A new strain of coronavirus discovered in the UK, thought to be up to 70 per cent more transmissible than the original virus, has led to a slew of countries temporarily banning arrivals from the UK.
The Netherlands was the first country to issue restrictions, followed swiftly by a number of other European nations. Chaos ensued as the French border closed to Brits, including those crossing the Channel with cargo, until 11.59pm on 22 December.
More destinations have followed suit around the world, potentially scuppering thousands of people’s Christmas travel plans. Here’s everywhere that has issued a travel ban on visitors from the UK so far.
This is an evolving situation and while this list is being kept up to date, more countries may impose bans throughout the day. Bans may also be extended at short notice. You should check before you travel.
Follow live: Latest travel updates as India and France join ban, leaving thousands stranded
Albania will suspend flights to and from the UK from 2pm on 22 December 2020 until, provisionally, 6 January 2021.
Argentina has suspended direct flights to and from the UK until further notice.
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A flight ban on all flights from the UK is being imposed from midnight, Tuesday 22 December until 1 January.
From 00.01 on 21 December 2020, Belgium initially closed the border between the UK and Belgium for 24 hours. The Belgian Government has now extended the suspension of passenger travel from the UK for a further 24 hours until 23.59 on 22 December. From 23 to 31 December, the Belgium Government will allow entry into Belgium from the UK for certain categories of travel, which are defined on the website of the Belgian Embassy to the UK.
The government has announced that passengers from Europe will not be allowed to enter the country from 25 December until 8 January 2021. More measures may be taken at short notice.
The Government of Bulgaria has announced that direct commercial flights from the UK can recommence with immediate effect, but with a new Covid-19 testing requirement in place from 00.01 on 24 December for all travellers. The temporary travel ban on visitors arriving from the UK still remains in place.
Read more: Tier 4 and Christmas travel rules explained
The Canadian government has suspended all inbound passenger flights from the UK until 6 January.
The Chilean government has announced that from Tuesday, 22 December at 00.00, non-resident foreign nationals that have been in the UK during the last 14 days will not be allowed entry to Chile.
All direct flights from the UK to mainland China have been suspended. This measure will be subject to a future review but no date has been given. British nationals travelling to China from a third country should follow the directions on the website of the local Chinese Embassy or consulate for requirements from that country.
Direct flights to/from London will be suspended from 20 December until further notice.
Passengers who have arrived directly or indirectly from the UK from 13 December will be contacted and required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Croatia have announced they will be prohibiting entry for non-Croatian air passengers from the United Kingdom until 31 December.
Read more: Tier 4 international travel: Can you still go abroad?
The authorities have informed the British High Commission, but not yet publicly announced, that the UK is now in Cyprus’ Category C. This means that visitors from the UK are not permitted to travel to Cyprus.
The Czech Republic has announced that it will suspend flights between the UK and Czech Republic from Monday 21 December until at least 31 December. However, Czech citizens or those with residence in the Czech Republic will be permitted entry provided they produce a negative PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival.
The Danish government has suspended all flights from the UK to Denmark until midnight on 24 December in order to assess measures for the new variant of coronavirus. From 25 December until 3 January those resident in the UK will not be able to enter Denmark, with a few exceptions.
The Dominican government has suspended all inbound passenger flights from the UK from Tuesday 22 December.
Travel to El Salvador is currently banned to travellers who have been in the United Kingdom in the last 30 days or whose flights have included a layover there.
The Government of Equatorial Guinea has announced that entry into Equatorial Guinea is prohibited for all passenger flights (including stopover flights) from the UK.
From 22.00 GMT Sunday 20 December, Estonia will not be permitting the operation of air passenger services to or from the UK. The restriction to air services is temporary and subject to review, but will last until at least 31 December.
The Fijian Government has announced a suspension of all inbound passenger flights to Fiji between 24 December and 28 December 2020.
Finland has announced all travel from the UK will be restricted from 12.00 on Monday 21 December until Monday 4 January.
Read more: Can you travel in and out of tier 4 areas?
The French government has announced it will be restricting air, car, ferry and train travel from the UK to France from 24.00 (CET) 20 December for 48 hours. Until at least 6 January (subject to a possible review), only the following categories of people will be authorised to travel to France from the UK: French nationals and nationals of the European Area; British and/or third country nationals who are either permanently resident in France, the European Union or the European Area, or who must travel for certain essential reasons (as specified by the French government).
