Important COVID-19 Travel
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.
If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to:
- the whole of Brazil based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
From 4am on 15 January, direct flights from Brazil to the UK are prohibited. Visitors who have been in or transited through Brazil in the previous 10 days cannot enter England. British and Irish nationals, and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from Brazil will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
From 1 January onwards people with residence rights include: holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain; holders of existing leave to enter or remain (i.e those with biometric Residence permits) or an entry clearance/visa that grants such leave e.g. students, workers, etc (excluding visit visas); holders of EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”) leave; those who have rights of entry under the Withdrawal Agreements (including returning residents with a right of residence under the EEA Regulations and EEA frontier workers); family members of EEA nationals with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
Travel to Brazil is subject to entry restrictions
- As of 25 December 2020, Brazil has temporarily suspended all flights from or via the UK.
- Brazil has also temporarily suspended permission for foreigners who have been in the UK during the previous 14 days to embark any flight to Brazil.
- There are restrictions on non-resident foreign nationals entering by land or sea.
- Resident foreigners are permitted to enter Brazil, subject to a 14 day quarantine period on arrival.
- Anyone travelling to Brazil by air needs to present at check-in evidence of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken within 72 hours of boarding.
See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.
Preparing for your return journey to the UK
If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:
- provide your journey and contact details before you travel
- check if you need to self-isolate on your return
If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.
Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.
If you’re planning travel to Brazil, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.
Limited direct commercial flights to the UK are available alongside a number of scheduled indirect flights via mainland Europe.
For guidance on how to stay safely in Brazil as a visitor if you are unable to return to the UK, see Coronavirus
Although non-resident foreign nationals are not permitted to enter by air and the Brazilian government is maintaining series of bans on entry by land and sea, there are a few exceptions, including spouses, parents and guardians of Brazilian nationals as well as passengers in transit and aircrew. See Entry requirements
The British diplomatic missions in Brazil are only open for essential business. If you have an urgent consular issue – such as a request for an Emergency Travel Document – you will need to pre-book an appointment online. We are not able to respond to British nationals who visit without a pre-booked appointment.
154,586 British nationals visited Brazil in 2018. Despite high crime levels, most visits are trouble free.
Levels of crime including violent crime are high, particularly in major cities. . You are likely to see a heavy police presence on the streets, particularly in Rio de Janeiro. Bank card fraud including credit card cloning is common. See Crime
The FCDO advise against all travel within 40km of the Venezuela-Brazil border on the Venezuelan side of the border. See FCDO travel advice for Venezuela
Terrorist attacks in Brazil can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
If you’re a single parent or guardian travelling with a child, you may need additional documentation. This applies if one parent is Brazilian, even if your child only holds a British passport. See Entry requirements
Drug trafficking is widespread in Brazil and incurs severe penalties. See Local laws and customs
You should take steps to avoid mosquito bites. UK health authorities have classified Brazil as having a risk of Zika virus transmission and chikungunya, yellow fever and dengue are present. For more information and advice, visit the website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and check the recommendations for vaccination. See Health
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
The Money Advice Service can help you to consider the type of insurance you need. It is a free and independent service set up by government.