News Coronavirus travel advice

All articles

Coronavirus travel advice

Latest: from 25 October, the Canary Islands, Denmark, the Maldives and Mykonos are listed on the UK's travel corridors list, meaning that you don't need to quarantine when returning to the UK from these countries.

Information is changing every day which can make it hard to keep up with the facts that are most relevant to you. We’re continually keeping this page up to date regarding the current coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, and what impact it might have on your travel plans. So whether you need it now, or in the near future, it’s worth a bookmark.

We strongly recommend reading the Coronavirus advice from your local authorities and governments, such as the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), as well as the guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO).

This page was last updated on 27 October 2020. To our knowledge, the information on this page was correct at the time of publication.

Coronavirus travel restrictions and bans

Government travel advice

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the WHO, the FCDO and UK government response are offering coronavirus travel advice for people overseas.

From 10 July, people arriving in the UK from more than 50 low-risk countries including Germany, Denmark and Italy no longer need to quarantine. Countries with high infection rates, including the USA, are not included on the travel corridors list, meaning quarantine measures are in place. On 12 September, Sweden was added to this list, meaning that you no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in the UK from there.

The FCDO still advises British nationals against all but essential international travel to all countries not included on the travel corridors list, which is under constant review. To see the countries where you can currently travel to from the UK, you can visit our map with the latest travel restrictions.

Some ‘travel bubbles’ are being considered. These would allow reciprocal open borders between certain countries – for example, there’s a proposed Trans-Tasman bubble between Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and the Pacific Island.

Coronavirus travel bans and restrictions by country

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many countries have placed entry restrictions on travellers or closed their borders entirely. If you’re travelling during this period, it’s important to be updated on entry requirements so you won’t run into customs issues at the airport. 

At the moment, borders in most EU countries are open to UK travellers, and 58 countries on the travel corridors list have no quarantine measures in place. But due to rising COVID-19 cases, travellers from many popular holiday destinations including Belgium, Croatia, France, Spain and the Netherlands must quarantine for 14 days on arrival back in the UK.

From 25 October, the Canary Islands, Denmark, the Maldives and Mykonos are listed on the UK’s travel corridors list, meaning that you don’t need to quarantine when returning to the UK from these countries.

Since 3 October, travellers arriving in the UK from Turkey, Poland and the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba also must self-isolate for 14 days. On 18 October, Italy, San Marino and Vatican City State were removed from the travel corridor list. Heathrow Airport is now offering the option to take a rapid COVID test for outbound travellers to Italy and Hong Kong.

On 26 September, Curaçao, Denmark, Iceland or Slovakia were also removed from the exemptions list.

As of 12 September, the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to Portugal, meaning that travellers from there will have to self-isolate for 14 days on their return to the UK. The same quarantine period also applies to Hungary, Reunion and French Polynesia from 12 September.

As of 9 September, travellers to the UK from the Greek islands of Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zakynthos must also self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

Can I travel within the UK?

Within the UK, a three-tier system was implemented on 14 October, ranking each area of the country as either ‘medium’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’ risk in terms of coronavirus infection rates. If you live in tier one (‘medium’ risk) you can travel to any other areas also in tier one. This technically stands for tier two as well, although it is advised against. No one should travel in or out of a tier three area except for essential reasons.

People from parts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland designated as tier two or three cannot enter Wales, which will also go into a two-week lockdown from Friday 23 October, with stay-at-home orders and non-essential shops closed. Scotland is also tightening restrictions on pubs and restaurants.

How does the COVID-19 outbreak impact travel within Europe and to the rest of the world? Check out our global map page to find out the latest travel restrictions from the UK to the rest of the world:

Latest information about airlines & Coronavirus flight cancellations

A number of countries have imposed travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Flights have been disrupted since March. Check the FCDO website for daily updates on specific destinations.

To find out about specific airline route information, as well as current Coronavirus flight cancellations, rebooking or refund policies, you can find all the latest news and travel updates on their websites or check with the International Air Travel Association.

Flights are running, although those in operation are exercising social distancing and mandatory mask wearing. Quarantine on arrival often applies as well as other measures such as temperature checks. Check the entry criteria for each destination before travelling, on the IATA information page.

