COVID: Which Countries Are OK For UK Travel?

When the UK Government updated its travel advice for many countries, it’s fair to say everyone was left confused. After the so-called air bridges were abandoned, the reciprocation of relaxed restrictions vanished. While the UK government now allows travel to certain countries, and exempts UK arrivals from quarantine, there’s no guarantee the countries you’re planning to visit is doing the same! So, with COVID-19 continuing, which countries are really OK for UK passengers to travel to?

Limited Interest In Travel

If you can go, can you get in? Assuming you can get in, do you have to quarantine? When you travel to the UK, can you get back to the country you left? With all this confusion, is it any wonder a recent YouGov poll found only 11% of Brits said they planned to travel overseas.

While some countries are reciprocating the removal of restrictions, others are mandating testing on arrival. Frighteningly, some are requiring quarantine in government-run facilities. In a lot of cases, the country simply won’t allow you to enter.

Can You Get In? If You Can, Can You Get Back?

In this post, we’ve examined the travel restrictions from the perspective of a tourist wanting to visit the UK, and a UK tourist wanting to travel abroad. We’ve gone through the British Government’s list country-by-country to better understand the restrictions in place on both sides. Our handy table should help you see which countries are practical to travel to and from the UK after the recent COVID updates.

If you’re planning to transit through another country en-route, see our summary of restrictions through major hub airports around the globe.

The List Of Countries

These are the countries that the UK government has explicitly mentioned in their travel guidance since they first published Coronavirus travel exemptions on 3rd July 2020. We’re doing our best to keep this table up-to-date. Advice is frequently changing.

