More long-haul destinations are being included on the UK Government list of countries where passengers are required to self-isolate on return from overseas.

The ever-changing situation can cause confusion for travellers and airlines are also lobbying for changes to be made.

Low-cost airline easyJet is hoping the UK Government will relax restrictions on travel to Egypt in a bid to kickstart the winter sun holiday season.

The carrier and tour operator has revealed that nearly half of visitors to its website claim they intended to jet away in the next three months with 60 per cent searching for deals.

Current Foreign Office advice warns against all but essential international travel for the whole of Egypt. The FCO lists the latest updates which could affect travel insurance.

But the Department for Transport exemption list – which runs alongside the transport advice – shows countries that do not require a traveller to enter quarantine on return to the UK.

Here are some favourite long-haul destinations for UK holidaymakers.


Havana, Cuba

The country is exempt from the FCDO advice against all non-essential international travel and passengers do not have to isolate on return to the UK.

Entry restrictions are in place and visas are required for tourists.

All international tourists arriving on charter flights will have their temperature checked and a PCR (antigen) test. Anyone with respiratory problems may be isolated. Anyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be hospitalised immediately. Otherwise, there is no quarantine requirement for all arrivals on these flights.

Tourists can enter Cuba on international charter flights arriving directly into Cayo Coco, Cayo Cruz or Cayo Guillermo (served by Jardines del Rey airport); Cayo Santa Maria (flying into Santa Clara airport); or Cayo Largo del Sur only.

All other charter and commercial flights remain suspended.


Diving in the Red Sea at Sharm El Sheikh.
Diving in the Red Sea at Sharm El Sheikh.


The FCO advises against all but essential travel to Egypt.

  • The Egyptian authorities have advised that all arrivals into Egypt will be subject to health measures.
  • Passengers will be required to complete a monitoring card with personal details, and will need to provide confirmation of valid health insurance policy to airport authorities.
  • From 1 September, all persons (including those who hold Egyptian nationality) arriving from overseas to any part of Egypt will be required to present a negative PCR test certificate on arrival. The Egyptian authorities have advised that PCR tests must be conducted no more than 72 hours prior to flight departure. Children under the age of 6 are exempt. You should check with your airline to confirm time frames for undertaking PCR tests and what proof of testing needs to be presented before you travel.

Tourists arriving at airports in the coastal governorates of the Red Sea (Hurghada), South Sinai (Sharm El Sheikh), and Marsa Matrouh that are unable to present acceptable evidence of a negative PCR test will need to undergo testing on arrival.

After testing you will be required to self-isolate at your hotel until you receive your test result. The Egyptian authorities will be in touch and will advise whether you need to continue self-isolating. Test results are expected to become available within 12-24 hours.


Travel to USA is subject to entry restrictions

  • British nationals cannot enter the USA if they have been in the UK, Ireland, Schengen zone, Iran, Brazil or China within the previous 14 days
  • If you are eligible to enter the USA you must be prepared to self-isolate for up to 14 days after arrival

See entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Return travel to the UK is subject to self-isolation requirements.


Authorities are now barring entry to Canada, including at its border with the US, to most foreign nationals, including British nationals.

Travel to Canada is subject to entry restrictions

  • Entry to Canada is limited, except for Canadian citizens and permanent residents or their immediate families (exceptions apply), temporary foreign workers, and some international students
  • If you’re eligible to enter Canada, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival

See entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

To help curb the spread of coronavirus, provincial governments have introduced a number of measures. There are some regional variations, but they generally include:

  • a ban on large social gatherings, where physical distancing is not possible
  • closure of schools, colleges and many public facilities, museums, cinemas and theatres
  • closure of bars and restaurants in many cities and regions
  • some public transport offering only a limited service

There are currently direct flights to the UK from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal



To curb the spread of Covid-19, scheduled international commercial passenger air services are currently suspended.

Availability of options for international transportation remain limited.

