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COVID-19: Arrivals into the UK from Red List (Acute Risk) Countries

19 March 2021

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, the UK public must stay at home (or in Wales, stay local) and refrain from travel unless they have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is currently illegal to travel abroad for holidays.

Travel restrictions and self-isolation (quarantine) rules have been in place since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 to help reduce the global spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of the UK public. The current UK travel restrictions are stringent both to avoid new variants being imported into the UK, and to avoid UK travellers exporting the UK variant during international travel.

Travellers who have been in, or travelled through a red list (acute risk) country in the previous 10 days, will currently be refused entry to the UK. British or Irish Nationals, and those who have residence rights in the UK, will be able to enter, but must quarantine in a government approved managed quarantine hotel for 10 days.

The list of countries on the red list (acute risk) is continuously being reviewed and updated based on the risk of new variants of COVID-19 being imported into the UK, and may change at short notice. Be aware that the advice may differ depending on which of the UK 4 nation countries the traveller arrives in.

Specific guidance from each of the UK 4 nations regarding quarantine, including which countries are on the red list (acute risk) can be found below:

Advice for travellers

Before making travel plans, travellers should consider if their journey is essential and legally permitted.

Prior to permitted travel they should check all of the following, and continue to check these during their trip as guidance may change at short notice:

Travellers should also be advised to review the fitfortravel COVID-19 Health Considerations for Travel advice page for further information on:

  • FCDO Travel Advisory Notices
  • The risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) at their destination
  • Requirements for COVID testing at their destination prior to return
  • Self-isolation rules on return to the UK
  • Travel Insurance
  • Medical Facilities at their destination