It is that time of the week again where the UK Government and Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office play Jenga, moves the blocks around with country names on them – and pushes out a new its new travel advice. Let us see what has changed this week.
Countries being removed from the travel corridors list:
- Italy – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy
- San Marino – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/san-marino
- Vatican City State – https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy
The UK FCDO is not advising those already travelling in Italy to leave at this time. Travellers should follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect themselves and others, including any measures that they bring in to control the virus.
If you are returning to the UK from Italy on or after 4 am on the 18th of October, you will need to self-isolate on your return (unless you are exempt). Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
If you are planning to enter Italy, you must show evidence that you tested negative for COVID within the 72 hours before your travel. Tests should be through a 3rd party provider, NOT through NHS testing services. Alternatively, you can get a free test on arrival at some airports, or a testing facility in Italy shortly after you arrive. If you test positive in Italy, you will be required to quarantine.
Going onto the safe travel list are some regional changes:
- Scotland has added mainland Greece and the Greek islands – including Crete, but excluding Mykonos
- England, Wales and Northern Ireland have also added Crete to their safelists.
These go into effect on 4 am on the 18th of October. If you arrive after then, you do not need to self-isolate on arrival into the UK
However, fill that damn form in…
All travellers, including those from exempt destinations, will still be required to show a completed passenger locator form on arrival in the United Kingdom unless they fall into a small group of exemptions. Failure to do so will lead to fines if you are caught crossing into the country without a completed form.
… And if you do have to self-isolate
Yes, it’s not going to be a fun time if you have to self-isolate on returning to the UK. It’ll be a less of a fun time on your wallet if you breach the self-isolation rules when returning from non-exempt countries, with fines increasing have increased from £1,000 for a first offence up to £10,000 for subsequent offences, mirroring penalties for those breaching self-isolation following a positive COVID test or contact from Test & Trace.
Don’t expect travel to take off
Whilst Crete is back in time for the half-term holidays, don’t expect a travel boom (least of all, it’s late in the day). Italy is still a big draw for UK visitors, so that’s going to be a major hit (unless you’re an airline who can shove major capacity there for 24 hours).
However, with the resurgence of COVID-19, travel will not be on the mind…
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