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UK travel cancellation update

Cathay Pacific has suspended all flights between Hong Kong and London until January 10.

The United Kingdom has identified a new strain of Covid-19 which has been spreading throughout the south of England. This has resulted in new restrictions imposed within the UK.

The new, fast-moving variant of the coronavirus is said to be 70% more transmissible than existing strains. However, there is no evidence at this stage to suggest it is more lethal or causes more severe illness.

Apart from the UK, the new strain has so far been identified in the Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, South Africa and Australia. Turkey was one of the first countries to ban flights not just from the UK but also from other countries, including the Netherlands and Denmark. Switzerland has also banned flights with South Africa, as well as the UK. Late on Monday, Sweden barred entry to arrivals from Denmark and the UK. Tunisia has included Australia on its list of barred countries.

The following cancellations and suspensions have been imposed on those travelling from the United Kingdom.


Austria - all flights banned, no clarification on duration of ban.

Belgium - flights and rail travel including transit from the UK has been banned for 24-hours from Sunday night.

Bulgaria - flights have resumed on Wednesday December 23 for Bulgarian residents/citizens who wish to return home. Testing and ten-day quarantine applies.

Czech Republic - self-isolation requirements for anyone who has spent at least 24 hours in the UK.

Denmark - flights banned until 9am on Wednesday, December 23.

Finland - all UK flights suspended, Finnair will cease UK flights for two weeks.

France - from 6am on Wednesday December 23 lateral flow tests will be introduced for freight drivers stuck at the port of Dover, if they test negative they will be free to travel to France regardless of nationality. French residents will be able to travel to France if they have a negative Covid test result taken within 72 hours of departure. Planes, boats and Eurostar trains will resume service from Wednesday morning.

Germany - ban on passenger flights and all forms of transport extended until January 6, 2021. From January 1, transport operators can apply to German authorities for exemptions to transport German residents.

Greece - self-isolation period for UK arrivals extended from three to seven days.

Ireland - flights and ferries to and from Britain have been banned until December 31, except for Irish residents and Irish-bound passengers stranded while transiting through British airports.

Italy - flight ban until January 6, including people who have transited through the UK in the previous 14 days.

Malta - all flights suspended to and from UK from Tuesday.

Netherlands - flights banned until January 1.

Norway - incoming flights from UK banned from Monday December 21 for 48 hours.

Poland - flights banned from midnight on Monday.

Portugal - only residents/citizens of Portugal can arrive restriction-free from the UK. All other arrivals must show proof of a negative Covid test.

Spain - flights arriving from UK suspended from Tuesday, apart from those carrying Spanish citizens/residents. All arrivals into Spain must have a negative Covid test certificate, the test taken within 72 hours of departure.

Sweden - ban on travel into the country by plane, boat or car for one month from Monday, for arrivals from both the UK and Denmark.

Switzerland - air links suspended with the UK and also South Africa from Sunday night. Mandatory quarantine for those arriving since December 14.

The European Union - has urged member states to lift travel bans to the UK to allow for essential journeys and to minimise travel disruption. According to an official statement released on Tuesday December 22, "Flight and train bans should be discontinued given the need to ensure essential travel and avoid supply chain disruptions."

Rest of world

Argentina - all UK arrivals banned.

Australia - no change, Australian authorities won't be banning flights from the UK.

Canada - flights banned indefinitely.

Chile - all UK arrivals banned as well as those who have been in the UK in the last 14 days.

Colombia - all UK arrivals banned.

Grenada - all air traffic from the UK suspended until further notice.

Hong Kong - all arrivals from the UK banned indefinitely, arrivals from the UK into Hong Kong on or after December 2 will be required to self-isolate for a further seven days at home.

India - all UK flights suspended until the end of January.

Israel - no foreign nationals to enter the country for ten days from Monday December 21.

Jordan - flights into and out of the UK suspended until January 3.

Kuwait - all land and sea borders closed until January 1.

Macau - quarantine has been extended to 21 days for all arrivals, except for those travelling from Taiwan and medium-risk areas in mainland China.

Morocco - all UK flights banned.

Oman - all land, air and sea borders closed for one week from Tuesday December 22.

Peru - has suspended all flights from Europe for 14 days.

Russia - has suspended all flights to and from Britain for one week.

Saudi Arabia - all international flights suspended for one week.

Singapore - long-term pass holders and short-term visitors who have visited the UK in the last 14 days will be banned from entering or transiting through Singapore from Wednesday December 23. Returning Singapore citizens and permanent residents can enter after a PCR test and must isolate for 14 days.

Sudan - will ban travellers from the UK, Netherlands and South Africa from December 23.

Tunisia - air links with Britain, South Africa and Australia are suspended from Monday December 21 until further notice, including for transit passengers.

Turkey - flights suspended from the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands.

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