Dec. 21, 2020

Several countries have announced restrictions on flights from the United Kingdom (UK), following the discovery of a new strand of the coronavirus. Operators and flight crews are encouraged to avoid tech stops in the UK if their next stop or final destination is one of the countries with current restrictions.

“The number of countries restricting flights from the UK is increasing at a rapid pace, as nations try to limit the spread of this new coronavirus strain,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs. “Aircraft operators and flight crews should review current NOTAMs and official sources for new restrictions while flight planning.”

The countries with current flight restrictions or border closures include:

  • Most European countries
  • Canada
  • Russia
  • In Latin America: Argentina, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, El Salvador and Peru
  • In the Middle East and North Africa: Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman (all borders including landing, sea and air closed for a week), Saudi Arabia (all international flights suspended) and Turkey
  • In Asia: Hong Kong, India, Japan

This may not be an exhaustive list.

In most cases, exceptions are made for cargo, ferry, medevac and repositioning of empty aircraft.

Additionally, news reports from the UK and U.S. indicate that while the COVID-19 virus may have mutated, medical experts believe that vaccines that have received early approval from state health regulators and others under development should also be effective against the mutated strain of the COVID-19 virus.