To go or not to go: where to visit after the UK travel ban

To go or not to go: where to visit after the UK travel ban
Image source: Getty Images

You may have been dreaming of distant shores since the start of lockdown. Or maybe you’ve been more content to sit and wait it out. Whichever camp you’ve fallen into, now that the UK travel ban has been lifted for certain countries, more and more of us are able to take that break away.

However, with the ever changing landscape as a result of the continued coronavirus outbreak, it’s not always clear which countries are safe to visit. Never fear. We are here to help your wanderlust. Let’s take a look at where you can go – and what you need to do for your first post-pandemic trip.

Where can I go?

It’s important to note that travel in these times is an ever changing situation. Countries on the travel corridor list can be taken off just as quickly as they are added. I had a trip to France all booked and ready to go, only to find out five days before that it had been added to the quarantine list. So make sure you regularly check the FCO travel advice and any government updates.

On to the important information. Below is a list of countries that are on the government’s travel corridor list. This means that if you visit any of these countries, you are not required to self-isolate for 14 days on your return to the UK.

Countries you can visit

  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cayman Islands
  • The Channel Islands
  • Cuba
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • French Polynesia
  • Gibraltar
  • Germany
  • Greece (though it’s important to note that the Greek islands of Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos were removed from this list at 4am on Wednesday 9 September 2020)
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • The Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macao (Macau)
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • 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
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City State
  • Vietnam

While these countries are exempt from a UK travel ban, they may have restrictions in place for UK travellers. For example, at the time of writing, the UK government is allowing people to travel to Australia without self-isolating on their return. But entry to Australia is currently closed for all except Australian citizens and permanent residents or those with an exemption. So make sure to check before making any travel plans.

Another thing to note is whether there are any entry requirements for your chosen country. I recently travelled to Denmark. It’s on the travel corridor list and is currently accepting visitors. However, you are required to prove you have accommodation booked for a minimum of six nights. I was also asked to show this proof to airline staff at check in – so it is not something you can organise once you are in the country. Once again, check the FCO travel advice before booking anything.

What do I need to do?

Understandably, the way we travel has changed in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. One of the biggest changes is the requirement to wear facemasks when travelling.

At most airports, it is mandatory for anyone aged 11 or over to wear a facemask. Airlines also require you to wear a facemask at all times. As a general guide, one mask lasts four hours. So if you are travelling for a long period of time, make sure you bring enough for your journey.

Obviously, if you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 then you are advised not to travel. These include a high temperature, a new and continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

You may find that some airports or travel hubs on your journey will do temperature checks or antibody testing. You can research what is required for your destination before travelling.

On your return to the UK, you will need to complete a passenger locator form. This can be done in advance of your return flight (48 hours before). In it you will need to provide details of your journey and your contact information.

A print out of the completed form or the document attached to your confirmation email on your phone will then need to be shown at the UK border. This will help officials decide whether or not you are required to self-isolate on your return to the UK.

Do I need a travel credit card?

A final travel tip now that the UK travel ban has been lifted is to maybe consider a travel credit card. If you plan to use your card abroad, you can often get hit with costly foreign transaction fees. These fees are typically around 2.99%, so the costs can add up quickly if you use your card for most of your holiday spending.

A specific travel card doesn’t carry this fee. With some travel cards you can also withdraw cash while abroad without incurring a charge. Take a look at our top travel credit cards here.

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