Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport © Heathrow Media Centre

The UK Government has put in place new travel bans for visitors arriving into England from Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar. These countries will be added to the ‘red list’ in which British, Irish and third-country nationals with residence rights will be required to quarantine in a government-approved hotel quarantine facility for 10 days.

The latest travel bans

From 4am on Friday 19 March, visitors who have departed from or transited through these countries in the previous 10 days will be refused entry into England. Only British and Irish citizens, or those with residence rights (including long-term visa holders), will be allowed to enter. On day two and eight of their 10 day hotel quarentine, travellers will also be required to take mandatory coronavirus tests.

Following over 24 million vaccinations delivered in the UK so far, the ban has been put into place to reduce the risk of importing variants of concern. The ban will exclude cargo and freight flights without passengers.

A British Airways plane at Heathrow Airport
Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar Added to England’s Red List © Heathrow Media Centre

Portugal and Mauritius removed from red list

The UK Government also announced that from 4am on Friday, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Mauritius will be removed from the red list. The decision to remove the countries was approved following evidence that the risk of importing a variant of concern from these destinations has reduced.

Whilst national lockdown rules mean all but essential travel is illegal, the UK Government have set out a roadmap plan to ease restrictions and allow international travel from May 17. This decision is set to be reviewed by April.

A full list of the countries on the red list can be found here. Are you optimistic about international travel reopening on May 17 amid the latest bans? Let us know below. 


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