The German Government has extended its ban on all air passenger flights arriving from the UK to Germany to a ban on all forms of transport until Wednesday 6 January.
The Government of Grenada has, from 20 December, suspended all air traffic between UK and Grenada and is not allowing entry to anyone who has been to the UK within the previous 14 days.
On 23 December, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government announced that from 00.01 on 24 December, travellers who had visited the UK for more than two hours within the past 21 days would be denied entry to Hong Kong..
Hungary has announced it will be banning commercial flights to/from the UK from 00.01 Tuesday 22 December until 8 February.
India is banning flights from the UK from midnight 22 December until at least 31 December.
With effect from 23 December 2020 until 8 January 2021, any traveller who begins their journey from the UK will not be allowed to enter Indonesia. There are no exceptions to this rule.
On 21 December, the Iranian government suspended direct flights for two weeks to and from the UK.
The Irish Government has extended the ban on flights and passenger ferry journeys from Great Britain to Ireland until 31 December. This applies to people in Great Britain regardless of nationality.
The Italian government announced on 23 December that flights between the UK and Italy could resume after a temporary pause. However, with immediate effect and until 15 January, entry into Italy from the UK is only permitted for those with official residency in Italy or those with absolute necessity, which must be declared in writing.
Effective from 22 December, the Government of Jamaica will ban all flights coming from the UK into Jamaica until 4 January 2021. Inbound flights from London to Jamaica will be permitted until midnight 22 December.
From 24 December, foreign nationals arriving from the UK and in possession of visas issued since 1 October under the ‘Global Residence Track’ will not be permitted to enter Japan.
Jordan has announced it is suspending flights to and from the UK until 3 January. Passengers who have been in the UK within the previous 14 days, including passengers who have passed through the UK in transit, are not permitted to enter Jordan during this period. You cannot transit from the UK through a third country to enter Jordan.
All flights to and from the UK have been suspended.
On 20 December 2020 the Government of Kuwait announced that travellers will not be allowed to enter Kuwait if they have been in the UK during the preceding 14 days. This ban is expected to come into force by 22 December.
From 21 December at 00.00 until 1 January, Latvia will not be permitting the operation of passenger flights to or from the UK.
Lithuania has announced that all travel from the UK will be restricted from 04.00 on 21 December until 23.59 on 31 December.
Due to increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases recorded in Malawi, and the emergence of a new strain of the virus, Malawi has closed its land borders to all foreigners for 14 days starting from 23 December.
From 00.01 on 22 December normal commercial flights between the United Kingdom and Malta will be suspended. Maltese Nationals and Residents of Malta will be able to return to Malta on Air Malta flights. British Nationals will be able to return to the UK with Air Malta.
Mauritius is banning flights to and from the UK, starting at midnight on 21 December.
The Moldovan government has announced the suspension of all UK flights to and from Moldova with effect from midnight on 23 December. This includes passengers transiting the UK en route to Moldova.
With effect from midnight on 20 December, the Moroccan Government has suspended until further notice all flights to and from the UK
British nationals living in Morocco, as well as their families, are allowed to enter the country.
The government of Myanmar has suspended all international commercial passenger flights until 31 December and all land borders are shut.
The Government of Nepal has restricted entry of all passengers originating from or transiting the UK, effective from 23.59 hrs (local time) on 23 December until further notice.
North Macedonia has suspended all direct flights from the United Kingdom until the end of 2020. Passengers arriving from the UK via any route need to self-isolate for 14 days and fill in a form regarding personal and accommodation details on arrival.
Norway has temporarily banned all flights from the UK, initially for two days as of 21 December.
On 21 December 2020, the Supreme Committee announced the closure of its land, sea and air borders with effect from 22 December at 1 am. This will remain in place for 7 days and will be subject to review by the Omani authorities. During this time, it will not be possible to enter or leave Oman.
A transport directive from the government of Pakistan said travellers arriving from the UK on direct or indirect flights would not be permitted to enter from midnight on 22 December until midnight on 29 December.
Passengers transiting in the UK on their way to Pakistan will be allowed to enter if they haven’t left the airside area of the UK airport they are connecting through.
