Europe

Things to know before your visit to the UK

In this article we will present everything you need to consider before you plan your visit to the UK. This country is in the top 5 most visited countries in Europe in 2019. However, the UK has been hardly hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic and it now imposes different regulations for travel. Read more to find out who can travel to the UK and what are the conditions for entry in the country.

Table of Contents

Who can plan a visit to the UK?

The UK had a very strict quarantine period of 14 days for any incoming travelers. However, it has recently lifted restrictions for several countries. Incoming passengers can plan a visit to the UK without having to quarantine, if they are arriving directly from one of the following territories.

  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cayman Islands
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Gibraltar
  • Germany
  • Greece*
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland

  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Helena
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

The above rules apply to all countries in the UK, namely England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

*Travelers arriving from the following Greek regions must self-quarantine: Crete, Lesvos, Mykonos, Santorini, Serifos, Tinos and Zakynthos.

In addition, travelers arriving from Italy, Holy See and San Marino must self-isolate for 14 days.

What are the entry conditions for your visit to the UK

The UK currently advises against non-essential travel. However, for those who decide not to follow this recommendation, they must adhere to the regulations imposed by the kingdom. Therefore, upon entry to the UK, incoming passengers must fill in a Passenger Locator Form and present it to the authorities. If the form is not completed, passengers are subject to a fine of up to 100 GBP.

In the situation that travelers transit in any country not on the list, they will need to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Fines for non-compliance can go up to 3.200 GBP.

What is open in the UK?

The UK is gradually opening up businesses and attractions. Restaurants and bars opened on July 4th. However, they must be a self-contained unit with an outdoor entrance and must not allow groups of more than 5 people. Accommodation places except shared sleeping rooms are also open.

Booking.com

Open tourist attractions:

  • Heritage sites
  • Landmarks
  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Aquariums
  • Safari parks
  • Wildlife centers
  • Cinemas
  • Theaters
  • Concert halls
  • Theme parks and fun fairs
  • Parks

Update as of 19th of October for UK restrictions

 

Given the high rise in the number of cases, the UK has now implemented a 3-tier restriction system: very high alert travel (Tier 3), high alert travel (Tier 2), and medium alert travel (Tier 1).
 
UK alert tiers for coronavirus

Tier 1 Alert (Medium)

  • People cannot gather in groups of more then six, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Businesses, pubs and restaurants can operate but most close between 10 PM and 5 AM, and ensure that customers who eat or drink are seated.
  • Food delivery can be ordered after 10 PM only online or by phone.
  • Educational institutions remain open.
  • Weddings and funerals can be performed, but not in groups of more than 15, respectively 30 people.
  • Sport activities can continue outdoors, or indoors if there are no more than six people.

Tier 2 Alert (High)

  • People cannot socialize with those outside of their support bubble/household indoors.
  • Socializing can take place outdoors in groups no higher than six people.
  • Businesses, pubs and restaurants can operate but most close between 10 PM and 5 AM, and ensure that customers who eat or drink are seated.
  • Food delivery can be ordered after 10 PM only online or by phone.
  • Educational institutions remain open.
  • Weddings and funerals can be performed, but not in groups of more than 15, respectively 30 people.
  • Sport activities can continue outdoors.

Tier 3 Alert (Very High)

  • People cannot socialize with those outside of their support bubble/household indoors.
  • Socializing can take place outdoors in groups no higher than six people.
  • Bars, Restaurants and Pubs can remain open, but alcohol can only be served as part of a substantial meal.
  • Educational institutions remain open.
  • Weddings and funerals can be performed, but not in groups of more than 15, respectively 30 people.
  • Sport activities can continue outdoors.
  • Travel inside or outside Very High Alert Regions is not recommended.

What is the COVID-19 situation in the UK?

To date, the UK has accumulated 741.212 cases. Out of these, 629.211 were in England, 47.708 in Scotland, 36.253 in Wales and 28.040 in Northern Ireland.

The kingdom has also 57.690 virus-related deaths, 87% of them in England. The UK has slowly managed to contain the spread of the virus. At the start of June, the average number of daily new cases was around 1.300. However, right now, after the daily numbers have considerably decreased to around 300 for a long period of time, have now increased to an average of 18.000 daily. Find out more detailed information, including by region, here.

How to stay safe during your visit to the UK

The UK advises all residents and visitors to follow the general regulations, such as:

  • maintaining social distancing measures
  • keeping high standards of personal hygiene
  • avoiding public transportation as much as possible
  • wearing a mask/face covering in indoor public spaces and public transportation

Did you find this article useful? You can also check out which countries are open now in Europe or what travel insurance companies cover for COVID-19.

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