Heathrow and Gatwick: latest travel tips for the United States, Thailand, Japan, Maldives and Dubai



The UK’s traffic light system is set to change again as more countries come under tighter travel restrictions.

Although Freedom Day is fast approaching, some countries have been closed to British travelers.

Currently, the government is forcing Britons to self-isolate for 10 days if traveling from amber countries.

READ MORE: The 12 countries that could be added to the green list, including Italy and Germany

If you are staying in a Red List country, you must be isolated for 10 days before returning to England.

Once in the country, anyone returning from Red List countries must stay in a quarantine hotel for an additional 10 days.

Further changes to the government traffic light system are expected today (Thursday, July 15) and four more countries have been added to the red list – Cuba, Indonesia, Myanmar and Sierra Leone – which means that travelers returning to the UK from these destinations will be required to remain in government-approved hotel quarantine for ten days.

The Balearic Islands were removed from the Green List to the Amber List last night just weeks after coming under lighter restrictions.

But popular European destinations such as Italy and Bulgaria could be added to the England travel green list after the next review.

Here are the latest tips for traveling to and from the United States, Dubai, Thailand, South Africa, and Japan:

United States

The United States is on the government’s orange list, so we shouldn’t be traveling there.

As of March 16, 2020, Britons are not allowed to travel to the United States if they have been in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Schengen area, Iran, Brazil or China within the 14 days previous ones.

On January 30, 2021, South Africa was added.

If you are traveling to the United States, you must self-isolate for 10 days upon your return.


The UAE has now been placed on the government’s red list, which means travelers will face around 40 ten-day hotels.

Previously, visitors to Dubai had to have a Covid-19 PCR test no more than 72 hours before departure and presentation of the certificate at check-in.

Travelers arriving in Dubai were also required to undergo another COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival and will need to self-isolate while awaiting the result of the COVID-19 PCR test.

Upon returning to the UK, travelers to Dubai will be required to self-isolate for ten days.

Due to an increased number of cases in the region, travel to Dubai is not permitted and the rules for the UAE may change depending on the region.


A street scene at night in Osaka
A street scene at night in Osaka

Unless you’re competing in the Olympics, you probably won’t be going to Japan anytime soon.

But Japan is now on the orange list of travelers from the UK.

But the Japanese government said only Britons in special exceptional circumstances would be allowed to enter Japan.

If they fall into this very rare condition, they will have to self-quarantine in a hotel upon their return to the UK.


Enjoy incredible views of Phang Nga Bay in Thailand (maybe someday in the future)

Most travelers to Thailand, including all UK nationals from the UK, are required to complete a 14-day quarantine in a state quarantine or Alternative State Quarantine Facility (ASQ) .

In these establishments, you will normally not be allowed to leave your room, except for medical treatment or Covid-19 testing.

Thailand is currently on the government’s orange list, so visitors will need to self-quarantine for ten days upon their return to England.


Oh be on a beach like that eh

Direct flights from the Maldives to England were banned until June 8 and can now only fly to specific locations.

Direct flights can arrive in England from the Maldives, but they must arrive at dedicated terminals at Heathrow and Birmingham airports.

The Maldives are currently on the government’s red list, which means visitors must pay to self-quarantine when they return to England.



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