  1. Ryanair: Ryanair has dropped its flight change fees for all new bookings made for travel in July, August and September with travel up to 31 December, but those who choose not to fly due to FCDO rules will not be eligible for a refund. Flights are still operating to Spain, Portugal, Greek islands and Turkey. If your flight gets cancelled due to coronavirus you will be notified by email and SMS, and given the option to request a travel voucher. If you want a refund, fill in their refund application form.
  2. easyJet: The airline is running some flights to destinations not on the FCDO quarantine list. It has cancelled its package holidays to France. If the airline cancels your booking, you will be offered a voucher for the value of your ticket plus a booking incentive valid until September 2021, or you can apply for a cash refund. You can change your flight with no fee up to 14 days before departure.
  3. Jet2: The airline has cancelled package holidays to Turkey until mid-October, holidays to Portugal until February 2021, and flights to Croatia, Spain and the Balearic Islands for the rest of the season. Customers whose travel plans were affected will be contacted by the customer services team to either rebook with no fee, arrange refund credit or opt for a full refund.
  4. Wizz Air: If your flight gets cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions you will be offered a refund or credit for a future flight. You can rebook to an alternative destination provided it is not subject to travel restrictions.
  5. Emirates: Emirates is operating passenger flights from Dubai and other airline passengers can transit through Dubai airport. If your flight was cancelled due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, and you made the booking before 31 August for travel up to 30 November 2020, you can complete a Travel Voucher request form to re-book your flight up to 24 months later.
  6. Norwegian: Norwegian Airlines is operating a limited flight schedule until further notice. If your flight is cancelled you will receive confirmation via SMS and email. You can request a refund of your unused ticket, or opt for flight credit and get an extra 20% towards a future trip. 
  7. TUI: TUI began holidays again on 11 July 2020 but has since cancelled trips to Italy, Portugal and Turkey until 31 October, plus many more (listed on their website). If your holiday is affected you can claim refund credit or fill in the refund request form. If you have a holiday booked to a destination not approved by the FCDO, you can change your booking for free. If you’re not able to travel within 14 days of your departure date due to local lockdowns, you can choose a different holiday. If the new holiday is cheaper, you’ll be refunded the difference. And if it’s more expensive, you’ll need to pay the new balance.
  8. KLM: Existing bookings can be rebooked free of charge for travel until 30 June 2021. If your flight was cancelled by the airline between 15 March and 4 June you are eligible for a refund. For other flights, refund and rebooking options differ depending on when the flight was booked and scheduled for departure.
  9. Virgin Atlantic: The carrier is flying to a number of long-haul destinations including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Barbados, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. It begins flights to the Caribbean later this month. If you want to change your booking, you can rebook for travel up to 30 September 2022. If your flight is cancelled, you will be contacted to discuss refund and rebooking options, and your ticket will automatically be kept open as credit to use up to 31 May 2022.
  10. Vueling Airlines: You’ll receive an email from the airline if your flight is cancelled, as well as a URL to a form where you’ll be able to reschedule your flight for free or request a refund. The airline has removed all change fees from website and app bookings.
  11. British Airways: If your flight has been cancelled you can claim a voucher to the value of your booking online or call customer services to discuss refund options. Vouchers will be valid for travel until 30 April 2022 and can be used as payment, or part payment, for a future booking. You can change the dates and destination of your booking for free until 31 October, although you will need to pay any difference in fare.
  12. Finnair: Bookings made up to 31 August 2020 can be rescheduled free of charge, and cancelled flights scheduled for departure after 1 July can be rebooked free of charge until 31 May 2021. If your flight is cancelled you will be contacted by the airline to discuss rebooking or refund options.
  13. Turkish Airlines: Flights were suspended until 28 May 2020. Any bookings made before 20 March 2020 can be rebooked free of charge until 28 February 2021, and bookings made after 20 March 2020 can be rescheduled for free until 31 December 2021.

Have you been impacted by Coronavirus flight cancellations? Get more useful advice in our article on what to do if your flight is cancelled or delayed.

FAQs

While this is a fast-developing situation, here are four Coronavirus travel need-to-knows:

What precautions should I take while travelling during the coronavirus disease outbreak?

There are a lot of practical steps you can take. Regularly wash your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel), avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth and stay at least two metres away from someone who is coughing or sneezing. Airlines that are in operation are enforcing social distancing, and mask-wearing is usually mandatory. Read more.

What should I do if I am still abroad?

The FCDO still advises British nationals against all but essential international travel to all countries not included on the travel corridors list. Please visit the FCDO website to check the latest advice from wherever you are in the world. If you need to change your flight to return from one of these destinations, start by contacting your airline straight away.

I want to cancel my travel plans due to the Coronavirus. How do I do this and can I get a refund?

First of all, call the airline, hotel or online travel agent you booked with. Not sure which company you used? You’ll see their name on your bank or credit card statement as well as the email you received from them to confirm the booking. You’ll find more details, including contact information, on our help page.

My flight has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus. How do I get a refund?

Call the airline or online travel agent. With so many travel plans changed, it may take longer than usual to speak to someone who can help but keep trying. If the airline or online travel agent tells you that a refund isn’t available or they’ve stopped trading, it might be worth getting in touch with your credit card company if that’s how you booked. If you have travel insurance, get in touch with your provider as well.

Will my travel insurance cover coronavirus-related flight cancellations?

It depends on your policy. Check their website or give them a call to find out more.

For more answers to commonly asked questions on Coronavirus (COVID-19), click here. We have also responded to the top questions from our traveller community in a Q&A which is available here.

This page was last updated on 27 October 2020. To our knowledge, the information on this page was correct at the time of publication. However, given the nature of the COVID-19 crisis, information will vary by location and change at short notice and over time. We will do our best to keep this page up-to-date, however this cannot be guaranteed.

This page has been created for general guidance only and has not been designed for you or any specific circumstances relevant to you. It is highly recommended that you check your government’s latest travel advice before travelling or making any decisions to travel.