UK travel ban: These countries impose new restrictions
Editor’s Note — This list was current as of 9.30 a.m. ET on December 22.
The new variant discovered in the UK prompted authorities to impose a Tier 4 lockdown in London and southeast England and tighten restrictions for all of England over the festive period.
Since the UK lockdown was announced on Saturday, over 40 countries in Europe, Asia, South America, the Caribbean and the Middle East have restricted travel from the UK and in some cases, also travel from other countries that have documented cases with the variant.
The variant has also been detected in Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia, according to the World Health Organization. In South Africa, a different coronavirus variant has been reported, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid-19, Maria van Kerkhove, said Monday.
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is working to support British nationals affected by the travel disruptions caused by the new restrictions, which have cut off UK travelers from much of Europe and other parts of the world.
The United States had not issued a ban on travel from the UK as of Thursday morning. However, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that UK travelers arriving in the city will be required to quarantine or face a daily $1,000 fine.
The move comes days after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for either a ban on travel from the UK or mandatory testing of passengers, while airlines Delta, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic agreed to a testing mandate for passengers boarding flights between the UK and New York City.
Travelers wearing a face mask or covering stand at check-in desks at Terminal 2 of Heathrow Airport in London on December 21 as a string of countries around the world banned travellers arriving from the UK.
Niklas Halle’n/AFP via Getty Images
US Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir told CNN that as of Monday morning, there weren’t plans for US restrictions on travel to or from the UK because of the new coronavirus variant, but “everything is possible, we just need to put everything on the table, have an open scientific discussion and make a best recommendation.”
“CDC is following the situation closely and actively assessing the implications of the new variant and response options with respect to international travel,” according to a statement from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
COUNTRIES BANNING TRAVEL
According to a joint statement published Sunday by the Argentinian Health and Interior Ministries, Argentina was to allow only one more flight from Britain to land at the international airport in Buenos Aires on Monday morning. Later flights have been canceled.
From December 23 to 31, only residents of Belgium will be allowed to enter the country. Non-residents can enter from January 1, provided they supply evidence of a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 48 hours prior to their arrival .
Prime Minister Boyko Borissov convened a working meeting on Sunday with members of his Cabinet in response to the new variant, during which it was decided to temporarily suspend air travel between Bulgaria and the United Kingdom starting Monday until January 31, 2021, his office said.
Canada is among the nations putting a temporary ban on travel from the United Kingdom.
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Brazil has placed a temporary ban, which will come into effect on Friday, on all flights originating from the UK or passing through. Foreigners who have been in the UK during the past 14 days are all blocked from entering the South American country.
Canada has extended its ban on passenger travel from the UK until January 6, 2021. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed the news in a press conference on Wednesday. The measure was initially put in place for at least 72 hours beginning midnight Sunday.
The Chilean government announced that all flights to and from the UK will be suspended beginning on Tuesday, and that travelers who have been to the UK in the past 14 days would have to self-quarantine.
China is suspending direct flights to and from the United Kingdom from Thursday. The announcement was made by Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin, who said officials were taking “reference from other countries.”
Colombian President Ivan Duque announced that all flights between Colombia and the UK will be suspended, starting on Monday. Travelers who have been to the UK in the past 14 days will also have to self-quarantine upon entering Colombia, Duque told reporters.
The Czech government was halting flights from the UK as of 6 a.m. ET Monday in reaction to the new variant of the coronavirus in the UK, a government statement said.
The Dominican Republic has suspended all “aerial operations” between the island and the UK starting Monday until January 10. All other operations such as emergency flights, cargo and airmail will not be affected by the mandate. The government has also introduced a mandatory seven-day quarantine period for travellers with journeys originating in the UK. Travelers will be required to undertake a PCR test while in quarantine.
El Salvador is banning anyone entering the country from the UK and South Africa.
