COVID-19 brought a lot of uncertainties to travellers. The change of policy on travel from France and the Netherlands shows that decision on travel restrictions can virtually be made overnight.
In this article, we will explain which travel corridors are currently open and how you can avoid complications while travelling.
What is a travel corridor?
A travel corridor (often referred to as an air bridge) is a reciprocal arrangement between two countries allowing travel without the need to quarantine for 14 days. Those travel corridors are under a constant review by the government and might exclude any country that has seen a rise of coronavirus cases.
The countries currently included in the travel corridor exemption, as listed on the Government website of 14 August 2020, are as follows:
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- Brunei (added 11 August – if you arrived in England from Brunei before 11 August, you will need to self–isolate)
- Cayman Islands
- the Channel Islands
- Czech Republic
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong
- the Isle of Man
- Macao (Macau)
- Malaysia (added 11 August – if you arrived in England from Malaysia before 11 August, you will need to self–isolate)
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
- San Marino
- 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
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Vatican City State
What if My Time was Split between Countries on the list and not on the list?
If you spent time in a country which is not on the list and go to a country on the list it will depend on the number of days you spent in those countries. For example, if you spent 7 days in a country not on the list and 7 days in a country on the list, you will have to self-isolate in England for 7 days because 7 out of 14 days you spent in an exempt country.
What is Meant by Self-isolation?
Self-isolation effectively means that you cannot leave the place where you are staying in the UK for the first two weeks after arrival. You should (as taken from the Government website):
“not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential care. The only friends and family who you can have contact with are those who travelled with you or people who you are staying with.
You cannot go out to work or school or visit public areas. You should not go shopping. If you require help buying groceries, other shopping, or picking up medication, you should ask friends or relatives or order a delivery.
In England, you must only exercise within your home or garden. You cannot leave your home to walk your dog. You will need to ask friends or relatives to help you with this.
NHS Volunteer Responders are also available if you need help collecting shopping, medication, or would like a telephone ‘check-in and chat’. Call 0808 196 3646 (8 am to 8 pm) to arrange volunteer support. You can arrange one-off support, or schedule more regular help whilst you are self-isolating.
In England, you can only leave your accommodation in limited circumstances. These include where:
- you need urgent medical assistance (or where your doctor has advised you to get medical assistance)
- you need access to basic necessities like food and medicines, but only in exceptional circumstances such as where you cannot arrange for these to be delivered
- you need to access critical public services such as social services and victim support services, but only in exceptional circumstances
- you need to go to the funeral of a family member or someone you live with
- you need to visit a dying or critically ill family member or someone you live with
- you need to fulfil a legal obligation such as participate in legal proceedings
- there’s an emergency
You are not allowed to change the place where you are self-isolating except in very limited circumstances, including where:
- a legal obligation requires you to change address, such as where you are a child whose parents live separately, and you need to move between homes as part of a shared custody agreement
- it is necessary for you to stay overnight at the accommodation before travelling to the place where you will be self-isolating for the remainder of the 14 days
- there’s an emergency
If this happens, you should provide full details of each address where you will self-isolate on the public health passenger locator form. If in exceptional circumstances, you cannot remain where you are staying, you must update the form as soon as possible”.
The travel corridors change on a daily basis. We recommend you to frequently check the governmental website if you are planning to go on holidays in order to avoid unnecessary complications.