A host of new destinations have been added to the quarantine-free list, led by Sri Lanka
Visitors returning from the Indian Ocean tourism hotspot will now no longer have to self-isolate for 14-days on return to England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
The same applies to Israel, Jerusalem, Namibia, Rwanda, Uruguay, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands, all have been added to the travel corridor list.
There has been a decrease in risk from Covid-19 in these destinations.
The travel corridor applies for Israel in its entirety, and Jerusalem in its entirety.
For the Occupied Palestinian Territories, only East Jerusalem is included in the travel corridor – with the remainder of the area not included.
Travellers arriving from locations that are not included will still need to self-isolate for 14-days on arrival in the UK.
This decision is driven by public health considerations based on epidemiological evidence.
At the same time, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has updated its travel advice to no longer advise against all but essential travel the destinations.
The changes reflect the latest assessments by Public Health England (PHE) of the risk to travellers in these countries.
The travel ban on Denmark introduced on November 7th is, however, still in place.
Jean-Marc Flambert, Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) committee member for the UK & Ireland said the news would be a boost to the hospitality sector.
He explained: “This is very welcome news for the Asia Pacific region as yet another of our destinations is added to the travel corridor list.
“The key message is that Sri Lanka is very much ready to welcome tourists again once borders re-open to international tourism.
“The Sri Lankan health ministry, along with the private sector, have put in place strict protocols to minimise the impact of Covid-19.
“The domestic market is open so many of the hotels are running at good occupancy and fine tuning their Covid-19 procedures ready for international tourists.
“Sri Lanka hotels and destination management companies are putting together some really strong packages to support the UK industry as they return to selling; we encourage the trade to take bookings for quarter two of 2021 onwards, not just for Sri Lanka but all destinations on the travel corridor list in Asia Pacific.
“The British market is resilient, so this is another step in boosting consumer confidence in travel to the region.”
Danny Callaghan, chief executive of the Latin American Travel Association (Lata), welcomed the decision.
He said: “Uruguay’s addition to the UK travel corridors list is another big step in the right direction for Latin America’s tourism recovery with Chile having made the list in the British government’s announcement last week.
“I hasten to add that, while Uruguay has been added to the UK travel corridor’s list, at present there are restrictions in place for non-Uruguayan nationals or non-legal residents entering the country.
“As always, we advise travellers to consult their tour operator and the FCDO travel advice before travelling to any Latin American destination.”
He added: “While travel to Uruguay may not be a reality straight away, this news highlights the nation’s excellent management of the coronavirus pandemic and reinforces the perception of Latin America as a safe and secure visitor destination.
“Uruguay was also included in the European Union’s list of safe countries back in June which demonstrates that the country has continually managed the pandemic in an effective manner.”