Hotel quarantine begins 15 February: All 33 countries that are on the UK’s travel ban list

Feb 5, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the latest information.

The U.K. has banned travellers coming from some countries in an effort to cut back on the likelihood of importing new, more contagious variants of the novel coronavirus.

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The ban applies to those who have been in or transited the banned countries in the past 10 days. It does not, however, apply to British and Irish Nationals as well as third-country nationals who have residence rights in the U.K.

While eligible travellers will be allowed to enter the U.K., they must self-isolate for 10 days. Additionally, their entire household must self-isolate for 10 days — even if they didn’t’ travel. As of 15 February, these arrivals will be required to spend their 10-day self-isolation in government-supervised accommodations when they arrive, however, that is not yet the case.

Related: UK to require travellers from high-risk countries to quarantine in government-supervised hotels

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that the government is “continuing to monitor COVID-19 rates and new strains of the virus across the globe.” It’s possible that as more strains appear, the U.K. may add more destinations to this list of banned countries.

And, much like the travel corridors in place before they were suspended, this list can change at any moment. Most recently, Shapps announced that the United Arab Emirates, Burundi and Rwanda have been added to the list.

Additionally, as of 1 p.m. on 29 January, the U.K. has banned all passenger flights coming from the United Arab Emirates. Both Emirates and Etihad, which are UAE-based carriers, are now operating one-way flights from the U.K. to the UAE to repatriate citizens.

As of 18 January, the U.K. now requires that all travellers coming from abroad must have a negative COVID-19 test result in order to board their flight. The eligible test must have been taken no more than 72 hours prior to scheduled departure. If the passenger arrives in the U.K. without a negative test result, they could be subject to an immediate £500 fine.

Related: Pre-departure testing and self-isolation for arrivals: Everything you need to know about travelling to the UK

Also on 18 January, the U.K. suspended its travel corridor scheme. As such, all travellers arriving in the U.K. from abroad will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine, regardless of where they’re coming from. The suspension of travel corridors is expected to last until at least mid-February.

Passengers coming from a travel ban country cannot test out of a full 10-day quarantine by way of the Test to Release scheme in England. For those who can, a passenger must quarantine for a full five days. After their fifth day of quarantine, they can elect to pay for a private COVID-19 test and await the result. If it produces a negative test result, the traveller can forgo the rest of their quarantine.

All passengers, regardless of their nationality or where they’re coming from, still are required to fill out a passenger locator form before they arrive in the U.K.

See a full list of the 33 banned countries below.

In This Post


  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mauritius
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • South Africa
  • Tanzania
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


  • Argentina
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela


  • United Arab Emirates


  • Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores)

Featured photo by Kirsy O’Connor – PA Images via Getty Images.

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