The Government has taken the slightly surprising step of banning incoming flights from the whole of South America, Portugal, Panama and Cape Verde. Non-UK residents will also be banned from reaching the UK via third countries.
Concern has been raised in recent days about a new coronavirus variant which was identified in Brazil. Whilst there had been pressure to block incoming UK flights from there, I don’t think anyone expected such a broad ban.
The full list of impacted countries is:
- Cape Verde
- French Guiana
All direct passenger flights from the countries above to the UK are banned.
The restrictions will kick in from 4am on Friday morning. This puts passengers with tickets in a difficult position with very little time to make alternative arrangements.
UK residents will still be allowed to travel home via third countries. On arrival, they must quarantine for 10 days and will not be allowed to take part in the ‘test to release’ scheme from Day 5.
Residents of any of the countries on the list above will not be allowed into the UK.
Ironically, had the ban just been for Brazil as expected, it would have had no impact. Brazil placed its own block on incoming flights from the UK last month following the discovery of another Covid-19 variant.