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More Countries impose Travel Restrictions on UK amid Concerns over Virus Mutation

Updated at 12:40 PM (GMT)

Countries across Europe and beyond began closing their borders to travelers from the United Kingdom on Sunday.

More and more countries across Europe and the rest of the world are imposing travel restrictions on United Kingdom amid concerns over new Virus Mutation.

On Saturday night, Train stations in London began getting crowded with people as to leave the city to escape the new restrictions, which went into effect at midnight and effectively quarantined the capital of United Kingdom and other areas from the rest of the country. London and SouthEast England entered Tier 4 of lockdown, the harshest measures to be taken since the country’s first lockdown in March.

The Netherlands has already banned air travel from United Kingdom from Sunday to 1st January,2021.

Italy has also suspended air travel and Belgium on Sunday announced a 24-hour travel ban on arrivals from Britain by air or train which could further be extended.

Austria, France, Ireland and Bulgaria have also announced bans.

Germany and Switzerland have announced travel ban between their countries, and both United Kingdom and South Africa.

Canada on Sunday said that it is banning flights from the UK for 72 hours starting midnight.

Portugal, which banned travel to and from the United Kingdom, is making exceptions for Portuguese nationals or residents.

Photo: Twitter/Eurostar

Eurostar has tweeted that there will no services between London, Brussels and Amsterdam on 21st December,2020 and added that trains will only operate on London bound leg between Paris and London on 21st and 22nd December,2020.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday halted international flights and suspended entry through its land and sea ports for at least a week. The kingdom is “temporarily suspending all international flights — except in exceptional cases — for a period of one week, which can be extended by another week,” said the official Saudi Press Agency.
The suspension does not apply to international aircraft currently in the kingdom, which will be allowed to leave, SPA said.

Luxembourg has banned all air passenger flights between the UK and Luxembourg from 00:00 (CET) on Sunday-20th December 2020 for an initial 24 hour period.

Latvia has also banned passenger carriers from operating to the United Kingdom From 21st December,2020 at 00:00 until 1st January,2021.

The Czech Republic has announced a mandatory quarantine period for those who have travelled from the UK, or spent more than 24 hours in the UK during the past 14 days. If you have travelled to the UK and have stayed for more than 24 hours, you should self-isolate, and take a Covid-19 PCR test between 5 and 7 days after your arrival into the Czech Republic from the UK.

Lithuania will be restricting travel from the UK from 04:00 21st December,2020 until 23:59 31st December,2020.

Iran has also suspended flights for 2 weeks as reported by Reuters.

Israel has banned travellers and foreign nationals from United Kingdom, Denmark and South Africa.

Sweden has announced that they will impose restrictions on travel from the UK. They are planning to impose the restrictions as soon as possible but are yet to declare a specific date and time.

Romania – 24:00 (CET) 20th December,2020 – All arrivals from the UK, regardless of nationality, are required to self-isolate for 14 days and from 19:00 (CET) 21st December,2020, all passenger flights to and from the UK will be banned for 14 days.

Croatia will also be restricting travel for air passengers from the United Kingdom.

Estonia has banned all passenger flights from the UK from 22:00 GMT on Sunday – 20th December,2020.

Greece has changed the self-isolation requirements for travellers arriving from UK.

Argentina and Brazil are planning to suspend flights from the United Kingdom as reported in Reuters.

Columbia has suspended direct flights to/from London from 20th December,2020 until further notice. Passengers arriving in Colombia from other destinations, and whose journey has started in the UK, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. Passengers who have arrived directly or indirectly from the UK from 13 December will be contacted and required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Hong Kong will ban all flights arriving from the UK from midnight local time on Monday, becoming the first city in Asia to announce complete ban on flights.

India will also suspend flights to/from United Kingdom from 23:59-22nd December,2020. Ministry of Civil Aviation, India tweeted: “This suspension to start w.e.f. 23.59 hours, 22nd December 2020. Consequently flights from India to UK shall stand temporarily suspended during above said period.”. It added: “As a measure of abundant precaution, passengers arriving from UK in all transit flights (flights that have taken off or flights which are reaching India before 22nd Dec at 23.59 hrs) should be subject to mandatory RT-PCR test on arrival at the airports concerned.”.