The government of Estonia announced a suspension of air traffic between Estonia and the UK on Sunday, which will last until the end of the year.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex has eased restrictions days after announcing a 48-hour ban on the movement of people from the UK to France starting Sunday night and applying to all methods of transport. Freight drivers and some passengers will now be allowed to enter if they can provide proof of a negative Covid test taken less than 72 hours before departure.
The German government in Berlin (above) is restricting travel from the UK.
CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
The German government is restricting travel to and from the UK and South Africa because of the new coronavirus variant.
Grenada has suspended all flights to and from the UK until further notice. Additionally, anyone who has been in the UK within the past 14 days will not be allowed entry into the country.
In Guatemala, health authorities announced on Monday travelers from the UK are prohibited from entering the country due to the new variant of Covid-19 detected. Guatemala’s Health Minister said further details on the new restrictions for travelers from the UK will be announced Wednesday.
Hong Kong will ban all passengers who stayed in the United Kingdom for more than two hours in the past 14 days from arriving in the city starting Tuesday, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said during a Monday press conference.
Flights between India and the United Kingdom are suspended until the end of 2020, the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Monday. Passengers arriving in India from the UK before December 22 are required to take a mandatory RT-PCR test.
Iran announced the suspension of flights to and from the UK for two weeks on Sunday.
Israel’s government has banned flights from the UK, Denmark and South Africa.
Italy is suspending flights between the country and the United Kingdom because of the new coronavirus variant identified in England, Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio announced on Sunday.
Jamaica has banned all flights coming from the UK until January 4, although those due to arrive Tuesday will be accepted, the Ministry of Health and Wellness has said. Passengers on those flights will be PCR tested on arrival and quarantined for at least 48 hours in government accommodation. Those testing negative will receive armbands to complete a 14-day quarantine at home. Those testing positive will be quarantined by the state until their recovery.
The government has decided to suspend all direct and indirect (transit) passenger flights from the United Kingdom starting Monday and lasting through January 3, 2021, according to a statement from Jordanian Government Spokesman and Minister of State for Media Affairs Ali Al-Ayed.
Kuwait has suspended flights arriving from the United Kingdom starting Monday.
Latvia has suspended travel to and from the UK from December 21 to January 1, the Latvian Ministry of Transportation announced in a statement on Sunday.
Fights from the UK will be suspended, Lithuania’s prime minister tweeted.
Luxembourg has temporarily suspended flights from the UK after a new variant of coronavirus was found there, according to a government statement Sunday.
Morocco suspended flights to and from the United Kingdom starting Sunday night (December 20), Morocco State News Agency (MAP) reported.
The Netherlands will ban all passenger flights coming from the United Kingdom.
The Prime Minister of North Macedonia has announced that flight restrictions to the UK will be unveiled imminently.
Oman will shut down its air, sea and land borders starting Tuesday, December 22, for one week to monitor the new variant of coronavirus reported by the United Kingdom, Oman state news agency reported.
Pakistan is suspending direct or indirect travel from the United Kingdom into the country.
According to a statement released by the Pakistan Aviation Ministry the suspension will be in effect from December 23-30. Repatriation flights to the UK are available, however. The ban will be reviewed December 28.
Starting at 11:59pm ET on Monday, Panama will temporarily suspend the entrance of people who have stayed or transited in the UK or South Africa in the past 20 days.
Peruvian President Francisco Sagasti announced a ban on flights coming from Europe for two weeks as a preventive measure. He also announced a ban on foreigners coming to Peru if they have been in the UK for the last two weeks.
Flights to and from the UK have been suspended until at least January 6.
Republic of Ireland
The government for the Republic of Ireland has extended its ban on flights from Britain until December 31. The temporary measure was initially put in place for two days from Sunday.
Russia is joining the ban on flights to and from the UK.
Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images
Russia is suspending flights to and from the UK for a week starting at midnight Moscow time on December 22, state-run news agency RIA Novosti reported, citing Russian coronavirus response headquarters.
Starting Monday, all international flights are suspended for seven days — except in exceptional cases, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) has announced. The temporary ban can be extended for another week.
