Where Can I Travel From The UK Without Quarantining On Return?

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For travelers with plans to arrive in the UK from any country, it is crucial to stay on top of the ever-changing COVID-19 situation. A significant aspect of this is the requirement to self-isolate if you are traveling from specific countries. There is an ever-changing list of exemptions to this rule, and it varies depending on whether you are arriving in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Below is the list of exemptions, meaning that arrivals from any country listed below will not need to quarantine. The Netherlands and France are notable removals from exemption lists effective this morning (August 15th).

UK Quarantine Heathrow
The DfT warns that more destinations could be added at short notice. Photo: Getty Images

Transit stops count too

While some countries don’t consider transit stops as ‘arrivals’ from a particular country, this is not the case for the UK. In fact, even if you are coming from a country on the ‘exempt list’ but end up traveling through the airport of a non-exempt country, you’ll still need to self-isolate. “A ‘transit stop’ is a stop where passengers can get on or off a coach, ferry, train or plane. Your ticket should say if a stop is a transit stop,” the UK government’s website notes.

The 14 days begin from the date you left that country.

Without further delay, the long lists of exemptions (accurate as of August 15th) for each part of the UK are presented below…

Exemptions for travelers to England

You may not have to self-isolate if you are traveling from one of the countries or territories listed below:

  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • Brunei (added 11 August – if you arrived in England from Brunei before 11 August, you will need to self–isolate)
  • Cayman Islands
  • the Channel Islands
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • French Polynesia
  • Gibraltar
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • the Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macao (Macau)
  • Malaysia (added 11 August – if you arrived in England from Malaysia before 11 August, you will need to self–isolate)
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Poland
  • Reunion
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City State
  • Vietnam
Vietnam airlines donate masks
According to the most recent list published by the English government, arrivals from Vietnam will not need to self-isolate. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

Exemptions for travelers to Scotland

The current list of exempt countries and territories are:

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  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
  • Brunei (exempt from 11 August)
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Estonia (exempt from 28 July)
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Latvia (exempt from 28 July)
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macau
  • Malaysia (exempt from 11 August)
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Monaco
  • The Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Réunion
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia (exempt from 28 July)
  • Slovenia (exempt from 28 July)
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines (exempt from 28 July)
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City State
  • Vietnam

British overseas territories

The following 14 UK overseas territories will also be exempt as it pertains to arrival in Scotland:

  • The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in the Island of Cyprus
  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Montserrat
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
turkish-airlines-getty
Turkish Airlines operates direct service between Istanbul and Edinburgh. Turkey is on the list of Excemptions for Scotland. Photo: Getty Images

Exemptions for travelers to Wales

List of exempted countries and territories as at 15 August 2020:

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  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cayman Islands
  • Channel Islands
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • the Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macao (Macau)
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Poland
  • Reunion
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City State
  • Vietnam
ba-planes-terminal-5-heathrow
Arrivals will be told to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Photo: Getty Images

Exemptions for travelers to Northern Ireland

Since 10 July 2020 you will not have to self-isolate when you arrive in Northern Ireland, if you are returning from the following countries:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
  • Brunei
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • ​Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • ​​​Poland
  • Réunion
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City State
  • Vietnam

​​Exempted territories

Since 10 July 2020 you will not have to self-isolate when you arrive in Northern Ireland, if you are returning from the following countries:

  • The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in the Island of Cyprus
  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Montserrat
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • Turks and Caicos Islands (this does not apply to arrivals on or after 4.00 am on 15 August 2020)
easyjet-obtains-loan-from-uk-government
While some major European countries are exempt, others, such as France and the Netherlands, have been removed from the exemption list. Photo: Getty Images

All lists subject to change

The conditions remain extremely fluid, and as a result, the lists above are subject to change and may not accurately reflect the situation depending on the time of reading. As such, some countries may be added to the list of exemptions, while some may be removed.

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Below are links to the official government pages which list exempt countries and their effective dates.

Will these lists affect your travel plans at all? Let us know in the comments!

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