UK reopening - travel restrictions

UK remains open to tourism with new travel restrictions

Starting on December 15, visitors arriving into the U.K that do not belong in the travel corridor list will have the option to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and shorten the 14-day quarantine to only 5.

November 30. The United Kingdom reopened to international tourists without the need of a COVID-19 test or mandatory quarantine as long as they come from territory in their corridor country list.

Different rules may apply in different country members of the UK especially now that the second COVID-19 wave is rising.

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Countries, territories and regions on the travel corridor list – Updated Nov 30

If you are a national foreign from any of these countries you will be granted entry without quarantine or COVID-19 test. (Source: gov.uk)

Do I have to quarantine when arriving in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales?

  • It depends. If you arriving from outside the current travel corridor countries you must quarantine for 14 days and may be contacted by authorities to verify compliance, but,
  • If you are arriving from any of the corridor countries you do not have to quarantine as long as you only visited those countries from that list over the last 14 days.

Warning! – If you refuse to provide your contact details at the airport or other ports of entry, or if you fail to quarantine you will face fines or will be denied entry at all.

What documents do I need to enter the UK?

All travelers must complete the Public Health Passenger Locator Form in the 48 hours before landing. 

Do I need to take a COVID-19 test to enter the UK?

No, unless you show symptoms during screenings. The NHS covers testing for UK citizens but foreigners will need to pay for theirs (£250 to £500)

Can I transit through the UK?

Yes. You won’t need to quarantine as long as you don’t go through border control. If you are traveling by land, you don’t have to self-isolate but you need to travel strictly between ports and without using public transportation.

The rule of six

When in indoor or outdoor spaces there can’t be gatherings of more than six people at a time. Regardless of the maximum capacity of the establishment, there is a limit of six people per table, or per allotted space.

What places are open? 

uk travel restrictions
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Pubs
  • Hospitality venues (in-place service stops at 10 pm, but takeaways continue as normal)
  • Indoor theaters (ensuring enough space for social distancing)
  • Retail businesses 
  • COVID-19-secure wedding venues (a maximum of 30 attendants and sit-down service only)
  • Music and performance venues (with restrictions)
  • Gyms
  • Places of worship
  • Offices and other business facilities (however the government strongly advises sticking to remote work when possible)

Every establishment that serves food or drinks is obligated to enforce a take-out or table-only policy.

What is the current COVID-19 situation in the UK?

As of November 30, UK has reported 1,605,172 COVID-19 cases and 58,030 deaths caused by the virus. The situation is gradually getting worse and the spread of the 2nd wave is out of control.

At the moment there are between 15,000 – 20,000 new cases per day. (Source)

The Department of Health and Social Care has issued a resolution putting in place severe lockdowns and mobility and gathering restrictions to visitors and locals in Bolton, Greater Manchester, Leicester, North East of England, North West of England, West Midlands, West Yorkshire to be enforced after September 26. The end of said restrictions remains unknown.

Click here to learn about the restrictions in these areas. 

Our suggestion

Always check the corridor country list on the day of your trip so you know if you may be subjected to a potential quarantine.