Bad News if you want to fly to the UK

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TORONTO -- Britain is allowing travellers from dozens of countries to arrive without self-isolating for 14 days, but Canada and the U.S. are not on the list.

On Friday, the British government announced it would cancel the two weeks self-isolation requirement for people arriving from countries deemed a “lower risk” for the coronavirus. 

According to the guidance, travellers who have only been to or stopped in the countries on the list during the previous 14 days won’t have to self-isolate upon their arrival in Britain.

Some of the countries on the “travel corridor” list include Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Australia, and New Zealand.

Both Canada and the U.S. did not make the list.

With confirmed cases of COVID-19 climbing in 40 of 50 U.S. states and a record 52,300 newly reported cases on Friday, the U.S. remains the hardest-hit country in the world.

Canada, on the other hand, has seen a steady overall decline in new cases in recent weeks.

Other notable omissions from the list of 59 countries include Russia, Sweden, Portugal, India, and China. No countries in North, Central, or South America were given the exemption.

U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps explained that countries will be given a colour based on a traffic-light system – meaning green is for low risk, amber is for medium-risk, and red is for high-risk.

The U.S., for example, falls into the red category, according to the secretary.  

The changes come into effect July 10 and only apply to arrivals in England with the semi-autonomous administrations in the rest of the U.K. – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – refusing to lift the quarantine period for travellers on the list.

The British government has chosen to relax the travel restrictions despite the fact that the U.K. has recorded nearly 44,000 deaths related to coronavirus, only behind the U.S. and Brazil as countries with the most deaths worldwide.

With files from The Associated Press 

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1 hour ago, Don Hudson said:

Unless absolutely necessary, why would anyone travel anywhere that requires air transportation?

Demand and mobility (absence of restrictions). US domestic capacity for August is planned at 55-85% depending on the carrier (the LCC’s are adding back the most capacity). US international still planned at 25% or less.

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1 hour ago, Don Hudson said:

Unless absolutely necessary, why would anyone travel anywhere that requires air transportation?


Because not everyone thinks the same way.  Prudent risk management to one person is an over reaction to another.  As you know when it comes to safety we always accept some risk.  The safest thing to do is not get in a car at all.  We do anyway.  The safest airline is the one that never flies.

If Transat can be believed they have good loads this summer on routes to France.

AC domestic loads are increasing.  People are moving by air.  

If the EU has Covid under control then what is the difference between YVR-YYC and YVR-LHR?




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I point this out only as an example of unintended consequences.  It is way over simplistic to say, shutdown and stay at home and it will save lives.  Everything is a trade off.

You can look at deaths in third world countries and the world economy as well.

Increased Cancer deaths

Closer to home.  Calgary man dies from lockdown.

Im not suggesting I know the correct balance. I’m glad I don’t make these decisions.   Just saying that this shutdown has its own death toll.  Shutting down too long creates an unnecessary death toll. Opening too soon creates an unnecessary death toll.

It is why my personal opinion is if it can be done reasonably safely?  Open it up.  Over caution will kill too.

The problem is politicians are not striking a balance.  Not even attempting to.  All they are concerned about is optics.



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British Airways ends row with Government quarantine rules.  Our lack of reciprocity leaves us out.  So far we can go to the EU and not quarantine.  That will likely end soon without reciprocity.

the challenge was withdrawn after a list of 73 countries and territories where English tourists can visit without self-isolating on their return was published by the Department for Transport (DfT).

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1 hour ago, Turbofan said:


If the EU has Covid under control then what is the difference between YVR-YYC and YVR-LHR?




Quite a lot since the UK did not include Canada in their exemption and you would be subject to a 14day quarantine on arrival. ? The EU decision no longer includes the UK

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Turbofan, thanks for your responses. I know and understand the "problems created by solutions" raised in the links you kindly researched and posted.

In my view, the very seriousness of these pointed, unstable life-and-death examples and the terrible questions and their resulting "battle-field" decisions which impose on healthcare workers "left or right at Elm St." decisions for strangers, mandates great care and thought when choosing and then physically making exceptions for oneself to violate current basic hygiene rules set out by knowledgeable authorities for limiting spread of the virus.

Economies need a healthy, growing/thriving population to function. Healthy people who can earn and buy are the basis for an economy. Economies may or may not survive this virus but the answer isn't in finance, it is in stopping the virus swiftly. How science and the Fauci's of this world can possibly be dismissed is a reaction which belongs to the 14th Century. The first modern death is the death of "expertise", but I will leave that obvious fact aside.

Yes, risk is a personal choice but such is not without context or effect. I recognize the commercial and finance pressures are incredibly tough and we can't all just "go home" for half a year. I know that. Governments cannot pay the payrolls. But the scene in the U.S. after impatiently opening far too early was entirely predictable. For an economy to function you need healthy people. But "black-plague-like" numbers are now a possibility as the infection rate remains far higher than "1", R-naught, or R0)

Our context is that of our healthcare workers which is admittedly a personal bias because we have three first-responders in our immediate family - two Emerg Nurses and a Firefighter and three grandbabies all under six, here in the Vancouver area. So we pay close attention, still.

Our risk management remains within the Phase III guidelines set by Dr. Henry. whose success for BC has been recognized across the country and in the U.S. as the way to "flatten the curve".

