Here is good news for holidaymakers amongst all the tension and stress of COVID-19 pandemic. On July 3, the UK government has announced that English vacationers or travellers will be able to take trips to approved countries without facing a 14-day quarantine. It means that those who will travel between England and the sanctioned countries will not have to go into self-isolation.
Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary of Britain, released a list of 59 countries where the Government’s quarantine policy is not applicable anymore. However, these changes are only allowed for those who are from England. You can travel to and from any of these 59 countries without having to go into quarantine for two weeks.
This new development has raised many questions about travelling abroad to destinations where people of England can visit.
European countries Spain, France, Greece, and Belgium can be found on the list of the states that have been exempted from quarantine rules, which came into effect from July 10. On the other hand, countries such as the US, China, Sweden, etc. are not exempted from the quarantine policy.
The quarantine rules have been applied in an attempt to prevent the coronavirus from entering the English borders as the number of cases in England has been on a decline. The rules are relevant to all means of international travel, including train, air, ferry, coach, etc.
According to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, England is not quarantining the visitors or travellers from every part of the world. Instead, they are concentrating on quarantining those who have come from the countries that are worst affected by COVID-19, and the situation is not getting under control. Travelers would have to provide their contact information on their arrival in England.
These new travel arrangements are only for those living in England. Only they can travel to an approved ‘travel corridor’ destination. However, before you decide to go, make sure the location is on the list of 59 exempted countries. It would be better to check with the appropriate authority before travelling.
The 59 countries on the list are no more considered as unacceptably high-risk destinations for British people. Nonetheless, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is continuously monitoring the list, and it would be better if you keep track of any changes that might occur on the list.
Safety Precautions for Abroad Travel
Despite opening the doors between England and the other 59 countries to travel, the Government still recommends visiting only if it is essential or for business purposes. Planning your travel will give you the right time to prepare for all the necessary precautions and return home safely.
If you are going to the destination you have visited before, rules and policies might be different there in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic situation. You can keep yourself updated by opting for email alerts or notifications about a specific destination from the government authorities. You will need all the information you can get regarding coronavirus protocols and other measures in place at the destination you intend to visit and the place where you plan to stay. Also, if due to any situation, lockdown is put into place in your destination country while you are there, adhere to their rules and advice. If you want to come back to England, contact the authorized officials.
Staying Safe during Air Travel
- Know about the public health requirements you need to maintain in the destination country before booking an air ticket.
- See if it is possible to check-in to your flight online. Also, carry as little hand-baggage as possible on the plane. This will help you reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- Do not move around the airport terminal. Sit in one place, don’t touch any surfaces, and stay away from other people other than those with whom you might be travelling. Check official online government sources to know more about safety precautions during air travel.
Coming Back to England after Travelling Abroad
- Fill the necessary passenger locator government form. Do it 48 hours before when you are scheduled to arrive back in Britain.
- If you are not feeling well or it applies to you, keeps yourself self-isolated as per the relevant rules.
- Follow all the necessary procedures in regards to your return to the UK properly. You might be fined or sent into a custodial sentence if you do not do everything as per the rules.
Lockdown in UK While You Are Abroad
The UK government is continuously monitoring the situation of the corona pandemic in the country. It means they might have to enforce lockdown at specific locations if corona positive cases appear in large numbers. In case you are visiting abroad at that time, you might not be allowed to return to your home. You need to be eligible to return to the UK. If you are not, you might have to arrange for accommodations and also contact your insurance provider about it.
Although the government travel advice implies that this worldwide pandemic is easing, we still need to be extremely cautious.
Before travelling, ensure that you familiarise yourself with the rules of your intended destination, especially with regards to any restrictions or health precautions that are mandatory. Not doing so can leave you vulnerable to hefty fines or illness.
If you are in doubt or concerned about your travel rights, then it is always best to seek expert advice. Contact one of our consumer rights solicitors to talk through your options.