More information and detailed guidelines for International Arrivals are available on the Ministry of Health website.

Thermal screening will be carried out by the health officials at arrival. You must comply with all instructions and screening requirements.

All passengers will need to quarantine for 14 days after arrival.


No new restrictions on travel to Mexico but on return to the UK, you will need to:

  • provide your journey and contact details
  • self-isolate for 14 days


Thailand is exempt from the FCO advice against all non-essential international travel. This is based on the current assessment of Covid-19 risks.

However, the requirement to self-isolate on return to the UK from Thailand remains in place.

Travel to Thailand is subject to entry restrictions

  • At present only certain categories of foreign nationals are permitted to enter or transit Thailand.
  • If you’re eligible to enter, you will be subject to a 14-day state quarantine at a Thai government-designated facility at your own expense. If suspected of carrying Covid-19, you may be denied entry into the country.

See entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.


The stunning Burj Al Arab hotel, Dubai
The stunning Burj Al Arab hotel, Dubai


Travel to the United Arab Emirates is subject to entry restrictions.

  • Visit and tourist visas are currently being issued by the Dubai authorities only. Tourists and visitors cannot travel to Abu Dhabi by air.
  • All travellers to the UAE must have carried out a Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 96 hours and received a negative result prior to their departure. You may also need to undertake a second test on arrival, and to complete a period of self-isolation. You should check with their airline to confirm what proof of testing they need before travelling.
  • All travellers departing from the UAE to UK will need to have a negative Covid-19 PCR test result within 96 hours prior to departure.

Return travel to the UK is subject to self-isolation requirements.


The country is exempt from UK quarantine rules. However, travellers heading to Barbados are covered by restrictions.

  • You must complete and submit an online immigration/customs form 24 hours prior to travel
  • To be considered for fast-track processing upon arrival, you’re advised to arrive in Barbados with a Covid-19 negative PCR test result.
  • If you arrive in Barbados without a negative PCR test that meets Barbados’ entry requirements, you will be subjected to a mandatory test on arrival. You will need to quarantine until the test results are provided. This can take up to 48 hours. If at all possible, you are strongly advised to arrive in Barbados with a Covid-19 negative PCR test
  • Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 will be placed in isolation until they have recovered
  • Persons may be required to quarantine at any stage of their visit if the Government of Barbados deems that you have come into close contact with a Covid-19 positive individual.


Sandals resorts, Jamaica. Montego bay beach


The sunshine state is exempt from UK quarantine rules. However, travellers heading to Jamaica are covered by restrictions.

  • Prior to checking in for a flight to Jamaica, you must get authorisation to enter from the Visit Jamaica website
  • All travellers arriving in Jamaica will be tested for Covid-19 and screened for symptoms at the airport


Travellers arriving in the UK from Australia are exempt from quarantine rules.

However, travel to Australia is limited at the moment. Only Australian citizens and returning permanent residents and their immediate family members are permitted to enter without an exemption until further notice.

  • Travellers who meet exemption criteria or have a compassionate or compelling reason to enter Australia can apply to the Australian authorities for an exemption.
  • For information on the exemption categories, application form and documentation required, see the Department of Home Affairs website
  • The Department of Home Affairs is experiencing high levels of demand for exemptions and there is no guarantee of either the timing of a decision or the outcome. You should make your application at least four weeks but not more than three months in advance of travel and provide full supporting documentation.

South Africa

Travel to South Africa is subject to entry restrictions

  • UK nationals now require a visa to enter South Africa. These will only be issued in exceptional circumstances. You should get your visa from your local South African High Commission before you book travel.
  • South African nationals and foreign nationals with valid permanent residence permits for South Africa may enter South Africa.
  • If you are eligible for entry, you will be quarantined for 14 days after arrival.

See entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Return travel to the UK is subject to self-isolation.

It is worth remembering that all information can change at short notice, so it is advisable to monitor the FCO and Department of Transport websites for the latest updates.