These are the winter sun destinations on the UK travel corridor list - but is it safe to go on holiday?

Monday, 26th October 2020, 9:50 am
Updated Monday, 26th October 2020, 9:50 am

As temperatures drop and winter's cold embrace slowly envelopes the nation, usually people would be looking to top up their suntan with a trip away to warmer climates.

While that's still doable this year, with the Covid-19 pandemic still raging on around the world, things are a little trickier.

Below is the full list of countries from which passengers do not need to self-isolate on return to the UK, and all the information you need about heading abroad.

Can I go on holiday this winter?

Currently, as long as you can get to a country, you can technically go on holiday there in most cases, subject to that nation’s own coronavirus restrictions.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises against all unnecessary international travel, however, and passengers returning from many overseas countries will also need to self-isolate for 14 days when they arrive in the UK.

This applies to UK residents and visitors to the UK.

But as some countries successfully manage to get the virus under control – and government’s around the world realise the need to keep the wheels spinning on their lucrative tourism industries – some ‘travel corridors’ have been set up.

You do not have to self-isolate on arrival to the UK if, during the last 14 days, you have only been somewhere on the travel corridor exempt list, or in the UK.

If your journey involves a transit stop in a country, territory or region not on the travel corridor list, you will need to self-isolate when you arrive in England if new passengers get on or you or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again.

What are the restrictions in other countries?

While the above countries and territories have been deemed safe enough that you will not need to self-isolate on return to the UK, they will still have their own rules and regulation to tackle coronavirus.

This could mean anything from the mandatory wearing of face coverings, to a compulsory two-week isolation period when you arrive in the country.

For example, in Australia, only Australian citizens and returning permanent residents and their immediate family members are permitted to enter Australia without an exemption.

Visitors to Thailand will only be granted entry if they are on a diplomatic or consular mission, hold a work permit or have already been granted permission from the Thai government to work in Thailand, are the spouse, child or parent of a Thai national, or are an international student or the parent/guardian of an international student.

Barbados

Flights to Barbados take approximately 8.5 hours. Direct flights from the UK are not available at the time of writing, and passengers will need to make a stopover in the US at an airport such as Miami.

From December to May the average temperatures range from 21 to 31 °C.

All persons arriving in Barbados are required to wear face masks at all times whilst on airport grounds. Persons will also have their temperature taken.

In moving around Barbados, physical distancing is one metre/three feet.

Wearing a face mask is actively encouraged and some premises will only allow you to enter if you are wearing a face mask. You may also have your temperature taken when entering some premises. Regular washing of hands is encouraged and you can expect to be asked to clean your hands using hand sanitiser on entering a building.

You may be required to quarantine and/or undergo a further Covid-19 test at any stage of your stay if the Barbados authorities deem that you have been in close contact with a Covid-19 positive individual or mandatory monitoring highlights potential Covid-19 symptoms.

All travellers must present on arrival a valid Covid-19 negative test result taken no more than 72 hours in advance of your flight’s arrival.

All passengers are also required to submit an Embarkation/Disembarkation (ED) card 24 hours prior to travel.

Cyprus

Flights to Cyprus take approximately 4.5 hours. Direct flights from the UK are available at the time of writing.

Cyprus has one of the warmest winters in the Mediterranean part of the European Union, with mild temperatures sometimes exceeding 20 °C during the day.

The use of masks is compulsory in most indoor public spaces including supermarkets, bakeries, shops and malls, hospitals and other locations.

UK tourists are permitted to travel to Cyprus, but they need to provide a negative Covid-19 test result on arrival, obtained within 72 hours before travel.

Test results can be in the form of an email or SMS, but the result itself and/or appointment letter must include the date and time when the test was taken. Children under 12 years old do not require to be tested in order to travel to Cyprus.

Greece

Flights to Greece take approximately 3.5 hours. Direct flights from the UK are available at the time of writing, though you may have to make changes depending on your end destination.

Despite Greece's warm climate, winters can be wet and cold thanks to much of the nation being coastal.