Entry to Panama is closed to all those who have been in the United Kingdom or South Africa 20 days prior to their arrival unless they are Panamanian nationals or residents.
From 21 December 2020 until 4 January 2021, entry to Paraguay by non-resident foreign nationals that have visited the UK since 7 December is not permitted.
Peru has suspended all flights originating in Europe for a period of two weeks. Direct flights from the UK and those with a stopover in the UK are suspended until further notice.
Non-Peruvian citizens or residents who have been in the UK during the last two weeks are prohibited from entering Peru.
The Philippines has temporarily suspended flights from the UK to the Philippines starting at 00.01 on 24 December until 31 December 2020.
Passengers not arriving directly from the UK who have been in the UK within 14 days prior to arrival to the Philippines, including those just transiting through the Philippines, are prohibited from entering the country during this period.
Flights between Poland and the UK are suspended from midnight on 21 December until at least 6 January.
The government has introduced a ban on all passenger travel, with the exception of Portuguese citizens and those legally resident in Portugal, between the UK and Portugal from 24.00 (GMT) on Sunday 20 December 2020.
From 19.00 (CET) on 21 December, all passenger flights to and from the UK will be banned for 14 days.
Russia is suspending UK flights for one week from midnight on 22 December.
The Ministry of Interior announced the suspension of all international flights for travellers entering and leaving the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (except in exceptional cases). Entry to the Kingdom through land and sea borders has been suspended. The announcement states that these measures are due to last for one week, and may be extended for another week.
The Government of Seychelles has announced that, with effect from Monday 28th December, the United Kingdom will no longer feature on the list of countries from which visitors may travel to Seychelles.
The Government of Seychelles has advised that these measures will be in effect until the 31 January 2021 and will be subject to review before that date.
The Singapore government announced that from 23.59 Singapore time on 23 December, all travellers who have been in the UK in the previous 14 days before travel will not be permitted to enter or transit Singapore.
Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents are still able to enter Singapore, but must undergo Covid-19 tests upon arrival in Singapore and at the end of their mandatory 14 day quarantine period.
On 23 December the Government of the Republic of Korea announced that direct flights from UK to South Korea will be temporarily suspended until 31 December 2020
Spain is to ban all arrivals from the UK apart from Spanish citizens and residents, from 6pm on 22 December until 6pm on 5 January. Madrid said it would also reinforce controls at the border with Gibraltar to ensure travellers complied with the restriction. This includes flights from the UK to the Balearic Islands and Canary Islands. Flights from the UK will continue to allow residents to enter Spain.
St Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis has temporarily suspended British Airways flights from the UK effective Saturday 26 December 2020 to Saturday 2 January 2021.
The Sudanese Civil Aviation Authority has announced they will be restricting air travel from the UK, Netherlands and South Africa from 23 December 2020 until 5 January 2021.
The Swedish government has imposed restrictions on travel from the UK to Sweden. A temporary entry ban applies to all passengers arriving from the UK, with the exception of Swedish citizens and British nationals who can demonstrate that they live or work in Sweden or have urgent family reasons. The ban comes into force at 23.00 (UK time) on 21 December 2020 and will apply for one month. With effect from 15.00 (UK time) on 21 December, the Swedish government has suspended all passenger flights from the UK to Sweden for 48 hours.
Switzerland announced a general entry ban for travellers from the UK, including UK nationals, and flights were suspended. However, on 23 December, the Swiss Government introduced an exemption to allow passenger flights to/from the UK from 24 December for the purpose of enabling residents of UK and Switzerland to return in both directions.
On 21 December, the Tunisian government suspended until further notice all flights to and from, or that transited through, the UK. The Tunisian government also suspended the entry into Tunisia of passengers who are coming through the UK or transited through the UK.
British nationals may not travel by air to Turkey unless they possess Turkish residency permits and travel on Turkish air operators.
Passengers who have visited the UK will then be required to self-isolate for seven days starting from the date they left the UK. On day seven they will be subjected to a further PCR test. If that test is negative then quarantine will be ended.
From 21 December 2020 until 10 January 2021, British nationals either arriving directly from the UK or who have been in the UK in the last 14 days, are not permitted to travel to or to enter Uzbekistan. All other foreign nationals, with the exception of Uzbek nationals, who are arriving from the UK or who have visited the UK in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter the country either during this period.
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