Transit and quarantine problems from a red list county

Travel Forums General Talk Transit and quarantine problems from a red list county

1. Posted by Colombianajc (Budding Member 4 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hello everyone, I'm due to travel to Colombia at the end of september on a return ticket to the uk. However I do not intend on using the return flight unless it comes of the red list in November. I have a flexi ticket where I can change the destination but my concern is the uk making me book a uk quarantine hotel dispite me telling them I won't be returning.
My second biggest concern is as there is a eu travel ban on people coming to europe will I be aloud to transit in the eu on my return in november as most flights connect in either Amsterdam,Madrid or Paris. Please note iam not double vaccinated. I would appreciate any help you can give me as contacting airports are virtually impossible.
Many thanks, jasmine.

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3351 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

You haven't given your citizenship. I assume you have a UK passport? Only UK citizens and those who have UK residency rights can enter the UK from a red list country.

>the uk making me book a uk quarantine hotel dispite me telling them I won't be returning.

As things stand, you must book your quarantine on return from red list countries before you return to England. You don't have to book the quarantine before you fly out.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england#red-list-rules

>there is a eu travel ban on people coming to europe

It's not clear what you mean. There is 'EU travel ban on people coming to Europe' (Europe has 52 countries, the EU has 27 and the Schengen Zone has 26 countries, most EU but some non-EU). There are restrictions on who can enter or transit countries with the Schengen Zone and individual EU/Schengen countries also have their own restrictions.

Amsterdam, Madrid and Paris are all in the Schengen Zone. Without knowing your citizenship it's impossible to say whether you are or will be allowed to enter or transit. If you give us that vital piece of information we can guide you further.

3. Posted by Colombianajc (Budding Member 4 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Thank you for your reply. I have a Colombian and british passport as I was born in the uk. I would not return to the uk as that's not an option that I would consider as colombia is still on the red list. My question is as I will buy a return ticket to the uk do I have to book and pay for the uk quarantine hotel before departure? Its cheaper for me to buy a return ticket but closer to my return time I will change the destination to a non red listed country.
I have had a look and in Amsterdam I am able to transit from a red list country for up to 48hours providing I dont leave airside.

4. Posted by Colombianajc (Budding Member 4 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

I had heard that I might have to book before I fly out and it is a great relief to know that it doesnt need to be done until I'm ready to return.
Thank you once again.

5. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3351 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Thank you for answering the citizenship question.

I'm a bit confused about your mention of transit. It sounds as if you intend to fly from Columbia into e.g. Amsterdam and then fly into the UK from there?

You do realise that you must book a UK hotel quarantine stay if you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days? It doesn't matter whether you transit via e.g. Amsterdam...you will still have been in Columbia in the previous 10 days so, if it's still on the red list, you'll still have to hotel quarantine on arrival in the UK. Even if you transit via an amber or green list country I'm pretty certain the UK authorities will know you've been in a red list country: the UK and European countries share arrival and departure data.

If it really was possible to avoid hotel quarantine by just transiting via an amber or green listed country there'd have been lots of items in the news about it and that loophole would quickly have been closed!

Note also that it's not just a matter of Columbia being on the red list for travel. The FCO advises against all travel to Columbia:

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/colombia

When the FCO advises against all travel to a country all ordinary travel/travel health insurances become invalid. Travelling to any country without at least travel health insurance is, imo, madness. If you were to have an accident or fall ill who would pay for your treatment? Your family?

[ Edit: Edited on 20 Sep 2021, 21:11 GMT by leics2 ]

6. Posted by Colombianajc (Budding Member 4 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

No the transit would be to fly to a non red listed country and stay there for 10 days to quarantine then return to the uk and do another 10 days quarintine. As the list is always changing I would decide on the destination closer to my return time.

7. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2418 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

It seems high risk to do this when not double vaccinated.

Is there a reason you can't have the vaccine?

The UK government seems increasingly to be basing travel freedoms on vaccine status.

Post 8 was removed by a moderator
9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 3351 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

>No the transit would be to fly to a non red listed country and stay there for 10 days to quarantine then return to the uk and do another 10 days quarintine.

You'll need to be very careful about planning this and be sure you have several potential options available. At the moment the Netherlands allows transit from a country not on the safe list as long as you remain airside...but there is no guarantee those rules will be the same when you wish to return.

Which countries have you considered flying into after your transit? Have you double-checked their entry requirements for UK citizens (use the FCO site I linked in my post above)? Those entry requirements could also change before you fly there from Columbia and, of course, any of those countries could be placed on the UK red list at any time.

Given the potential for your plans to fall apart, the cost of quarantine x 2, the cost of the required PCR tests and the lack of UK-based travel health insurance available for Columbia it seems to me you'd have been much, much better off getting the vaccination. Travelling to red list countries when unvaccinated is risky enough but you won't even have travel health insurance! If you need hospital treatment in Columbia who's going to pay for it?