LONDON, 18 January 2021: Travellers planning a trip to the
UK must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result taken up to
three days (72 hours) before departure.
The latest Covid-19 rules for the UK that came into effect
18 January also require all travellers including UK citizens to self-isolate
for 10 days on arrival in the UK. They can undergo a second Covid-19 PCR test
on the fifth day. Under the ‘test to release’ rule, the 10-day quarantine
period can reduce to just five days provided that the Covid-19 test is negative
on the fifth day after arriving in the UK.
The test is purchased privately costing between UKP65 and
UKP120. Results come back within 24 to 48 hours, so realistically the
quarantine period is only reduced by a couple of days, to seven or eight.
For a traveller departing Thailand for the UK they would
have to pay UKP295 for two tests one in Thailand before they depart and the
other in the UK.
Skyscanner news at the weekend reported that from Monday, 18
January the UK would close down all travel corridors that were initially
established to ease travel bilaterally between the UK and other countries that
had successfully managed the spread of the pandemic.
The UK went into a national lockdown on 6 January. While
there are slightly different rules for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and
Wales, the principles were the same: a stay-at-home order is in place, and
residents cannot travel domestically or internationally until mid-February at
In response to the rapid surge in new-variant infections,
many countries have closed their borders to UK travellers. It started on 23
December when the UK banned travel from South Africa to the UK. Then on 15
January, the UK banned arrivals from Latin America and Portugal in response to
a new variant detected in Brazil.
According to the UK’s rules, once the current lockdown is
over, you could legally go on holiday abroad if your region of the UK residency
goes down to tiers one or two. However, holidays are effectively off the cards
until at least the spring (April), while local lockdowns and travel bans are in