Anyone planning to fly overseas from the UK should keep up to date with the latest air corridor information on the Government website (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors)
The situation for travellers and travel businesses has never been more uncertain in recent times as a result of COVID-19. Whether travelling for leisure or business, it has become almost impossible to plan ahead knowing the situation which applies today may be very different tomorrow. The recent change of policy on travel to Spain illustrates how overnight, decisions made by the Government, to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus, can cause severe implications for travellers already on holiday or planning to travel, and the travel industry grappling to make sense of how to handle the situation.
In this article, we will list the current air corridors permitted by the Government, and what travellers will need to do on their return home if they do need to self-isolate.
An air corridor (often referred to as an air bridge) is a reciprocal arrangement between two countries allowing travel without the need to quarantine for 14 days. These are typically allowed between two countries which currently have low coronavirus infection rates. Air corridors are under constant review based on the prevalence of COVID-19 in each location. The first air corridors following the COVID-19 lockdown came into force on 4th July 2020.
There are three broad types of locations which are currently exempt from self-isolation when arriving in England: 1) areas covered by the travel corridor exemption, 2) areas within the common travel areas of Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, and 3) British Overseas Territories.
The countries currently included in the travel corridor exemption, as listed on the Government website of 28th July 2020, are as follows:
As you can see, several new air corridor exemption countries have been added today, and it is likely that more will be added (and removed) in the days and weeks to come. As Spain was removed from the exemption list on Sunday 26th July 2020, travellers from Spain who arrived in the UK before this date may not need to self-isolate; those that came after this date will need to self-isolate.
This is where matters can become somewhat confusing. The current government guidance states that if you have transited through a country not on the above list, you will need to self-isolate if new passengers got on the plane, or if you and the other passengers got off the plane and mixed with others. If no new passengers got on, or if no one got off and mixed with others, or if some passengers got off but not back on the plane, you may not need to self-isolate. The challenge for travellers may be in knowing whether any passengers got on or off the plane.
If you spent some time in a country which is not on the list, and then travelled to a country on the list, you will need to work out how much time you will need to self-isolate. For example, if you spent time in the past two weeks in a country that is not on the list, and then you spent six days in a country which is on the list, after which you then travelled to England, you will then be required to self-isolate for eight days, rather than 14 days. This is because six of the 14 days where spent in an exempt country.
Self-isolation effectively means that you cannot leave the place where you are staying in the UK for the first two weeks after arrival. The time is set at 14 days as it is believed this is how long it takes for COVID-19 symptoms to appear. This means that you must travel straight to the place where you are staying, and ideally, you should avoid using public transport if it is avoidable. When you are in the place in which you are staying, whether this is your own home, you are staying with friends or family, or in a hotel or temporary accommodation, you should (as taken from the Government website):
not have visitors, including friends and family, unless they are providing essential care. The only friends and family who you can have contact with are those who travelled with you or people who you are staying with.
You cannot go out to work or school or visit public areas. You should not go shopping. If you require help buying groceries, other shopping, or picking up medication, you should ask friends or relatives or order a delivery.
In England, you must only exercise within your home or garden. You cannot leave your home to walk your dog. You will need to ask friends or relatives to help you with this.
NHS Volunteer Responders are also available if you need help collecting shopping, medication, or would like a telephone 'check-in and chat'. Call 0808 196 3646 (8 am to 8 pm) to arrange volunteer support. You can arrange one-off support, or schedule more regular help whilst you are self-isolating.
In England, you can only leave your accommodation in limited circumstances. These include where:
You are not allowed to change the place where you are self-isolating except in very limited circumstances, including where:
If this happens, you should provide full details of each address where you will self-isolate on the public health passenger locator form. If, in exceptional circumstances, you cannot remain where you are staying, you must update the form as soon as possible.
The air corridor list is likely to change on a daily basis, and this will inevitably lead to considerable inconvenience for some travellers and travel businesses. While this may be deeply frustrating, especially if you are waiting for a holiday that has already been postponed once due to COVID-19, air corridor changes are to make to minimise the spread of the virus in the UK and to hopefully avoid the prospect of a second spike.
