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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

More than 40 countries restrict travel from UK

More than 40 countries are still banning or restricting travel from Britain in a bid to contain a new strain of the coronavirus believed to spread faster.

Scotland had already closed its border with the rest of the United Kingdom before the new strain was made public.

Here is an update on the situation so far.


EU nationals and residents were allowed into France from Britain Wednesday as long as they had a negative Covid test, allowing lorry drivers who had been blocked for two days by the ban to return home.

All Britons, except hauliers, bus and train drivers and those who live in the EU, are still not allowed to cross the Channel.


Germany is banning on all arrivals from the UK and South Africa — where the new strain has also appeared — until January 6. Anyone entering must now have a negative test.


Flights from Britain are banned until December 31, and “people regardless of nationality should not travel from Britain by air or sea”.

Anyone who arrived since December 8 must self-isolate by “staying in your room” for 14 days.


UK travel ban lifted but all passengers, including EU nationals, must have a negative PCR test just before the trip.

They should also self-isolate for 10 days.

One case of the new strain has already been found in the country.

Spain and Portugal

Spain and Portugal are suspending flights, with Madrid only allowing its nationals or residents to enter from Britain until January 5.


Poland — which has a large expat community in Britain — has banned all incoming UK flights.


Italy has blocked flights from Britain until January 6 and prohibited entry of people who have stayed there during the last 14 days.

The new strain has been found in one person who recently returned from the UK.


Moscow is suspending British flights for a week.

Rest of Europe

Finland and Austria are suspending flights for two weeks and Switzerland until further notice, with travellers who have arrived from Britain or South Africa ordered into quarantine.

Baltic nations Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as well as Hungary and Luxembourg have also halted flights, while in the Balkans Croatia, Macedonia and Albania followed suit with Bulgaria and suspended them until January 31.

Romania has banned all flights to and from the UK for two weeks, as has the Czech Republic.

Norway, Sweden and Denmark suspended flights for 48 hours.

Stockholm also closed its border with Denmark, which has detected nine cases of the new strain on its soil.

Belgium has suspended both flights and Eurostar rail services from Britain.


India has suspended all flights until December 31, with anyone arriving from Britain on transit flights to be tested.

Hong Kong

The former British colony has banned all incoming UK flights, and extended the quarantine of passengers who arrived from Britain in the last fortnight.


Canada has banned all UK flights for 72 hours, with those who had already arrived from Britain subject to screenings.


Turkey has suspended flights from Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands and South Africa.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia and Oman said they were closing their borders entirely for at least a week.

Israel said it was barring entry to foreign citizens travelling from Britain, Denmark and South Africa, while Jordan is banning UK flights for a fortnight, as is Iran.

Kuwait has added Britain to a list of “high-risk” nations and banned flights.


Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia have all banned flights from Britain, with Algeria deciding to stop repatriating its nationals.

Mauritius, a former British colony, has also barred travel from the UK and South Africa.

Latin America

Anyone who had been in Britain or South Africa in the past 30 days will not be allowed to enter El Salvador. The same goes for Panama and Paraguay.

Peru has gone further, banning all flights from Europe and any foreigner who had been in Britain in the last fortnight.

Chile and Argentina have banned flights from the UK, with anyone without a Chilean residence permit who had been in Britain in the past two weeks barred.

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