Important Coronavirus (COVID-19) travel
In England, you must have a permitted reason to travel abroad and complete the declaration form.
Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new social distancing rules with little warning. Check our advice for each country you will visit or transit through.
When you return, follow the rules to enter the UK from abroad (except from Ireland).
The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to the whole of Qatar based on the current assessment of COVID-19 risks.
From 4am on 19th March, direct flights from Qatar to England are prohibited. Visitors who have been in or transited through Qatar in the previous 10 days cannot enter the UK. British and Irish nationals and third country nationals with residence rights in the UK arriving in England from Qatar will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different requirements apply for arrivals into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
From 1 January onwards, those with residence rights includes: 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 Qatar is subject to entry restrictions
- From 1 August 2020, British nationals outside of Qatar and holding a Qatar residence permit are allowed to enter the country, subject to receiving prior approval.
- From 29 November 2020 any resident leaving Qatar will receive their exceptional entry permit automatically.
- Upon entry to Qatar, you will need to quarantine for 7 days in a government-approved hotel at your own expense. Further quarantine may be required depending on your test results. From 22 December 2020, all residents arriving on flights originating in the UK will be required to stay at a designated hotel for their quarantine period. These must be booked through the Discover Qatar website.
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
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 Qatar, 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.
For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.
Around 20,000 British nationals live in Qatar, and approximately 130,000 visit each year. Most visits are trouble-free.
Following the attack on the coalition base at Taji in Iraq on 11 March 2020, and subsequent US airstrikes, tensions may be raised across the region. There is a possibility of an increased threat against Western interests, including against UK citizens. You should remain vigilant and keep up to date with the latest developments, including via the media and this travel advice.
The land border between Saudi Arabia and Qatar has now reopened and flights from Qatar to Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have resumed after a longstanding diplomatic dispute was resolved earlier this year.
Terrorist attacks in Qatar can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism
You can contact the emergency services by calling 999 (police, fire and ambulance).
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission.
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.