With restrictions easing, many of us are now dreaming of a holiday in the sun, but what are the current guidelines around travelling? Where are we able to visit and most importantly do we still need to quarantine for 14 days upon our return? In this article, we cover everything you need to know about travelling abroad right now.

The latest news about travelling abroad right now

From Friday 10th July, restrictions on travel into and out of the UK are being eased. The government has released a list of 59 countries that have been given a green or orange ranking. This means you will now be able to travel to them without having to self-quarantine upon your return. So, yes you can start to plan a summer getaway!

Where can we travel abroad without having to self-quarantine?

The countries included are:

Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Croatia, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Faroe Islands, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Réunion, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, South Korea, St Barthélemy, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Pierre and Miquelon, Switzerland, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Vatican City, Vietnam.

*Spain has since been removed from the list and you will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon return.

14 British overseas territories are also included in the list.

The government will lift all but essential travel guidelines to these destinations for residents of England. If you are wishing to travel to them, it is important that you read up on these countries current tourist policies as some countries will have their own restrictions. New Zealand, will require you to self-isolate upon arrival. Greece will not be allowing flights from the UK until July 15th. Cyprus is not allowing anyone to enter who has been in the UK for the past 14 days and Austria who will require you to self-isolate unless you have a medical certificate with a negative Covid-19 test result.

There are some notable destinations that have been left off the list, namely the USA which has seen huge spikes in the virus and its northern neighbour Canada. Countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia have also not been included. Most of South and Latin America has not made the cut either. It’s expected that as the virus rates in these countries ease that they will be able to be added.

What’s the news for other regions in the UK?

The current easing of travel restrictions has been a devolved issue.

In Scotland, they have added 57 destinations to the list, which you will be allowed to travel to without having to self-isolate.

In Northern Ireland, the government has announced the same guidelines as England will now apply.

In Wales, they have announced the same guidelines as England will now apply.

Ireland announced its rules on July 20th with a list of green light destinations where you won’t have to quarantine, they are;

Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Slovakia.

Are there restrictions for cabin baggage?

When airlines resumed flights from the UK in June, the Department of Transport urged passengers to not bring cabin bags onto the aircraft. Airlines responded by recommending that people limit the amount of hand baggage that they bring onto their plane, but have not outright prohibited it. They have not waved costs for placing items in the hold and the standard charges still apply. The UK government has not made this mandatory and has not forced airlines to ban cabin baggage as of yet. The current advice is only advisory.

The current UK guidelines recommend that if you are flying you should:

  • Wear a face covering at all times
  • Remain seated as much as you can
  • Follow all instructions and guidance from the cabin crew
  • Use contactless payment and avoid handling cash
  • Be mindful that food and beverage services may not be operating
  • If you are feeling unwell alert the cabin crew asap
  • Wash your hands frequently after travelling or use hand sanitising gel

However, Italy has taken the swift move to ban all cabin baggage on planes entering the country. Their reasoning is to avoid the risk of contamination when people stand to collect their cabin luggage at the end of the flight. Currently, Air Italia and Easyjet have announced that they will allow passengers to store their cabin baggage in the hold for free, providing it adheres to cabin baggage measurements. Although some airlines, such as Ryanair have expressed concern with prohibiting cabin bags as instead of avoiding the risk of cross-contamination in the plane, there will instead be a posed risk for passengers collecting items at the carousel.

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