The U.K. has banned arrivals from some countries in an effort to cut back on the likelihood of importing new, more contagious variants of the novel coronavirus.
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The restriction applies to those who have been in or transited the banned countries in the last 10 days. It does not, however, apply to British and Irish Nationals as well as third-country nationals who have residence rights in the U.K. While those travellers will be allowed to enter the U.K., they must self-isolate for 10 days in government-supervised accommodations when they arrive.
Related: UK to require travellers from high-risk countries to quarantine in government-supervised hotels
Shapps said that the government is “continuing to monitor COVID-19 rates and new strains of the virus across the globe.” It’s possible that as more strains appear, the U.K. may add more destinations to this list of banned countries.
And, much like the travel corridors in place before they were suspended, this list can change at any moment. Most recently, Transport Secretay Grant Shapps announced that the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda have been added to the list.
As of 18 January, the U.K. now requires that all travellers coming from abroad must have a negative COVID-19 test result in order to board their flight. The eligible test must have been taken no more than 72 hours prior to scheduled departure. If the passenger arrives in the U.K. without a negative test result, they could be subject to an immediate £500 fine.
Related: Pre-departure testing and self-isolation for arrivals: Everything you need to know about travelling to the UK
Also on 18 January, the U.K. suspended its travel corridor scheme. As such, all travellers arriving in the U.K. from abroad will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine, regardless of where they’re coming from. The suspension of travel corridors is expected to last until at least mid-February.
Passengers coming from a travel ban country cannot test out of a full 10-day quarantine by way of the Test to Release scheme in England. For those who can, a passenger must quarantine for a full five days. After their fifth day of quarantine, they can elect to pay for a private COVID-19 test and await the result. If it produces a negative test result, the traveller can forgo the rest of their quarantine.
All passengers, regardless of their nationality or where they’re coming from, still are required to fill out a passenger locator form before they arrive in the U.K.
See a full list of the banned countries below.
Democratic Republic of Congo
United Arab Emirates
Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)
Story by Emily