When will the UK lift the travel ban?

Can you travel on holiday right now? Unfortunately, that’s not possible. Since January 2021, the UK has been under national lockdown - this is the third one so far. Holidays in the UK or abroad are prohibited.

What’s more, from 29 March, anyone even going to the airports without good reason can be fined as much as £5,000.

What everyone wants to know is, when will the UK lift the travel ban?

The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, spoke about the lockdown restrictions on Monday, 5 April.

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The UK travel ban and travel restrictions

International travel is not allowed right now. The earliest date for that is set to be 17 May. However, the date is still not a firm one. The government has revealed there will be a traffic light system for foreign travel.

There are fears that the date could be pushed back due to Covid cases spiking across Europe. The Government’s global travel task force was going to report on 12 April, the same day retail and hospitality are set to reopen. However, this was brought forward by a week.

The situation is unchanged, as there continue to be strict travel rules. UK citizens have to stay local and not only that, but there is also a fine of £5,000 for anyone caught attempting to travel abroad without an official exemption.


The government’s red list

Here is the official red list of countries, from which entry to the UK is banned (in alphabetical order). People with specific jobs are exempt from the red list travel restrictions.

  1. Angola
  2. Argentina
  3. Bangladesh (will be added to the list 4 am, 9 April)
  4. Bolivia
  5. Botswana
  6. Brazil
  7. Burundi
  8. Cape Verde
  9. Chile
  10. Colombia
  11. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  12. Ecuador
  13. Eswatini
  14. Ethiopia
  15. French Guiana
  16. Guyana
  17. Kenya (will be added to the list 4 am, 9 April)
  18. Lesotho
  19. Malawi
  20. Mozambique
  21. Namibia
  22. Oman
  23. Pakistan (will be added to the list 4 am, 9 April)
  24. Panama
  25. Paraguay
  26. Peru
  27. Philippines (will be added to the list 4 am, 9 April)
  28. Qatar
  29. Rwanda
  30. Seychelles
  31. Somalia
  32. South Africa
  33. Suriname
  34. Tanzania
  35. United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  36. Uruguay
  37. Venezuela
  38. Zambia
  39. Zimbabwe


If you have been in or through any of the countries listed above in the last 10 days, you will be refused entry to the UK.

However, if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK, you will be able to enter but you will be obliged to quarantine in a hotel approved by the government for 10 days. You will not be eligible for the Test to Release scheme.

As you noticed, several countries will be added to the list 4 am on Friday, 9 April. These are Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and Philippines. Depending on whether you arrive before or after this time, the quarantine rules for you will be slightly different.

If you arrive in the UK from one of these countries before 4 am on 9 April, you will have to self-isolate for 10 days in the place you’re staying and take a COVID test on the second and the eighth day. You will be eligible for the Test to Release scheme.

If you arrive in the UK from these places after 4 am on 9 April, you will be required to stay in your quarantine hotel for your 10-day quarantine period and take a COVID-19 test on day 2 and day 8.



Currently, it is uncertain when the UK will lift the travel ban and whether you can start planning your summer holidays. International travel corridors might open 17 May, but the date isn’t a firm one.

Before you plan to exit the country, make sure to check the latest government announcement; otherwise, you risk a hefty fine.


Stay updated, practice social distancing and be safe!