Holidays 2020: Countries on UK exemption list will still make you quarantine for 14 days

Holidays in 2020 were looking like they could be over for a lot of Britons earlier this year. The coronavirus pandemic saw countries across the world close their doors to international travel and impose strict rules on anyone arriving from overseas. The UK imposed its own set of rules on June 8, whereby anyone arriving in the UK from abroad was asked to isolate for 14 days.


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But the UK government updated its travel advice on July 4, when it announced a list of 59 countries across the world which “have been assessed as no longer presenting an unacceptably high risk to British people travelling abroad”.

If Britons travel to any of the countries on the list, they will not face quarantine rules on their return.

However, Chairman of the Travel Risk & Incident Prevention Group and travel risk expert Lloyd Figgins fears that British travellers could misinterpret the list as meaning that there are no rules in place on arrival into the countries on the list.

While many have rejoiced at the government’s new travel policy, the list does not guarantee that there are no quarantine rules on arrival into said countries.

Some countries are still requiring travellers to isolate for 14 days on arrival, including countries on the list.

Figgins explained that New Zealand is just one example of a country that is still requiring travellers to isolate.

He said: “New Zealand is a great example of this as you would still have to quarantine once you get there.

“Even more concerning is the inclusion of countries on the list who currently have a policy that UK travellers are banned such as Greece.”

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Cyprus is another country on the government’s “green light” list that is not allowing Britons to visit.

The country announced last week that it will be allowing Britons to return from August 1, if coronavirus cases continue to fall.

But visitors from the UK will be expected to have completed a PCR test 72 hours prior to their arrival or when they arrive in the country.

Figgins added that anyone travelling overseas should still be looking at entry requirements.

He added: “Anyone thinking of travelling still needs to check the entry requirements of the countries on the list to really understand the impact travelling could have on them.”

The travel risk expert offered keen travellers some important advice.

He said: “If you are considering travelling to a country on the list you still need to think about your own personal circumstances and risk appetite.

“This list doesn’t and shouldn’t supersede existing advice, particularly if you live with or visit vulnerable people or groups.

“And always check your travel insurance cover before booking.

“There are lots of exclusions, so make sure you’re covered before getting on that plane.”

Figgins also said that there are some “notable” exclusions from the UK’s list of exemptions.

“As well as the countries that were on the list there were some notable exclusions including the USA and Portugal so it will be interesting to see what pressure there will be from those countries to be added to the list despite the fact it wouldn’t be safe to travel there at the moment,” he added.

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