Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Here are the countries where you can travel without quarantine …. if they let you in

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

The Government has just published two lists which may help clarify your travel options this Summer.

The first list covers countries where quarantine is no longer required when you return to the UK.

The second, longer, list covers countries where the Foreign Office no longer advises you to avoid visiting.  This is important because it means that your travel insurance will now be valid if you travel to these places.

These rules only apply for residents of England.  If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland different rules will apply, and are likely to be more stringent.  This means that you may prefer to return to an English airport and take a train or ferry back home.

The two lists are not identical.  For example, the Foreign Office no longer recommends against travel to Latvia or Canada BUT you would still have to quarantine on your return.

In summary:

if you return from a country on the first list below from 10th July, you will no longer have to quarantine

you WILL need to quarantine if you transit through a country which is not on the first list below

if you have previously returned from a country on the list below, you can end your quarantine on 10th July

from tomorrow, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice on avoiding ‘all but essential’ travel will be lifted for countries on the second list below. This means that your travel insurance will be valid again.

you will still need to provide your contact information when you return to the UK, unless you fall into one of the categories on this list 

For absolute clarity, just because the UK allows you to travel to a certain country and return without quarantine, it does not mean that you will be allowed in.  This is obvious from the fact that New Zealand is on the list, for example.  For a good, updated daily, list of restrictions on UK residents, take a look at this article from Wanderlust.

You should not book travel to any country on the list below without checking if the country accepts arrivals from the UK full stop, or only accepts arrivals who agree to a period of quarantine.

UK quarantine list

These are the places where you can travel from 10th July without having to quarantine on your return (the source list is here).  Remember that there is no guarantee that these countries will let you in – good luck getting into New Zealand before 2021.

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
Spain
St Barthélemy
St Kitts and Nevis
St Lucia
St Pierre and Miquelon
Switzerland
Taiwan
Trinidad and Tobago
Turkey
Vatican City
Vietnam

You can also travel to the 14 British Overseas Territories.  Ireland is automatically included as part of the Common Travel Area.

For clarity, if you transit in a country not on this list (for example in Dubai / United Arab Emirates or in Doha) then you WILL have to quarantine on your return to the UK.  I accept that this sounds unnecessary if you do not enter the country where you are transiting, but the wording appears clear.

The second list ….

These are the countries where the Foreign Office advises you can travel to safely from 4th July which means that your travel insurance will be valid once again.

Remember that – unless a country also appears on the ‘no quarantine’ list above – you will still have to quarantine for 14 days on returning to the UK.

Click the link for specific Foreign Office advice for each country.  The source page is here.

Europe

Americas

Asia-Pacific

Africa

Antarctica

(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 1.5 million monthly page views.  Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios?  Click here to read our latest news storiesclick here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.  Read this article to learn how you can get 10,000 FREE Avios by signing up for the American Express Preferred Rewards Gold credit card.)

Comments (226)

  • MT says:

    Interesting the Maldives didn’t make it!

    • JP_MCO says:

      That’s what I was thinking! Would have seemed like the ideal destination.

  • Alan says:

    No immediate travel plans for me – don’t really see the point when there’ll be so many restrictions/closures in the destination countries. The downside to countries coming off the FCO list is they also won’t be covered for cancellation. I’ve got a USA trip booked for September that won’t be happening – given how things are going will be interesting to see if they’re off the FCO list by then or not!

    • Jeff 99 says:

      Same for me. I’ve been off work for three months and the weather has generally been good so I’ve enjoyed myself. It’s also easy enough to find things to do (if you’re capable of adapting/using your initiative) so I don’t feel like I need a trip abroad.

      • Lady London says:

        +1 will be a different story if the virus lashes back in winter especially as the economic damage will be coming through then

  • Jamie says:

    ‘ These rules only apply for residents of England. If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland different rules will apply, and are likely to be more stringent. This means that you may prefer to fly from an English airport.’

    Even if you fly into an English airport and return to Scotland you would still need to quarantine of it on the Scottish list. The quarantine list isn’t about port of entry, it’s about where you have been. The Scottish FM confirmed yesterday that people failing to quarantine after flying into England and travelling to Scotland and not quarantining would be breaking the rules.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/coronavirus-in-scotland-travellers-dodging-quarantine-rules-face-5-000-fine-dwgp8gn8l

    • Andrew says:

      £480 fine.