Unnecessary pleasure travel by us outside the recommendations in any form is out of the question for obvious reasons but it is also too high a risk for us to accept as justifiable or reasonable by others unless absolutely necessary because of the higher risk they pose to others. The airlines here and in the U.S. may put people in middle seats which is a commercial decision and I recognize that for many who's livelihood depends upon this work it very well may be "absolutely necessary", particularly in America where COVID-19 has been politically allowed free-rein to infect as it will.

However, our daughter had a COVID-19 patient (tested) the other day who, because "the price was right" got on an airplane and went to Phoenix and upon return had developed symptoms and checked into the hospital and was placed in the COVID isolation room. The healthcare system is there to look after us and we all make decisions that sometimes lead to hospital visits. That's the nature of our democracy, so far. But sometimes, this kind of stupid decision-making does tend to elicit a WtF response.

We are not just "free" to make these decisions without thought of the larger social and healthcare system upon which we all depend. The United States is tragically proving that statement correct.

Edited by Don Hudson
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I also have two children who work on the front line of the health care system.  Edit to say.  As I am sure you are as well.  Very proud of them.   In fact proud of all our health care and front line workers.

It’s actually interesting to listen to the two of them debate this.

Here in Alberta we can do a drive through Covid test any time we want  The waiting time is one day and results within two days after that.  According to my daughter positive tests are acted on usually within a day as they get priority.  Turn around time is rapid.  

So the question has come up, why the 14 day quarantine? What is wrong with straight home until cleared.  Yes it can take 4 days for someone who is Covid positive to actually test positive.  So a test on arrival and then a second test at four days. 

IATA is actually proposing a test prior to boarding the aircraft and then after arrival.

The point is that 14 days of quarantine or 28 days for a round trip is not required if testing is used.  The month worth of quarantine is only necessary in the absence of testing.   

The only reason to impose a 14 day quarantine is to stifle travel.  It is not to make people safer.  

You and I both know what happens when SOP’s get instituted that don’t make sense.  They get ignored.  Then ignoring the rules gets normalized.  Normalization of deviation.  

There will be people that won’t follow these rules.  If we are lucky they will use their brain and test before breaking quarantine.  How many know they should still wait four days?  Many will just blow quarantine off all together.

If a Covid test 3-4 days after arrival is a safe way to identify people who are ill, why impose a 14 day quarantine?  Why prevent people from entering the country if they arrive from a non hotspot and they also wait for a test to clear them?

The point I was making was simple.  Lockdown also has a death toll.  Should we not be looking to open as much as safety possible?  Currently that is not the direction we are taking.  

Currently we are choosing one death toll over the other.  






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Again, many thanks for responding and for the exchange, Turbofan. Yes, deeply proud of them and their colleagues everywhere - the adjustments for all of them have been herculian, particularly in the early weeks and months. We banged pots & pans at 7pm until just recently.

Will let the thread return to the original topic! kind regards, Don

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4 hours ago, Don Hudson said:


Will let the thread return to the original topic! kind regards, Don


The thread topic is directly related to lack of reciprocity regarding quarantine.  If you start reading into the UK travel restrictions you will see reciprocity mentioned multiple times.

Canada is not alone in being left out. Even one of the safest places on earth from Covid is not included.  New Zealand which has stated they are closed until next year.  There are other examples.

The message is clear.  This thread topic is a result of our unwillingness to open up, even if there are safe viable options.

This by the way is why British Airways and Ryan Air launched their lawsuit against the British government.  Looks like it worked.  Maybe Canadian airlines should try the same.

We are intelligent, resilient and imaginative people.  We can manage this is a safe way.  Manage it in a way that provides safety and limits collateral damage.

Or we can let fear, rather than rational thinking, rule and hide under a rock.

There is no rational reason for a 14 day quarantine when we can safely reduce that time through testing.  My wife’s latest results returned in just over 24 hours.  The only explanation I can come up with as to why 14 days remains, is fear.


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11 minutes ago, Don Hudson said:

I don't disagree on the UK point and also wondered why NZ was left out. The broader story regarding fear is, we're faced with governments encumbered by the politics of blame and elections. 

and according to recent numbers, we are also faced with those who are in denial and are now catching the disease.  20 - 40 year olds, don't care folks, and those who have always behaved as if they were nbr."1"  and somehow above the crowd.  

The following statement is therefore modified: 


We are mostly intelligent, resilient and imaginative people.  We could manage this is in a safe way.  Sadly the, "I will not catch it, I am invulnerable crowd" will not allow us to Manage it in a way that provides safety and limits collateral damage.

Thank goodness however, we live north of the 49th and have benefited by the nature of our health system and of course the dedicated folks who provide the care, maintain our hospitals, etc etc etc.  

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Hi Turbofan - concur that testing is absolutely a basic for control of the virus. You'll recall however, that in the early days, when no one had access to masks, and even the early advice was "Masks don't work", and there was no such thing as "testing", that the only response was "sheltering in place", then self-isolation, then lock-down, all for very good reasons, the earlier the better. It's what we did in BC and it worked with minimal (compared to other provinces & countries), "inconvenience" to the population. The record speaks for itself and I suspect both BC & Alta would "qualify" for reciprocal arrangements, (smiling here...).

Hi Marshall;

Re, "Sadly the, "I will not catch it, I am invulnerable crowd"...", and all those who party-on at the top of their lungs, without masks or distance. Their personal hygiene is terrible and for me, no amount of testing excuses that primary level of public behaviour.

It's the notion that a 4-wheel-drive vehicle is "safer" on a slippery highway or automation in modern aircraft means they fly themselves, or one is young, or old, or 'careful' or pious or not, but in every case, nature cannot be fooled.

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