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Which countries have restricted travel to and from the UK?

Written by on 21 December 2020

As fears of a new coronavirus variant spread around the world, a growing list of countries are restricting travel with the UK, where it is rapidly spreading.

The unfolding COVID-19 news has led to measures being announced by at least 40 countries.

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France has stopped all travel and freight from the UK

Here is a brief summary – keeping in mind the the situation is evolving and the list is quickly extending:


  • France: Banned all passenger and cargo traffic travelling in the air and through the English Channel tunnel from Britain until midnight Tuesday, the toughest restrictions yet.
  • Belgium: Blocked the tunnel and airports from all passenger travel – even transit – for 24 hours from 12am Sunday.
  • Germany: Cancelled passenger flights from the UK until 31 December.
  • Ireland: Flights banned from the UK for 48 hours, except for Irish residents and Irish-bound passengers stranded while transiting through British airports.

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  • Netherlands: Banned flights from Britain at least until the new year.
  • Spain: Flights from the UK suspended indefinitely from Tuesday, with those carrying Spanish citizens and residents excluded. Border controls with Gibraltar, the British colony on its southwestern coast, will also tighten.
  • Switzerland: Stopped foreign nationals arriving from the UK (and South Africa) and mandated quarantine for people arriving since 14 December.

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A growing list of European countries have restricted travel

  • Italy: grounded flights from and to Britain until 6 January, while barring entry for anyone who has been in Britain in the last fortnight.
  • Russia: will suspend air traffic with the UK for one week from Tuesday.
  • Austria: no passenger flights allowed to land from Britain until the new year.
  • Denmark: suspended incoming British flights until 9am Wednesday.
  • Sweden: suspended all incoming travel from Britain and Denmark until further notice.
  • Norway: banned incoming flights from Britain starting Monday for 48 hours.
  • Croatia: slights from the UK cancelled for two days from Sunday night.
  • Bulgaria: banned all flights to and from Britain until 31 January.
  • Malta: stopped flights both ways without an end date.
  • Finland: suspended flights with Britain, with the national carrier Finnair ceasing all UK flights for two weeks.
  • Poland, Portugal, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, North Macedonia: stopping flights from Britain indefinitely.
Only supermarkets and pharmacies will open in the new lockdown
Israel has brought in a 10-day restriction plan


  • Israel: initially banned flights from Britain (along with Denmark and South Africa) then forbid any foreign nationals from entering the country for 10 days from Monday.
  • Oman: suspended all entry to the country by foreigners and halted international passenger flights, starting Tuesday for one week. Cargo flights are excluded.
  • Saudi Arabia: paused all international passenger flights and land and sea arrivals for a week or until clearer details emerged about the COVID variant, with cargo flights and supply chains exempt.
  • Iran: suspended flights to the UK for a fortnight from Monday. All Iranian planes ordered to return without passengers.
  • Turkey: barred flights from Britain (as well as Denmark, the Netherlands and South Africa) for unknown period.
  • Jordan: until 3 January, both direct and indirect flights from the UK fare banned.
The Boswell family from Whitehead near Manchester were meant to be in Tunisia this week
This Manchester family had to cancel travel plans to Tunisia


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  • Sudan: banned travellers arriving from Britain, the Netherlands and South Africa, starting Monday and until 5 January.
  • Tunisia: suspended air links with Britain, South Africa and Australia, from this Monday and until further notice. Anyone who has resided or transited through these countries will not be allowed access to Tunisian territory.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 02: A view of Times Square as the city continues the re-opening efforts following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on December 02, 2020 in New York City. The pandemic has caused long-term repercussions throughout the tourism and entertainment industries, including temporary and permanent closures of historic and iconic venues, costing the city and businesses billions in revenue. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
New York does not want British visitors for the time being


  • Canada: halted flights from Britain indefinitely.
  • United States: New York State governor intends to stop flights from Britain to the state.
  • Peru: halted commercial flights from Europe for 14 days
  • El Salvador: prohibited entry from Britain (and South Africa)
  • Chile: direct flights with Britain barred, along with the entry of foreigners who had been in the UK for the past two weeks.
  • Argentina: suspended commercial flights to and from Britain.

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  • Hong Kong: banned all flights from the UK.
  • Pakistan: imposed temporary ban on travellers arriving from Britain from Tuesday until 29 December. Pakistani nationals can return home from Britain after a negative COVID-19 test.
  • India: suspended flights from Britain until 31 December.