Do I need proof I don’t have Covid-19? Do I need to quarantine for two weeks on arrival? Am I even allowed in the country?!

These are just a few questions travellers are asking themselves in regards to entering the UK during this unprecedented time and with the beginning of the school year fast approaching, it is the parents of children who travel to the UK for their education, that need the answers more urgently than most.

It has been rather alarming, yet unfortunately not surprising, the amount of calls we have received in the last week or so, from parents not knowing what the situation is when sending their children back to school and what information is required on arrival. With the ever-changing advice and requirements, forms and speculation, put forward to us by the Government on almost a daily basis, it can even be tricky for us residents to get to grips with. Yet it seems this information, for the most part, is not easy to find outside of the UK. So, hopefully this can provide you with a bit of clarity on the subject.

One of the most important factors that comes into play here, is the much spoken about ‘travel corridors’ and ‘quarantine list.’ These decipher whether your child must self-isolate at home/their place of residence for two weeks upon arrival to the UK, or are free to move as they wish. This applies to anyone that is coming into the country, whether they are a UK resident or not. They will also need to complete an online form that cannot be submitted until 48 hours before they are due to arrive in the UK. All the details you need, including a link to the form, can be found at  https://www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk

Whether your child is arriving from one of the countries/territories that is on the quarantine list or not, we would advise that they have as much information as possible on their person. School addresses and phone numbers, term dates, the name of the person or taxi company that is taking them to school and how their school are dealing with the self-isolation process are all useful. We understand that all this sounds very daunting, but we can assure you that everyone working in the airport is being as helpful as possible and we as a company are no exception to that.

Here is the current list of countries on the ‘travel corridors safe list’ as of 30/08/20, however please make sure you double check this due to it changing daily;

  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Cayman Islands
  • the Channel Islands
  • Cuba 
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • French Polynesia
  • Gibraltar
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • The Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macao (Macau)
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
  • Poland
  • Portugal 
  • Reunion
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Taiwan
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City State
  • Vietnam

 

Finally, we would like to clear up a few things that seem to be circulating the internet and national news outside the UK. It was previously brought to our attention by a parent who was booking our service, that many people are being led to believe that it is taking upwards of two hours for students to get through to Arrivals after landing at Heathrow and Gatwick. From first-hand experience we can assure you that the vast majority of the time, this is not the case. From a personal point of view, I’m sure our staff would love to have the extra two hours in bed when their first meet of the day is at five in the morning! But what we have actually seen is that because of the massive fall in passenger numbers, the waiting time for both immigration and baggage reclaim has decreased. With many students taking as little as twenty minutes to find our pink shirts in Arrivals and of course…… that time will only shorten even greater with an Airport Angel by your side from the second you exit the plane!