It's a shame that you dont have an 'Excellent' star rating on here, as my experience with Reiss Edwards is nothing short of an excellent rating. They handled my application for an Indefinite Leave to remain in April 2014 and did my husband's one very recently including my daughter. Every time i have approached them, they have continued to treat me with courtesy, respect and patience. Amar was indeed a very thorough and professional gentleman. He is very knowledgeable, corporative and engaging. He responded to my emails, calls and enquiries promptly. He was always reassuring. I could not have asked for a better Immigration service. I would recommend them over and over again for anyone looking for an immigration advice. They gave me a free immigration advice when i called them, and the quality of the advice was something other charge thousands for. If you need a particular, name, Amar would be it. He exemplifies, for me, the true, professional gentleman. He is a valuable asset to Reiss Edwards.
I am glad that i instructed Reiss Edwards on my visa matter. It started with a 20 minutes free immigration advice. I met with Amar to discuss my ILR refusal. He gave me a great deal of quality advice and decided to take on my messy case. I had doubts on the merits of my case by he was relatively convinced he could win it. That made me quite secure. To be honest, things did not start as quick as I would have wanted, but they kept on communicating the process and state of things to me.A big thank you to Verusha and Foram. They were also very helpful. Brilliant and informative. Their fee was fair and reasonable, especially if you compare them to other law firms and immigration law firms in London; some of whom even told me that i would not be able to get an indefinte leave to remain in this country. The process was long but was worth it. In the end, a big thank you to Reiss Edwards.
Investing over 2 million pounds is defintely not a routine decision. We had to make sure that the Tier 1 investor immigration lawyers that we'd be picking has to be one of the best within the Tier 1 investor category. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they were able to get us not only the Tier 1 investor visa but also suggested profitable investment portfolios in addition to what we already had in mind.
TI have just had British Citizenship application approved. Prior to making the application, i was not sure which law firm i should hire to facilitate the paperwork. After a few hours of research, i decided to go with Reiss Edwards and i must confess that i wasnt disappointed. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards handled my case well and they really knew what they were doing. They were fully aware of what documents I needed and it was easy for them to tell if my case was going to be easy or not. At the end of the day, I have not received my British citizenship within 3 months. If anyone is looking for a good immigration lawyer to handle thier case, contact Reiss Edwards.
My wife's spouse visa extension application was refused by the Home Office and they gave her 14 days to leave the country. We contacted Reiss Edwards and they said "OK don't worry we will sort this out". They put together the list of documents for me to obtain and they prepared a bundle which was as thick as the printer it came out from.We followed everything they asked us to do and in the end we won our appeal and got our spouse visa. We can't recommend them enough and we have promised ourselves never to make any more UK visa applications without them.
The team of lawyers at Reiss Edwards are very professional and friendly people. Their experience in and around UK immigration law is quite extensive; be sure that you application is in safe and competent hands. My immigration matter was an indefinite leave to remain application based on Tier 1 on a self-employment basis. The immigration lawyers at Reiss Edwards made sure that the application was perfect and ready to be accepted. I got a positive decision and I recommend them highly for anyone who needs a UK immigration help.
I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly.
I have been using Reiss Edwards for three years now for my family's immigration application. Both for my initial application and extension. They are really affordable. The team of solicitors at this firm are probably one of the most efficient and economical in terms of cost. They offered free advice over the phone and spent good time with us before inviting us for consultation.
Reiss Edwards is a top notch immigration service company. The way they handled our documentation and also the list of documents they sent was efficient and top quality. They helped us professionally throughout the process. We are very happy with the immigration advice we received from the team. We highly recommend them.
I used Reiss Edwards immigration lawyers to assist with my immigration matter and that of my family. It was an EX1 application. They dealt with the matter properly and even when complications were coming up from the Home Office, they helped resolve the issue properly. They are very professional and are very popular in London. I am happy to have worked with them.
This is the only firm that i spoke with that didn't ask for money before listening to me, will be using them again.
I used Reiss Edwards for my Tier 2 visa application and it was successful. The team was ever present and happy to answer my question. The caseworker that dealing with my case went on holiday yet by case did not suffer one bit. Another lawyer stepped and took over the case without any hassle.
My Tier 1 Investor Visa was dealt with quickly and without issue. Would recommend Reiss Edwards as an Immigration law firm in London. Thank you to the team.
530 ReviewsREAD ALL REVIEWS