      £5,000 is only if you are a persistent offender, get reported to the procurator fiscal for potential prosecution, and are fined by the courts the maximum £5,000

      I doubt if there’s going to be much opportunity to persistently travel abroad without quarantining.

      • Jamie says:

        I guess my point was it would be against the rules. I hope people don’t read this article and think it’s ok to just fly back to Newcastle and head up the road and carry on as normal as it wouldn’t be right. Sounds like the SG are going to assess the list from a public health perspective – who knows what Boris did…

  • Phil Gollings says:

    So we can return from the Seychelles without quarantine but won’t be insured as it’s not on the second list.
    Just like registering as many deaths to Covid as possible, this does not make sense

  • Simon Cross says:

    I completely fail to see the point in a country being removed from the FCO no non essential travel list (so presumably “safe” in uk gov eyes) but NOT being included in the uk gov list where you don’t need to guarantee on your return (so presumably not safe).

    This just makes this even more confusing and absurd.

  • Michael_s says:

    Can an American citizen with an American passport now travel from UK to Greece and back on a direct flight? Will she be allowed to either country or refused / required to quarantine?

    She does not have UK or EEA residency but hasnt been to US for years

    • bookish says:

      If not living in the USA, where does she have residency now? And is that country on Greece’s list of accepting visitors?

      • Michael_s says:

        No residency, just extended sabbatical. Will travel from australia to UK but unsure if she can travel further onwards

        • bookish says:

          I’d think that without a government issued residency permit from a country that’s on their list, she would struggle to get into Greece and possibly even the plane. She could always contact the Greek consulate and ask given her circumstances.

    • Chris says:

      There are no direct flight from UK to Greece at the moment as there is a ban in place imposed by Greek Government; they will reconsider it though over the next few days. Having said that, all citizens can travel to Greece via other airports (I.e. Zurich, Frankfurt, Amsterdam etc)

  • Simon Cross says:

    Biggest issue with any potential travels is the apparent fact that travel insurance will NOT cover cancellation is you have to cancel due to catching covid here in the uk before departure on the grounds that this is now a known risk.

    I see no difference between this “known risk” and the “known risk” of contracting any other disease – such as cancer, flu, breaking a leg, etc.

    This seems manifestly unfair especially given the now relatively low incidence of new cases here in the UK.

    Only way around this seems to be by only booking fully refundable trips (e.g. using avios and independent hotels on fully refundable rates through hotels.com) and NOT buying packages unless the package has some special refundable deal.

    • Phil Gollings says:

      That is definitely the way forward.
      Using Emyr Thomas for hotel bookings has been very useful as they have all been cancellable as well as getting the extra benefits when you get there

      • Simon Cross says:

        Unless you don’t have enough avios or you want to fly somewhere BA does not go to.

        I have so far been extremely lucky having had 2 big and extremely expensive trips booked for this year on this basis long before covid was a twinkle in the eye which I have had to cancel.

        While it was a major hassle having to deal with multiple suppliers I have managed to get full refunds on the first trip (£14,000 in Latin America) and am in the process of doing the same now for Papua New Guinea and indonesia.

    • Nick_C says:

      “This seems manifestly unfair especially given the now relatively low incidence of new cases here in the UK.”

      Relative to where? Sweden? We still have one of the highest incidences of Covid-19 in Western Europe.

      • Rob says:

        Depends where you live. Lambeth in London is zero cases, the City is zero cases, my bit is 8 per 100k. You should move!

        • Jeff 99 says:

          Pretty much no one lives in “the city”.

          The rest is correct though.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        4th in Europe for total new based on yesterday’s reporting by John Hopkins.

        If you then adjust by per 1m residents then we fall to 24th out of 48 european nations

        Below Portugal, Switzerland, Iceland, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Spain, France as well as many others.

      • Simon Cross says:

        Relative to the case rate in the uk a few weeks ago.

        Anyway – the point is curtailment cover if available for any other illness or accident reason preventing one travelling so why not covid?

    • Frenske says:

      Knowingly travelling while having Covid is strictly forbidden. Knowingly travelling with flu is allowed. It is illegal and you can get penalties for it. Should insurance cover travelling with illegal substances too?

  • Qwertyknowsbest says:

    Has anyone obtained any clarification from Amex platinum insurance re medical cover (not concerned about cancellation) for travel to countries no longer on the foreign office advisory list?

    I have called Amex twice and received vague answers.

    Thanks