Greece’s current restrictions include the mandatory use of a mask on all public transport, at airports and on aeroplanes, in all public indoor spaces, including medical and healthcare facilities, lifts, staircases and any enclosed venue providing goods or services, and all crowded outdoor spaces, where social distancing cannot be maintained.

There is a nationwide limit of 50 people on the number that can gather for public and social events, except those to which special rules apply, such as restaurants, theatres, cinemas.

As well as the nationwide measures on the mandatory use of masks and restrictions on public spaces and services detailed above, the Greek authorities are likely to impose additional local coronavirus-related restrictions in certain areas.

Mauritius

There are currently no regular commercial flights from Mauritius to the UK. Check with your travel company for the latest information.

There are no restrictions on movement around Mauritius. However, social distancing and wearing of face masks in public remains mandatory.

The Mauritian government is allowing visitors from the United Kingdom and returning residents entry to Mauritius under subject to the following quarantine restrictions.

To enter Mauritius, you must book airline travel and accommodation via the official Mauritian Tourism Promotion Agency website, and undergo a period of “in room” quarantine in a government-approved hotel on a full board basis for 14 days on arrival.

You must also Take a Covid-19 test no more than seven days before your departure for Mauritius and demonstrate a negative test result on entry, and take another on the day of arrival, and on day 7 and day 14 of your stay.

Tenerife

Flights to Tenerife can take upwards of 6 hours. Direct flights from the UK are not available at the time of writing, and you will need to make a change in a location like Madrid or Portugal.

The island, which lies at the same latitude as central Florida, enjoys a warm tropical climate with an average of 18–24 °C in the winter

The requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK from the Canary Islands was lifted for those arriving on or after 4am on 25 October. You must still self-isolate if returning to the UK from any other part of Spain.

Regional governments to apply entry and exit restrictions in areas with populations of 100,000 or more, and whose Covid-19 incidence rate and ICU capacity are higher than the specified threshold.

These rules shouldn’t affect Spain’s islands, but you should refer to the regional and local authorities for further information regarding exemptions.

A number of outbreaks of Covid-19 have been identified in Spain since the end of the State of Alarm. You should consult the Ministry of Health map for information on their locations.

To check the restrictions in the region you’re looking to travel to, head to the FCO’s website

How do I find a passenger locator form?

Regardless of whether you have returned from a ‘safe’ country or not, you must show proof of a completed passenger locator form at the UK border.

This applies to people entering the UK from all countries, territories and regions.

It applies to UK residents and visitors.

You can complete it any time in the 48 hour period before you are due to arrive in the UK.

Make sure you leave yourself enough time to complete it. If you do not complete the form before you arrive in the UK, it might take you longer to enter the UK.

The form is an online form. You will need an internet connection and details of your journey to complete it.

Failure to complete the form is a criminal offence.

You can find a passenger locator form here

The full list of countries on the travel corridor exempt list:

Akrotiri and Dhekelia

Anguilla

Antigua and Barbuda

Australia

the Azores

Barbados

Bermuda

British Antarctic Territory

British Indian Ocean Territory

British Virgin Islands

Brunei

the Canary Islands (will be added to the list 4am Sunday 25 October)

Cayman Islands

the Channel Islands

Cuba

Cyprus

Denmark (will be added to the list 4am Sunday 25 October)

Dominica

Estonia

Falkland Islands

Faroe Islands

Fiji

Finland

Gibraltar

Germany

Greece

- if you arrive in England from Mykonos before 4am 25 October you will need to self-isolate

Greenland

Grenada

Hong Kong

Ireland

the Isle of Man

Japan

Latvia

Liechtenstein (will be removed from the list 4am Sunday 25 October)

Lithuania

Macao (Macau)

Madeira

Malaysia

Maldives (will be added to the list 4am Sunday 25 October)

Mauritius

Montserrat

New Caledonia

New Zealand

Norway

Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands

Seychelles

Singapore

South Korea

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

St Barthélemy

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

St Kitts and Nevis

St Lucia

St Pierre and Miquelon

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Sweden

Taiwan

Thailand

Vietnam

A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Scotsman