Norway has suspended flights with immediate effect on 21st December,2020. “Flights from Britain to Norway will be suspended with immediate effect for a minimum of 48 hours due to concerns over a new strain of coronavirus”, said Norwegian Health Minister in a statement on Monday.

Russia announced it will suspend flights with the UK for one week. A government official said Russia would “temporarily suspend flights with the UK due to the worsening epidemiological situation” starting from midnight local time (2100 GMT) on Monday.

Finland has announced they will be restricting travel from the United Kingdom from 1200 on Monday 21st December,2020 until Monday 04h January,2021.

Jordan has also banned flights to/from United Kingdom till 3rd January,2021.

Turkish Airlines has also suspended flights to 4 countries with immediate effect.

The following is a list of countries that have imposed new travel restrictions on United Kingdom:

  • Netherlands – Till 1st January,2021
  • Italy
  • Belgium – 24-hour ban from Sunday midnight which could further be extended
  • Austria
  • France – 48 hour travel ban
  • Ireland
  • Bulgaria
  • Germany – also on South Africa
  • Switzerland – also on South Africa
  • Canada – 72-hour travel ban starting Sunday midnight which could be extended further
  • Portugal – exception for Portuguese national and residents
  • Saudi Arabia – halted all international flights for 1 week which could be further extended by another week
  • Iran – suspension of flights for two weeks
  • Israel – ban on travellers and foreign nationals from United Kingdom, Denmark and South Africa
  • Luxembourg – initial 24-hour period
  • Latvia – Till 1st January,2021
  • The Czech Republic – mandatory 14-day quarantine
  • Lithuania – Till 31st December,2020
  • Sweden – yet to declare
  • Romania – self-isolate for 14 days
  • Croatia
  • Estonia
  • Greece – has changed the self-isolation requirements
  • Columbia
  • Argentina – planning and yet to suspend
  • Brazil – planning and yet to suspend
  • India – Till 31st December,2020.
  • Hong Kong
  • Norway – for a minimum of 48 hours
  • Russia
  • Finland
  • Jordan
Photo: Twitter/KCC Press Office

France’s 48-hour travel ban on UK has lead to the closure of the Port of Dover for all outbound movements, and the implementation of Operation Stack on the M20 towards Dover.

Photo: Twitter/Edinburgh Airport

The Irish Government has posted the following statement:

“In response to the identification of a new strain of Covid-19 in the South-East of England, the government has announced a ban on all flights arriving into Ireland from Great Britain with effect from midnight tonight, Sunday, 20 December 2020.

“The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Health had detailed discussions on Sunday and announced that in the interests of public health, people in Britain, regardless of nationality, should not travel to Ireland, by air or by sea.

“Flights are being banned for at least 48 hours. The ban is in place for tomorrow Monday, 21 December, and Tuesday 22 December, 2020 and will be reviewed by the government at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 22 December 2020.”

RyanAir has posted following advice on its website:

“For any flights to/from the UK in the coming days (Dec 20th to 24th) which are banned by EU Govts regulation, all affected customers will receive an email notification and they will be offered practical alternatives including free moves (no change fee applies) or refunds if they so wish. In the case of all other flights to/from the UK which are permitted to fly, Ryanair will operate these flights to facilitate all passengers who need to travel for business reasons, and are booked on them or wish to move to these flights.”

“If any such passengers (booked on operating flights) do not wish to travel during the next 5 days prior to Christmas, then Ryanair will facilitate a free move of their booking (no change fee applies) to any date up to 15th Mar.”, RyanAir added.

Australian states and territories have also imposed new travel restrictions on Sydney after a COVID-19 cluster was found in the city.

This is a rapidly changing situation. IH Aviation and Travel will keep updating this page with the latest situation as often as we can.

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