Skip to content

It's official: U.K. government lifts quarantine restrictions for travel from 59 low-risk countries

July 03, 2020
3 min read
It's official: U.K. government lifts quarantine restrictions for travel from 59 low-risk countries
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

International travel is about to get a lifeline from the U.K. government. As of Friday, the government has unveiled plans to allow for those from 59 low-risk countries to not have to self-isolate when entering England as of July 10.

Travelers returning to or visiting England from certain destinations will no longer have to isolate for 14 days when they arrive in England as of July 10. The full list of 59 exempt countries includes:

  • Australia and Pacific Islands: Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand
  • Africa: Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles
  • Asia: Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam
  • Caribbean and Central America: Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, St Barthelemy, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Europe: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Vatican City
  • North America: St Pierre and Miquelon

"These are countries where it is now possible to travel if you’re in England to those countries and back and not have to quarantine at the end of the holiday," Transport Minister Grant Schapps said in an interview on Friday.

Ireland, as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man remain on the exempt list. In addition, the 14 British Overseas Territories are exempt. The restrictions apply to all who travel to England by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route.

It's worth noting that if you are a national of one of the 59 exempt countries but have traveled to a nonexempt country in the past 14 days, you will still be subject to the 14-day self-isolation requirement when arriving in England.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has also updated its guidance. As of July 4, the FCO said that travel to 67 countries "no longer presents an unacceptably high risk to British people traveling abroad." As such, it's revised its nonessential travel restrictions. You can find the full list of 67 countries that the FCO says it is safe to travel to here.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

In effect, this means that for travel to these 67 countries, your travel insurance is once again valid.

In March, the FCO set out its original guidance, advising British nationals against all nonessential international travel, which has remained in place since. Friday's announcement is the first change to that policy, which will allow travelers to visit eligible countries without having to worry whether or not their insurance will be valid.

On June 8, the government first implemented its mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arriving international passengers — including U.K. nationals. The aviation and travel industries had largely opposed the requirements since it was introduced, with IAG, Ryanair and EasyJet formally taking legal action against the government.

According to the government, the list of exempt countries will be kept under constant review.

All passengers, regardless of where they're arriving from, will still be required to provide contact information when arriving in the U.K. This applies to both visitors and U.K. residents. You can find the form here.

Arriving passengers from countries not on the exempt list will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in the U.K. Additionally, the changing FCO advice will not apply to countries that are deemed high-risk, such as the United States.

Featured photo by Nachosuch/Getty.

Featured image by Getty Images/iStockphoto

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more