New Covid travel restrictions affecting the UK

22 December 2020 | Applicable law: England and Wales

Following the government's announcement that a new strand of the coronavirus was spreading rapidly through the UK, several countries have imposed a travel ban on arrivals from the UK. According to the UK Government, "countries have closed borders, and may restrict movement or bring in new quarantine rules with little warning".

Countries imposing a UK travel ban

Over 40 countries have imposed a travel ban at the time of writing, but this is a fast changing list and you should consult the UK Foreign and Commonwealth website and your airline before travelling.

The effect of the new rules

Residents of Tier 4 areas in England will not be allowed to travel internationally, except in limited circumstances such as for business purposes.

The international travel ban from the UK applies to UK residents and people travelling from the UK. UK residents currently abroad are not required to immediately return to the UK; they should follow local travel advice, verify their arrangements for their return with the airline or travel operator, and prepare for the risks of disruption and local measures which may affect their ability to promptly return to the UK.

UK entry quarantine is still in force for 10 days on arrivals from countries not on the travel corridor list, which may be reduced to 5 days if they do the Test and Release process.

While travel for work is still permitted, we advise against making travel plans at this time. Travel restrictions, border closures and quarantine rules are changing without notice, and you may not be able to return to the UK as planned.

We anticipate the situation to worsen before international travel opens up again and will be keeping a close eye on developments in order to keep you updated.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.


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