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What destinations are safe to fly to this summer?

UPDATED: 15th August – Malta, France, Turks and Caicos and the Netherlands have now been added to the list of countries from which you will need to quarantine on arrival into the UK. 

Following the announcement of airbridges between England and a number of countries, the UK government this week announced 59 countries (Source: Gov) that you can visit without the need to quarantine upon your return. The government has also removed the restriction for essential travel only to a number of countries, the details but before you rush out to book flights, you need to do your research. This does not mean that these countries will allow you to enter without restriction, and not all countries on the list have had the ‘all but essential travel’ restriction removed. So which countries are safe to fly to this summer?

Where can you go without quarantine on your return to England?

The table below shows the 59 departure countries from which travellers to England will not need to quarantine after 10th July. The UK government has however also indicated that if circumstances change they will not hesitate to re-introduce quarantine. It is not possible therefore that quarantine will be introduced at short notice.

Covid experience in the 59 countries

The data shows the number of coronavirus infections (as at 4th July 2020), deaths and deaths per million. You can decide for yourself whether there is a heightened risk of travel to any of these countries before you commit to travel. As you can see, many of these countries have some of the highest rates of deaths per million of population.

Country Number of cases Number of deaths  Deaths per million Exempt from ‘all but essential international travel’ (FCO guidance) Top 10 count for number of UK visitors   Is the country accepting UK tourists?
Andorra  

855

52 673 × ×
Anguilla (new) 3 0 0  × × ×
Antigua and Barbuda 68 3 31 × √ But must provide evidence of a negative test and 14 day quarantine is possible
Aruba 104 3 28 × ×
Australia 8362 104 4 √ 14 day Quarantine
Austria 18,165 705 78 × √ 14 day quarantine if test positive
Bahamas 104 11 28 × √ With proof of a negative test
Barbados 97 7 24 × √ but mandatory quarantine until negative test confirmed
Belgium 61,727 9765 843
Bonaire Unknown Unknown Unknown × × ×
British Virgin Islands 8 1 33 × × ×
Cayman Islands 201 1 15 × ×
Croatia 3008 112 27 ×
Curaçao 23 1 6 × × ×
Cyprus 999 19 16 × ×
Czech Republic 12,319 353 33 ×
Denmark 12,832 606 105 ×
Dominica 18 0 0 × ×
Faroe Islands 187 0 0 × √ but tested on entry
Falkland Islands 13 0 0 × × √ but 14 day quarantine
Fiji 18 0 0 × × ×
Finland 7248 329 59 × ×
France 166,960 29,893 458 √ but voluntary 14 day quarantine
French Polynesia 62 0 0 × √ but 14 day quarantine
Gibraltar 180 0 0 ×
Germany 197,000 9073 108
Greece 3486 192 18 × × No direct flights from the UK until 15th July
Greenland 13 0 0 ×
Grenada 23 0 0 × √ Screening and possible quarantine (FCO)
Guadeloupe 184 14 35 × × √ Screening and possible quarnatine
Hong Kong 1248 7 1 × ×
Hungary 4174 589 61 × ×
Iceland 1855 10 29 ×
Ireland 25,589 1744 343 14 day quarantine
Italy 241,184 34,833 576
Jamaica 721 10 3 × √ Prior authorisation required, with screening and possible quarantine
Japan 19,068 976 8 × ×
Liechtenstein 83 1 26 ×
Lithuania 1828 79 28 × √ Government recommends self isolation. Also restrictions apply if the number of Covid cases exceeds certain parameters. Check before travelling.
Luxembourg 4447 110 176 ×
Macau 46 0 0 × ×
Malta 672 9 20 × × Re-opens on 15th July
Mauritius 341 10 8 × × ×
Monaco 106 4 102 × ×
Montserrat 11 1 200 × ×
Netherlands 50,335 6113 357 ×
New Caledonia 21 0 0 × × √ but must complete a travel certificate
New Zealand 1530 22 4 × ×
Norway 8921 251 46 × ×
Poland 35,719 1512 40
Réunion 533 2 2 × √ but must complete a travel certificate
San Marino 698 42 1238 ×
Seychelles 81 0 0 × × √ 14 day quarantine
South Korea 13,030 283 6 × √ 14 day quarantine
Spain 297,625 28,385 607
St Barthélemy 6 0 0 × × √ With proof of a negative test
St Helena
St Kitts and Nevis 15 0 0 × ×
St Lucia 22 0 0 × × Phased reopening of the country
St Pierre and Miquelon 1 0 0 × √ but must complete a travel certificate
Switzerland 32,101 1965 227 ×
Taiwan 449 7 0 × √ With proof of a negative test
Trinidad and Tobago 130 8 6 × ×
Turkey 203,456 5186 61 ×
Turks and Caicos  66 52  × √ 14 day quarantine
Vatican City 12 0 0 ×
Vietnam 355 0 0 × ×

Source:

What countries can you visit without mandatory quarantine on arrival?

