The UK government has lifted it’s ban on all international travel, with the The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) publishing a list of 66 countries and territories (within which 33 are in Europe) exempted from the ‘all but essential’ international travel list.
However, on the way back home, the Welsh government maintains a list of countries and territories from which anybody coming from has to observe a 14 days quarantine upon return into Wales. Only 59 countries and territories are (as for the 21th of July) exempted from such restrictions.
Even if the FCO has exempted 66 countries and territories of its “all but essential” travel list, many of those destinations maintain compulsory quarantine measures for British citizens entering their territory. You should always double-check on the FCO website before booking your ticket.
What are the latest FCO updates against all but essential travel?
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is the public authority that publishes the list of countries where British citizens may go or not during the covid-19 pandemic period.
On the 4th of July, it has increased the number of countries and territories exempted from the ‘all but essential’ restriction, meaning those places are available for British tourists to go for ‘non-essential’ purpose – holidays in other words.
If you are planning a trip abroad this summer, you should consult this list, which will be updated following the pandemic situation developments.
Which countries are exempt from the ‘all but essential’ FCO list?
[[country.name]], [[matchedCountries[matchedCountries.length – 1].name]] is are exempted from travel ban from 10th of July
Free to go but with compulsory quarantine upon arrival to [[country.name]], [[matchedCountriesQ[matchedCountriesQ.length – 1].name]].
FCO still advises against all but essential traveling to [[country.name]], [[matchedCountriesNoGo[matchedCountriesNoGo.length – 1].name]].
- Czech Republic
- France (including The Reunion Island)
- The Netherlands
- Portugal (only The Azores and Madeira)
- San Marino
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Cayman Islands
- South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- St Vincent and The Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- Wallis and Futuna
- British Antarctic Territory
African countries (except the Reunion island) are still under British travel ban.
After COVID-19 summer holidays, which destination to opt for?
The FCO has updated its list of countries exempted from the ‘all but essential’ international travel restriction for travelers from the UK. With the pandemics still virulent in Africa, Central Asia and America, there are still many countries unaccessible for the Brits:
- The great majority of European countries are now out of the ‘all but essential’ destinations listed by the FCO. However, travelling to Sweden, Portugal mainland and some countries of South East Europe (Bulgaria, Romania, Montenegro, Macedonia, Albania) is still discouraged by the authorities.
- As for the Americas, travelling to South America or the United States is strongly discouraged by the FCO. However, travelling to Canada is now possible again, as well as the majority of the Caribbean islands.
- With Central Asia being at the heart of the pandemic, you will have to consider South East Asia if you wish to travel that far. Thailand, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Singapore are now considered safe by the FCO, as well as South Korea and Japan. New Zealand, Australia and French Polynesia are also listed by the FCO as countries where it is now safe to travel.
- The access to the entire African continent is discouraged by the FCO – the only French island of the Reunion Island being exempted from the FCO list of ‘all but essential’ countries.
However, many of these countries are still concerned about restriction rules upon entry enforced by the local authorities, which considerably complicate any travel to those destinations. Indeed, as for the 8th of July, there are only 24 countries open to the English citizens (within which 23 are in Europe) with no restriction on arrival and when going back to the UK.
Why getting a travel insurance is so important this summer?
Getting a travel insurance has never been so important. Indeed, with Covid-19 lockdown and travel ban, people have lost thousands of pounds seeing their annual holiday plan cancelled with no chance to get refund without any travel insurance purchased.
However, you should definitely pick the right travel insurance cover. While the worldwide situation remaining unstable, we would definitely advise you to pick between one of the two travel insurance options:
- “Any cancellation reason” travel insurance: it usually comes at a certain prices (between 10 to 12% of your stay), but you will get total refund in case something comes up, including a worldwide pandemic.
- “Named perils”, being sure that “pandemic” is named as a potential peril (usually 7 to 9% of your stay budget).
Cancellation reason for natural disaster DOES NOT include pandemic as a valid reason.
Which travel insurers cover pandemic crisis?
First of all, one must be aware that the world currently goes through a fast-changing period regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and its evolution in time. This may impact the travel insurance policies proposed by the companies, so you should always carefully check your cover before going.
- On the first hand, some travel insurers propose a cancellation cover, in case your journey would be impossible due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the uncertainty about the possibility of a “second wave” to happen, such guarantees can be desirable.
- On the second hand, most of the travel insurance companies are now proposing medical and repatriation cover, in case you get contaminated by the Covid-19 during your holidays abroad. Of course, this will naturally increase the price you will have to pay, but that is undoubtedly an important security regarding the cost that can represent a stay in an hospital and a repatriation by plane.
- “Leading ABI travel insurance members will look to extend cover for emergency medical treatment for up to a minimum of 60 days for customers stuck overseas and trying to return home”, said the ABI on a recent release.
Insurers like insurefor.com or Allclear now offer specific medical and cancellation cover including any reason related to COVID-19. Compare all travel insurances including COVID-19 cover (or not) in one clic on our comparison tool.
How much is travel insurance covering COVID-19 travel disruption?
|Travel insurance premium for Europe||Travel insurance premium for Australia||Travel insurance premium for any part of the world|
|30 years old couple|
1 week travel
£10K medical cover
£5K cancellation cover
See our map showing where Canadian people can go here.
Please note that the above-mentioned information is accurate at the date it is published. For getting the most up to date information, you shall consult the FCO website before planning your journey abroad and purchasing your travel insurance. All our studies are based on reliable information sourced from public and privates organizations. For further information on our editorial guidelines please click here.
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