The UK’s Quarantine Exemption List – What Is The Latest Update?

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With countries continuously updating rules to help stop COVID-19, the United Kingdom closely monitors the situation, adding countries to or taking them off the quarantine exemption list.
Under plans announced by the government in July, travelers from England are still allowed to visit some countries without facing a 14-day quarantine on their return.

The UK has revised its travel corridors, with Italy being removed from the exemption list. Photo: Getty Images

What is the latest news?

The latest news as of today, Sunday, October 18, 2020, is that several Greek Islands are being added to the exemption list and that you no longer need to self-isolate if you are returning home from the following:

  • Crete
  • Lesvos
  • Serifos
  • Santorini
  • Tinos
  • Zakynthos

Unfortunately, for people returning from Italy, they will now be required to self-quarantine for 14-days after the government decided to remove Italy from its list of countries exempt from the 14-day quarantine rule.

A320 easyJet
The UK government updates its exemption list every week and has now added several Greek Islands to the exemption list Photo: Getty Images

The full list

Each week British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps provides an update on which counties the government has taken off or added to its 14-day quarantine requirement. The following countries are exempt from the 14-day self-quarantine rule:

  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Azores
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cayman Islands
  • Channel Islands
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece – except Mykonos
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • the Isle of Man
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macau
  • Madeira
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • 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
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

What do I have to do if I am returning to the United Kingdom from a country not on the exemption list?

If you are returning from a country that is not on the United Kingdom’s list of exempted countries, you must self-isolate for a period of 14-day. You must also present a completed passenger locator form at the UK border with details of where you plan to self-isolate and a mobile telephone contact number. If you do not provide contact details or fail to self-isolate for a minimum of 14-days, you could be subjected to a fine of up to £10,000.

If you are coming to the United Kingdom from an exempt country but make a stop in a country that is not on the list, you will be required to self-isolate for 14-days.
If you were in a country that was not on the exemption list and then traveled to a country on the exemption list, you would be required to self-isolate for the remaining 14-days after you left the exempted country.

If you transit through a country that is not on the exemption list, you will be required to self-isolate for the entire 14-days, even if you never left the airport.

Jet2 Getty
You could be fined up to £10,000 if you fail to self-isolate Photo: Getty Images

While this all sounds complicated, we will try and simplify the government rules.

For example, if you arrive in the UK from an exempt country, like the British Virgin Islands but transferred through Miami in the United States (a country not on the exempt list), you need to isolate for the entire 14-days.

If you were in Denmark, a country not on the exemption list, but had spent four days in Sweden (a country on the exemption list) and then returned to the United Kingdom from Sweden, you would only need to self-isolate for ten days.

If you have returned from abroad and had to self-isolate for 14-days, did anyone contact you to make sure you were in quarantine? Please let us know in the comments.

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