I am a student in the UK. I am currently in a red list country and the Hotel Quarantine is too expensive. If I travel to a country that is not on the red list for 2 weeks and then travel to the UK, will it be a problem?

  • 2
    It could be, if that interim country is put on the UK’s red list while you are there
    – Traveller
    Apr 16, 2021 at 15:39
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    Staying in another country for 2 weeks wouldn't cost you money? How much are you saving compared to a hotel stay
    – Aak
    Apr 16, 2021 at 16:06
  • 1
    @aak maybe the OP has some friends or relatives in that country that they could stay with for a low cost. Apr 16, 2021 at 16:12
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    Turkey’s seven day case average is currently up to almost 60,000. I wouldn’t bank on it remaining off the red list
    – Traveller
    Apr 16, 2021 at 19:30
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    Note that even if you arrive in England from a country not on the red list, you still have to quarantine (though not in a hotel), and you still need to take multiple tests (at a cost of several hundred pounds). Given the current trend in Turkey, the probability it will be added to the red list shortly is quite high. And of course Turkey may themselves have mandatory quarantine, tests or restrictions. Arrivals from some countries are already suspended or subject to mandatory quarantine.
    – jcaron
    Apr 19, 2021 at 7:44

1 Answer 1


In theory, yes. But beware of the many caveats:

  • First of all, of course, you need a country that would let you in in normal (non-Covid) circumstances, most likely without a visa. Depending on your nationality and personal circumstances, this may be easy or quite difficult. Remember that you will most likely be outside of any transit-without-visa (TWOV) regimes.

  • You need to make sure they they would accept people coming from the country you are currently in, including people who are neither nationals nor residents (some countries only allow nationals or residents to enter from some or all other countries).

  • You need to make sure they will accept you for the given reason (some countries will only accept visitors for specific reasons).

  • They will most likely require one or more PCR tests before and/or after your arrival.

  • They may impose quarantine, either in a managed quarantine facility or at home (possibly with quite a few restrictions on what "at home" can be).

  • You need to remember that they may change their own criteria of admission (countries they accept people coming from, limitation to nationals/residents, reasons for admission), sometimes at a moment's notice. A country on the UK's red list has a strong probability of appearing on other countries's red lists.

  • You need that country to not be on the UK's red list.

  • You will need to quarantine upon arrival in the UK (though not in a hotel, so it could be cheaper, but remember that home quarantine rules are quite restrictive nonetheless, and imply a certain level of organisation — and cost — just to be able to eat something).

  • You will need to book and pay for tests before your arrival in the UK and during your quarantine.

  • The country may be added to the UK's red list at any time. At the moment there are probably more countries risking being added to the list than removed. You mentioned Turkey which has a strong probability of being added to the list shortly, given the current trend (though criteria for inclusion are unclear).

  • Flights may be cancelled or rescheduled based on evolving restrictions.

  • Given the duration of the stay in the third country, the flights will most likely be priced (or even booked) independently, so the cost may be higher (though that is highly variable).

  • You'll have to factor in the cost of transportation to/from the airport in the third country.

All in all, yes, it is probably still going to be cheaper, but not necessarily as much as you think, and there is a high risk that you would either be denied entry into that third country, or that you need to undergo hotel quarantine in the UK anyway, depending on updates to the travel restrictions of each country.

  • Very nice summary! Apr 19, 2021 at 16:15
  • Thanks for your detailed answer. I was sick and just checked. I am a Pakistani citizen. I intend to tavel at the end of May by when i expect the UK government to allow holidays abroad as per the roadmap. And quarantining at home on arrival in UK isn't that much of a problem as i am already paying rent for my student accomodation and have the studio already set up so won't be that much of an issue. I need to pay for the 2 covid tests on arrival whether i quarantine at my place or hotel. Anyways waiting for government's update regarding international travel and what countries are placed in green
    – user300778
    Apr 24, 2021 at 22:30

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