European countries have started to close their borders from UK arrivals (air, ferry & train) after a more potent mutation of Covid-19 is widely circling in the country.
Netherlands was the first European country to close its border for all passenger flights from the UK, and soon Belgium, Italy, Ireland, and Germany followed, and many more are contemplating. European Union and Schengen-area are planning a group-wide ban.
UK Prime Minister announced a Tier 4 lockdown for the Southeast England and London area that started today, banning all non-essential travel.
The area includes London Heathrow and Luton airports, but Gatwick and Stansted are just outside Tier 2.
The reason for the sudden change in the restrictions in the UK was a more potent mutation of the Covid-19 circulating in the area. It is still unclear whether it mainly spreads easier or results in more negative outcomes.
Here’s the announcement Prime Minister Boris Johnson made yesterday:
Another surprise is waiting for those planning to travel with British passports from the UK to the European Union and EEA countries from January 1, 2021.
Although the UK exited the European Union on January 1st this year, it never was part of Schengen’s common travel area; British nationals are still considered EU citizens until the end of this year.
They will be lumped with third-country nationals come 2021, and there are very few that can travel to Europe and Schengen area at the moment. Only those coming from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, Rwanda, Singapore, Thailand, and Uruguay are currently welcomed.
It is unlikely the epidemiological situation improves over the next 10 days enough for the block not to ban arrivals from the UK, unless EU/EEA national, come January 1st, 2021.
If you are planning to travel to, from, or via the UK, you should carefully check that the flights are still operating and won’t negatively affect your ability to enter the destination country.