The UK’s Quarantine Exemption List Continues To Shrink

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As the list of counties United Kingdom residents are allowed to travel to without a 14-day quarantine on their return continues to shrink, there may be even worse news to come. Reports from most of the British press suggest that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a month-long lockdown for England.

Heathrow airport sign with Airplane
COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Europe. Photo: Getty Images

Nationwide lockdowns are already in force in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, the Czech Republic, and to a lesser extent, in Italy and Spain. The BBC says that a new “stay at home” order could be announced on Monday, with schools, colleges, and universities the only places that will be exempt.

Experts are calling for a nationwide lockdown

According to documents seen by the BBC and presented to the Prime Minister, experts are predicting that without action, the UK death toll could reach 2,000 a day by mid-December. Even if England does not go into total lockdown, the government currently operates a three-tier system.

The highest alert level, tier three (very high), advises people under tier-three“to aim to reduce the number of journeys you make” and “not to travel into or out of an area if it has been categorized as a very high alert level area,” according to the Independent newspaper.

Cyprus Airways A319 Getty
Cyprus is to be removed from the UK quarantine exemption list on November 1, 2020. Photo: Getty Images

There is, however, no legal ban from leaving the area or traveling in general, which means you can if you want still go on holiday.

The government advice even says:

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“You can continue to travel into or out of very high alert level areas if you need to for work, education, to access youth services or because of caring responsibilities. You may also do so where necessary as part of a longer journey – such as… when going to an airport, port, or international rail terminal to travel abroad.”

Lithuania and Cyprus off the exemption list

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From 04:00 GMT on Sunday, people entering the United Kingdom from Lithuania or Cyprus will have to quarantine for 14-days.

Where can I go without quarantining?

At the moment, there are still a few places that people in England can travel to without having to self-isolate for 14-days once they return home. Travelers from the common travel area (CTA) – the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man – are exempt from the UK quarantine. There are, however, restrictions on people entering Ireland and the Isle of man from England.

UK tourists arriving back from the following destinations do not need to self-isolate for 14 days:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Azores
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • The Canary Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • The Channel Islands
  • Cuba
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Gibraltar
  • Germany
  • Greece (including Lesvos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos, and Zakynthos)
    if you arrived in England from Mykonos before 0:400 on 25 October, you would need to self-isolate
    if you arrived in England from Crete before 04:00 on 18 October 2020, you would need to self-isolate
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • The Isle of Man
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Macao (Macau)
  • Madeira
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • 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
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam
Jet2 Getty
You can still go on holiday to Spain’s Canary Islands without having to quarantine on your return. Photo: Getty Images

What are the quarantine rules?

Everyone must fill out a passenger locator form even if they return from a country that does not require them to quarantine. The form requires travelers to write down where they live or stay while in the United Kingdom. If someone needed to self-isolate does not provide an address, the government will provide accommodation at the person’s expense for the 14-days.

Do you think that England is heading towards another national lockdown, or have you got holidays planned and will be going no matter what? Please tell us what you think in the comments.

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