Spain’s government, in coordination with Portugal, will refuse entry to travelers from the UK starting Tuesday, Spain’s La Moncloa announced Monday afternoon. Spanish citizens and residents are exempt. The government also announced it will reinforce border controls at Gibraltar.
Sweden has amended its entry ban on travel from the UK to allow residents to return to the country. The Swedish government released a statement on Wednesday, which confirmed that those who live and work in Sweden will be exempt, along with those who need to travel for “urgent family reasons.” All other passenger from the UK are blocked from entering until January 21.
Switzerland has issued a general entry ban for foreigners arriving from Great Britain or South Africa, as well as a retroactive quarantine following discovery of a new, more contagious strain of the coronavirus in Great Britain and South Africa.
Tunisia has suspended flights to and from the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa following the emergence of a new variant of coronavirus, the country’s Ministry of Transport and Logistics announced Monday. Travelers who have recently resided or passed through those countries will not be allowed into Tunisia. The suspension goes into effect Monday and will last until further notice, the ministry said in a statement.
Turkey has banned flights from the UK, South Africa, the Netherlands and Denmark, the country’s state-owned Anadolu Agency reported late Sunday.
COUNTRIES IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS
After banning air travel from the UK for 48 hours, Denmark has moved to banning entry for passengers from the UK from December 25 to January 3. Danish citizens and residents can return home but the government strongly advises 10 days of self-isolation, with an option to test after four days. Primary caregivers of children under 18, family members of those seriously ill with Covid-19, and people transporting freight can also enter, but must present a negative test carried out within 72 hours.
President Lenin Moreno announced that visitors coming from the UK, Australia, South Africa and the EU need to show negative PCR test results taken 10 days prior to arriving in the country. They must also take an antibody test that will be provided at international airports, and must isolate for five days on arrival. Non-residents must isolate in hotels chosen by the local authorities.
Greece has imposed a seven-day quarantine for all travelers arriving from the United Kingdom starting December 22, the Greek Civil Protection department announced Sunday. Additionally, all passengers coming from the UK will be tested on arrival (they must also present a negative PCR test conducted within the last 72 hours). If the result of the test on arrival is negative, you must still quarantine for seven days. If positive, you must quarantine until advised otherwise by the authorities.
No individual who has been in the UK in the past 14 days can enter Mauritius, as of December 21. The ban will be reviewed on December 31.
From December 21 to January 4, no non-resident nationals who have been in the UK since December 7 will be allowed entry. Residents who have been in the UK since December 7 must get approval from the Paraguayan government to enter the country, and must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival. They must then quarantine for 10 days in government-provided accommodation or a ‘health hotel’.
People already in Paraguay, who came from the UK between December 14-21, must isolate at home for seven days from their arrival date.
Portugal has imposed restrictions on flights from the UK. Only Portuguese nationals will be allowed to travel, and they must have a negative Covid-19 test, according to the country’s Interior Minister.
Spain announced it is reinforcing airports to verify PCR tests for people arriving from the UK, according to a tweet from the government on Sunday.
Trinidad and Tobago
The Ministry of Health of Trinidad and Tobago updated health protocols on Monday for travelers coming into the islands from the UK due to the new variant. The new guidance for UK travelers updates the number of mandatory quarantine days in a “state supervised facility” from 7 to 14.
The UK has been classified as dea “red zone”, meaning that any passengers from the country must self-isolate on arrival for 14 days. Their quarantine will be tracked by a government app. This can be bypassed with a negative test taken within 48 hours of arrival.
From December 28, all passengers entering the US from the UK must have a negative PCR or antigen test taken within the last 72 hours. Until then, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines have agreed to test all passengers before they enter New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday. And Virgin Atlantic has required proof of a negative Covid-19 test for all passengers traveling from London to anywhere in the United States from December 24, the company said in a statement.
CNN’s Julia Buckley, Elizabeth Cohen, Mitchell McCluskey, Larry Register and Jaide Timm-Garcia contributed to this report.
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