Last updated: 23 October 2020

Open?CountryArrival in UKArrival in countryInsurance
🚫AustraliaNo restrictionOverseas visitors are banned. 14 days quarantine for returning residents.🚫
⚠️Austria14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. No restriction on arrival.⚠️
⚠️Andorra14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. No restriction on arrival.⚠️
⚠️Antigua & BarbudaNo restrictionCompulsory testing on arrival ($100). Quarantine in government facility may be mandated.⚠️
⚠️Aruba14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. Provide negative PCR test result or test on arrival.⚠️
⚠️Bahamas14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. Arrivals must present a negative PCR test result. Further test on arrival, and again after 4 days.⚠️
⚠️BarbadosNo restrictionArrivals must present a negative PCR test result. Further compulsory testing 5 days after arrival ($150). Self-isolation until results received.⚠️
⚠️Belgium14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel.⚠️
🚫BermudaNo restrictionBermuda’s ports are closed⚠️
🚫Bonaire, St Eustatius and SabaNo restrictionThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. Borders are closed.🚫
🚫British Virgin IslandsNo restrictionOnly residents and workers can enter BVI. Those permitted to enter must quarantine for 14 days in a government facility at a cost of $2,500.🚫
🚫BruneiNo restrictionForeign visitors are banned from entering Brunei. Those permitted to enter must quarantine in a government facility.⚠️
🚫Cambodia14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKMandatory test on arrival. Quarantine at government waiting centre until results received. $3,000 deposit must be made on arrival.🚫
🚫CanadaNo restrictionCanada is closed to tourists. Returning citizens must self-isolate for 14 days🚫
🚫Cayman IslandsNo restrictionCayman Island’s ports are closed🚫
⚠️Croatia14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKAccommodation reservation required⚠️
⚠️Cuba14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKTourists permitted on specified charter flights to The Cayos. Mandatory PCR test on arrival. No other tourism is permitted.⚠️
🚫Curaçao14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. Borders are closed.🚫
CyprusNo restrictionProvide evidence of negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival in Cyprus.⚠️
⚠️Czech Republic14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel.⚠️
⚠️DenmarkNo restrictionYou can only enter Denmark from the UK if you have a ‘worthy purpose’⚠️
⚠️DominicaNo restrictionBorders open to residents from 15th July, but remain closed to foreigners until 7th August⚠️
⚠️EstoniaNo restrictionUK arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days⚠️
⚠️Faroe IslandsSee DenmarkSee Denmark⚠️
⚠️FijiNo restrictionNon-resident foreign nationals cannot enter Fiji.⚠️
🚫FinlandNo restrictionNon-resident foreign nationals cannot enter Finland⚠️
⚠️France14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. No restrictions on arrival.⚠️
⚠️French PolynesiaNo restrictionMedical certificate required. All arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.⚠️
⚠️GermanyNo restrictionUK arrivals considered high risk and must quarantine for 14 days. Can be shortened with negative PCR test taken during quarantine.⚠️
GibraltarNo restrictionNo restriction
⚠️GreeceArrivals from Mykonos must self-isolate for 14 days. No restriction for all other areas.Random passenger PCR testing on arrival. Self-isolation until results received. The UK Government advises against travel to Mykonos.⚠️
⚠️GreenlandSee DenmarkSee Denmark⚠️
⚠️GrenadaNo restrictionCompulsory test on arrival.⚠️
🚫Hong KongNo restrictionNon-residents will be denied entry. Compulsory 14 day quarantine for anyone permitted to enter. Transit passengers permitted, only on a through ticket.⚠️
⚠️Hungary14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKHungary closed its boarder to non-residents on 1st September. 14 day quarantine for other arrivals.⚠️
⚠️Iceland14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKCompulsory test on arrival at a cost of ~£60, or 14-day self-isolation.⚠️
⚠️IrelandNo restrictionOverseas arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days⚠️
⚠️Italy (including Vatican City)14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. Arrivals from the UK must present a negative PCR test result.⚠️
⚠️Jamaica14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. Compulsory test on arrival. Self-isolation until results received.⚠️
🚫JapanNo restrictionEntry denied to arrivals from the UK⚠️
🚫Laos14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKEntry denied to arrivals from the UK. 14 day quarantine at government facility for those granted entry.🚫
⚠️LatviaNo restrictionUK arrivals are required to self-isolate for 10 days⚠️
⚠️LiechtensteinSee SwitzerlandSee Switzerland⚠️
⚠️LithuaniaNo restrictionUK arrivals are required to self-isolate for 14 days⚠️
⚠️Luxembourg14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKNo restriction⚠️
🚫MacaoNo restrictionNon-residents will be denied entry. Medical certificate required to fly.
🚫MalaysiaNo restrictionNon-residents will be denied entry. 14 day mandatory self-isolation on arrival.⚠️
⚠️MaldivesNo restrictionProvide a negative PCR test result taken no more than 96 hours before arrival.⚠️
⚠️Malta14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. No restriction from 15th July 2020⚠️
⚠️Martinique14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKTravel certificate required⚠️
🚫MauritiusNo restrictionThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. The Mauritian boarder is closed. All arrivals will be placed in government quarantine.🚫
⚠️Mexico14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. No restrictions on arrival.⚠️
⚠️Monaco14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. No restrictions on arrival.⚠️
⚠️The Netherlands14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. No restrictions on arrival.⚠️
🚫New ZealandNo restrictionThe border is effectively closed. Non-residents will be denied entry to New Zealand.⚠️
⚠️NorwayNo restriction. The Norwegian government advises against non-essential travel to the UKArrivals from the UK must quarantine for 14 days.⚠️
⚠️Poland14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKNo restrictions on arrival, but the UK Government advise against all but essential travel.⚠️
⚠️Portugal14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel to mainland Portugal.
If travelling to Madeira, Porto Santo or the Azores, you must take a COVID-19 test before you travel or on arrival.
⚠️
⚠️ReunionNo restrictionTravel certificate required⚠️
⚠️San MarinoSee ItalySee Italy⚠️
🚫Serbia14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKNo restriction, but the UK Government advise against all but essential travel.🚫
⚠️SeychellesNo restrictionNegative PCR test taken less than 48 hours before arrival. Mandatory 5-day isolation in designated hotel. Further PCR test on day 5.⚠️
🚫SingaporeNo restrictionNon-residents are not permitted to enter Singapore. Arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. Strict rules on transiting – check with airline.⚠️
⚠️Slovakia14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKNo restriction⚠️
⚠️Slovenia14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKNo restriction⚠️
South Georgia & the South Sandwich IslandsNo restrictionUsual visitor permit required
⚠️South KoreaNo restrictionAll arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days. Transit permitted at Incheon.⚠️
🚫Spain14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKNo restriction, but UK Government advise against all but essential travel.🚫
Spain (Canary Islands)No restrictionNo restriction
🚫Sri Lanka14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKNon-residents are not permitted to enter Sri Lanka. 28 days quarantine for all arrivals.🚫
🚫St Kitts & NevisNo restrictionSt Kitts & Nevis’ borders are closed🚫
🚫St LuciaNo restrictionSt Lucia’s borders are closed🚫
⚠️St Pierre & MiquelonNo restrictionTravel certificate required⚠️
🚫St Vincent & The Grenadines14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKSt Vincent & The Grenadines’ ports are closed🚫
⚠️SwedenNo restrictionOnly EU, EEA and UK residents may enter Sweden.⚠️
⚠️Switzerland14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel.⚠️
🚫TaiwanNo restrictionTourists/visitors are not permitted to enter Taiwan. Arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.⚠️
🚫ThailandNo restrictionNon-residents are not permitted to enter Thailand. All arrivals must quarantine for 14 days at a government facility.⚠️
⚠️Trinidad and Tobago14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKThe UK Government advise against all but essential travel. Arrivals must self-isolate for 14 days.⚠️
⚠️Turkey14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKNo restrictions on arrival, but the UK Government advise against all but essential travel.⚠️
🚫Turks & Caicos Islands14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKUK Government advise against all but essential travel. Turks & Caicos borders are closed🚫
🚫USA14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKUK Government advise against all but essential travel. British Nationals arriving from the UK cannot enter the USA.🚫
🚫VietnamNo restrictionVietnam is closed to visitors. Anyone entering must quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.⚠️
⚠️Wallis and Futuna14 day self-isolation on arrival in UKTravel certificate required⚠️

Sources:

[1] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors 

[2] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-countries-and-territories-exempt-from-advice-against-all-but-essential-international-travel

Key

✅ – Travel between two countries appears problem-free – insurance cover should be fine
⚠️ – Country restriction on entry or insurance cover may be invalidated – check with insurer before travel
🚫 – It isn’t possible to move freely between the two countries – insurance cover may be invalidated – check with insurer before travel

As you can see, it’s not as straightforward as governments might suggest. We wouldn’t book travel to/from countries marked 🚫 The country’s stance on COVID means travel between it and the UK won’t be OK.

We would do a lot more research before booking travel to/from countries marked ⚠️ Most of these perceive the UK as a high-risk area, which will present challenges with travel insurance and potential issues with local stigma. Read our 10 things to consider when booking coronavirus travel and why travel insurance matters, especially now.

When traveling to countries with no restrictions in place, you should still expect to provide advance passenger information relating to COVID-19. On arrival, you may also be subjected to form-filling, temperature checks and questions from authorities. If you’re interested to know what air travel is like at the moment, have a read of our Qatar Airways KL to Doha flight review.

A Note About Our Data

While we’ve made every effort to ensure we’ve presented accurate information, the situation is changing continually. We therefore recommend you check directly your home and destination government websites before travelling. For more detailed information about travel to and from the UK during the COVID pandemic visit: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control

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