airlines is part of the Sky Alliance not Oneworld, so I don’t expect you’ll be able to use the lounge. If you have one connecting ticket you won’t need to go through border controls and can move between terminals.

  68. AvatarJames Reply

    Great article. I have a question if you could kindly help. I am travelling from ATL to LHR on 26th July 21. I want to book an onward flight from LHR to DUB scheduled for 2.5hrs after landing. Is that possible as it will be a landside transit even if only for 2.5hrs or would I have to quarantine in London?

    1. Avatar1K Post author Reply

      2.5 hours may be cutting it a bit fine at Heathrow. There are multiple terminals at Heathrow, so you may have to travel between them. In addition to that, if you’re not a UK resident, you’ll have to go through immigration, which in itself can take more than an hour (if you’re arriving at the busy time).

  69. AvatarAriel Diaz Reply

    I am traveling from US to Croatia next week, with a 22 hour layover in Heathrow (overnight). I was planning to stay at the airport hotel next to the terminal for the night , however, I will have to go through border control. Will I be able to leave and stay overnight for my flight the next morning or would I be better off staying in the terminal for the 22 hours? My connecting flight leaves from the same terminal I arrive on the previous day.

  70. AvatarValdimar Reply

    I will be traveling from Rome to Denmark, where I will have a transit in the UK Stansted Airport. I am very confused how the transit is. The transit is 9 hours and 10 minutes, where I will land at Stansted 23:30, and leave again 08:40. When I land at the airport, do I have to take a covid test, or is it fine by showing, a PCR-test, or a rapid antigen test, that is valid?
    Please help me understanding, how the process will work.

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