UK publishes list of European countries exempt from quarantine rule

The UK government will lift its 14-day compulsory quarantine requirement for arrivals in England from “lower risk countries” including Spain, Germany, France and Italy, but not Sweden. The restriction may continue to apply for those arriving in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

UK publishes list of European countries exempt from quarantine rule

The date for quarantine to be lifted was initially scheduled to be July 6th but the UK’s Department for Transport announced on Thursday it had been pushed back to July 10th.

A full list of countries from which arrivals will no longer need to self-isolate was published on Friday (see below)

The list of nationals exempt from 14 days of self-isolation upon arrival in England included travellers from European countries such as Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Greece, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium and Norway but not Portugal or Sweden given their recent spike in cases.

From July 10th anyone arriving in the UK by train, coach, ferry or air ill not have to enter quarantine for 14 days.

These countries will have “reciprocal arrangements” in place, meaning travellers from the UK will not have to quarantine on arrival there either. So travellers to and from France will not have to enter obligatory or voluntary self-isolation.

Some 59 countries deemed low or very low risk will be exempt from the UK's blanket quarantine rules.

The UK’s Department for Transport also said that the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland “will set out their own approach”, meaning the quarantine lifting applied to England alone and that passengers arriving in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland “should ensure they follow the laws and guidance which applies there”.

The latest news from the Scottish press suggests that the 14-day quarantine will remain in place in England’s northerly neighbour after July 10th, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon having been particularly critical of British PM Boris Johnson's approach to easing coronavirus lockdown measures. 

No decision has been made on whether Wales or Northern Ireland will follow England in lifting the 14-day quarantine on July 10th.

Currently travellers arriving in England, Wales and Northern Ireland could face a fine of £1,000 (€1,100) if they fail to self-isolate for the full 14 days, and a £480 (€532) fine in Scotland. 

The full list available here is:

Member comments

  1. “Train, coach, ferry or air” – what about folk who drive and use the Channel Tunnel? That doesn’t seem to be covered by the list.

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How Flyr’s bankruptcy will impact airline passengers in Norway 

Norwegian airline Flyr has filed for bankruptcy, with the knock-on effects expected to affect more than those who had tickets booked with the doomed airline. Here's what you should know and what you can do if affected. 

How Flyr's bankruptcy will impact airline passengers in Norway 

Flyr filed for bankruptcy on Wednesday after attempts to secure further financing failed to come to fruition. As a result of the bankruptcy, staff will be laid off, all flights will be cancelled, and ticket sales have been suspended. 

When an airline cancels a flight, customers are due a refund. However, this can be complicated when a company goes bankrupt, as it usually means the company doesn’t have the funds to pay out refunds. 

Norway’s consumer rights watchdog, the Norwegian Consumer Council, has advised that most people who bought a ticket with the doomed firm may still be able to get a refund. 

“But for Flyr’s customers, they have paid with either a debit or credit card and then the card issuer is responsible. Then they get the money back,” Thomas Iversen from the Norwegian Consumer Council told public broadcaster NRK

The bad news is for those who didn’t pay with a card, as they are unlikely to get anything back. This is because customers with small amounts of money to be refunded (compared to other debtors) are pushed to the back of recovery queues. 

For card customers to get the money back, they will need to issue a claim to Flyr and then one to the card issuer to get the money refunded. 

“As a consumer, you must then make a claim to Flyr, and then the claim to the card issuer. Then you get your money back. With some, it goes quickly. With others, it takes longer,” he advised. 

Both debit and credit card holders can claim a refund, as Visa and Mastercard debit services provide money-back guarantees if a merchant is unable to refund a purchase due to bankruptcy.  

However, several insurance companies have said that it would be unlikely that they would be able to claim back money spent on Flyr tickets. 

“No travel insurance covers bankruptcy. Had they done so, the insurance premium would have been completely different from what we have today,” communications director Andreas Handeland at If Europeiske Reiseforsikring said. 

Knock-ons for travellers not booked with Flyr

Unfortunately, other travellers could be affected by the collapse of Flyr. Aviation analyst Frode Steen has said that the bankruptcy will affect the Norwegian market. 

“Inland, it doesn’t mean anything, but on the Spain routes and the classic tourist routes, there will now be less competition, and there will be less space. The combination often results in a higher ticket price,” he explained to the business and financial site E24

Flight analyst Hans Jørgen Elnæs at Winair told E24 that Flyr’s downfall would increase ticket prices as it often helped push prices down. 

“There is no doubt that Flyr has been a price pusher domestically in Norway and partly outside Europe,” Elnæs said.