How the travel quarantine lists for Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England differ

Differences in UK quarantine rules have created confusion for travellers as the devolved nations take varying approaches to international travel amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ministers decided this week not to impose restrictions on people entering England from Greece and Portugal, despite officials in Scotland and Wales ordering periods of isolation for those returning from both countries in a bid to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Northern Ireland also chose not to change its guidance, meaning arrivals from Greece and Portugal are still exempt from quarantine restrictions in the territory.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said on Friday the disparities had resulted in “confusion” for those taking trips overseas, adding that the Government decided not to make those returning from the popular holiday destinations undergo a 14-day quarantine because figures suggested cases were falling in each nation.

He told Sky News: “I do realise it creates confusion for people not to have a single rule, but we do have this devolved approach throughout the United Kingdom and I can only be responsible for the English part of that.”

With that in mind, here is what you need to know about the quarantine exemption rules:

England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have all made repeated revisions to their quarantine-exempt travel lists (Getty Images)

Which European countries are exempt from the UK nations’ quarantine rules?

Those arriving into England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales from a number of European countries are exempt from the two week mandatory quarantine period.

Below is a breakdown of each of the UK nations’ quarantine exemption lists, excluding all non-European countries.

Are arrivals from any other nations exempt from quarantine?

England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all also currently exempt those arriving from several non-European countries from undergoing a fortnight of quarantine.

The full list for England can be found here.

Scotland’s list is meanwhile available here, and Wales’ and Northern Ireland’s are located here and here.


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