Author: Lisa Haseldine
Germany was the latest country to tighten Covid measures against UK travellers
With the Omicron variant spreading across the UK like wildfire and cases of Covid rocketing once more, international travel has again come under scrutiny.
Just last Friday (December 17), one week before Christmas, the UK recorded its highest ever number of Covid cases at 93,045
Experts have suggested that Omicron now accounts for approximately 70 per cent cases of Covid across the country, with this skyrocketing to a dizzying 87 per cent of cases in London.
As a result, many countries in Europe and beyond have taken measures to prevent travellers from the UK, or else to reduce the risk of Covid being transmitted.
Rules for arriving back in the UK have also recently been tightened.
Before arriving in England, you must now take a Covid test (either PCR or Lateral Flow) up to 48 hours before arrival and complete a passenger locator form.
Upon arrival, if you’re fully vaccinated, you must take a PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and self-isolate until the results come back.
If the PCR result is positive or unclear, you must then self-isolate for ten days, with the day you took the test counting as Day 0.
If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must take a Covid test up to 48 hours before arrival in the UK and complete a passenger locator form.
Upon arrival, you must quarantine for ten full days and take a day two and day eight PCR test.
If either of those tests come back positive, you must self-isolate for ten days, with the day you took the positive test counting as day 0.
These rules were recently expanded to include all children over the age of five in England, who must follow the same rules as adults who are fully vaccinated.
At the weekend, Germany became the latest country to tighten travel restrictions for British travellers, effectively preventing them from entering the country.
Travellers from the UK will now have to prove a negative Covid status upon entry into Germany and then quarantine for two weeks, putting a spanner in the works for any tourists planning to visit.
In addition to Germany, there are 29 other countries who have brought in restrictions essentially barring UK travellers:
- France: From December 17 there must be a requirement for an ‘essential’ reason to travel to France from the UK. The French government clarified this in a statement saying “people cannot travel for touristic or professional reasons.”
- India: UK travellers must take a test on arrival at Indian airports, followed by seven days of home quarantine. They must then take a day eight test, before self-monitoring their health for another seven days and going back into quarantine if necessary.
- Australia: Australia has kept its borders closed for the duration of the pandemic including to UK travellers, only granting entry to its citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members of citizens or permanent residents, and fully vaccinated holders of eligible visas.
- China: China maintains a ban on all foreign travellers, including those from the UK.
- New Zealand: Only UK travellers deemed to have a ‘critical purpose’ to travel are allowed to enter New Zealand.
- Japan: Having already had strict rules for foreign travellers, Japan shut down travel entirely to non-citizens in response to the Omicron variant.
- South Korea: Travellers from the UK to South Korea are required to stay in a quarantine hotel for 14 days.
- Israel: Israel shut all its borders to non-Israeli citizens in response to the spiralling Omicron outbreak until at least December 29.
- Hong Kong
- Falkland Islands
- Papua New Guinea
- Pitcairn Islands
- Cook Islands