Botswana has been reinstated to the list of travel corridors for the UK, after having been assessed by the Joint Biosecurity Centre as posing a lower infection risk. The same attribution was given to Saudi Arabia.
Overall, UK government strongly advises travellers to check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) before travelling, reminding that a passenger locator form will be required to fill in before returning home.
The government has made consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary to contain the virus, including removing countries from the travel corridors list rapidly if the public health risk of people returning from a particular country without self-isolating becomes too high.
A range of factors are taken into account when deciding to remove – or reinstate – a country from the travel corridor list, including the continued increase of coronavirus (COVID-19) within a country, the numbers of new cases, imported cases, information on a country’s testing capacity, testing regime and test positivity rate.
All factors considered, Botswana and Saudi Arabia have been added to the government’s travel corridor list following in-depth analysis of the coronavirus epidemic in these countries.
From 4am on Saturday 12 December 2020, passengers arriving to England from these destinations will no longer need to self-isolate so long as they have not been in or transited through any other non-exempt countries in the 14 days preceding their arrival.
COVID-19 has profoundly changed the nature of international travel. Travellers should always check the latest advice, given the potential for changing coronavirus infection rates to affect both the advice about travelling to other countries and rules about self-isolation on return.
All travellers, including those from exempt destinations, will still be required to show a complete passenger locator form on arrival into the UK unless they fall into a small group of exemptions.
Penalties for those breaching the self-isolation rules when returning from non-exempt countries are £1,000 for first offences, rising to up to £10,000 for subsequent offences, mirroring penalties for those breaching self-isolation following a positive COVID test or contact from Test and Trace.