Before racing to book a flight, you will also need to check whether the country you would like to visit will allow entry to UK citizens.

These countries may still impose specific entry restrictions. Some have firmly closed their doors to UK tourists. I have highlighted the ones that allow entry without quarantine. As you can see, this hugely reduces the list of destinations which could be attractive to UK tourists hoping to find places safe to fly to this summer.

Countries highlighted in gold are what I would deem ‘safe countries.’ Not safe because they pose a lower risk of infection, but safe because you should be able to enter and return without the threat of quarantine unless circumstances change hugely during your stay.

This reduces your options to just 16 countries and many will not feature highly on bucket lists.

Luxembourg old town
Make Luxembourg your next trip?

What countries are exempt from the restriction to all but essential international travel?

To confuse matters furthers, some countries on the list still remain on the FCO list as a destination that you should only visit for essential purposes. Of the 59 countries, I have highlighted the ones that are exempt from this requirement as you need to ensure you select a country where this restriction does not apply.

If this restriction does apply, although you will not need a quarantine, you might not be able to obtain insurance cover for your trip as usually such restrictions invalidate your cover.

Are these countries really safe to travel to?

I have highlighted the countries that feature in the top 10 for visitors to the UK. Travellers from these countries accounted for 41.9% of all overseas visits to the UK in 2019. (Source: ONS). This implies that factors, other than a ‘lower threat‘ may influence which countries made it onto this list.

I personally don’t think anywhere is safe. You could pick up the infection in any country, including the UK. But are you more at risk? We know that the incidences of infection receded during lockdown. Inevitably therefore, as more people start to travel, the potential for spread will naturally increase. But this is equally true of lockdown relaxation in the UK.

Only you can decide if you are willing to take the risk. You should follow usual social distancing policies where possible.

social distancing sticker
Try to social distance where possible

Advice for travel

If you decide that you are happy to take the risk of travel, there are 3 steps you should follow:

  1. Use this Gov list to check that the country you wish to visit allows re-entry to England without quarantine.
  2. Visit Gov.com to check that the country you wish to visit is not a country restricted to essential travel only as this will likely invalidate your insurance.
  3. Check that the country is accepting tourists from the UK without quarantine on arrival.

If you can answer yes to each of these 3 questions go ahead and book your trip.

Note however, Covid hotspots change frequently. Even if your chosen destination passes these 3 tests today, the situation may change during your trip.

safe to travel
What will you decide?

One last tip

Finally, my last piece of advice would be to book AirBnb rather than hotels. You will have less exposure to other people that way. If you use this link to sign up, you will get £34 off your first AirBnb booking.

Have your say

But what do you think? Have your say in the comments below.

This post may contain affiliate links which pay me a small commission should you click on them and make a purchase. These help towards the cost of running the site, and the occasional glass of wine, but you are under no obligation to use them.

About Anne

Anne is the founder and editor of Frommilestosmiles. If she isn't travelling, she is thinking of travelling or planning her next trip. She has visited over 90 countries on six continents and sampled everything from backpacking to bank bursting travel. Her mission is to help you enjoy more luxurious travel without the luxury price tag through the use of airline and hotel rewards and other money-saving travel tips

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3 comments

  1. Hi

    Very informative article in the time of this pandemic to the travelers. Thanks

  2. Thanks for compiling the information into a readable format, Anne.

    I’ll be on the phone in the next week to book a baccy run to Calais with P&O ferries!

    BA lounge options are looking very good at Heathrow now, but still not planning on planning anything long haul just yet…

    • Thanks Simon. Have to say I was contemplating a drive to northern France To visit the War locations as a teeny toe into travel again next month. It’s bloody complicated figuring out where you should go when you take into account all the various different lists and restrictions imposed by countries. Other than France the only other places I’d consider are Malta (no reward flights currently) and Greece. Jason is however not keen! I just can’t get excited at the prospect of taking a week off in the Uk and then it being pants weather

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