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Our guide to travelling during coronavirus

Family wearing and putting on masks by a car
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Coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted in a number of holidays being postponed or cancelled. At the height of the pandemic, lockdowns and travel restrictions were necessary to save lives and limit the spread of transmission. However the UK government advice changed and there are new guidelines and fewer restrictions on international travel.

However, you should always check the government website for the latest travel advice for the country you intend to travel or transit through.

Does this mean it's safe to travel?

Whilst the lifting of travel restrictions is a positive step in the fight against COVID-19, it doesn’t mean travel will be risk-free. If you or somebody you know is planning to go abroad, it’s important to plan ahead and consider the measures that will need to be taken to ensure everyone is kept safe. 

For peace of mind, you may want to take a lateral flow test you go. These are available at your local pharmacy and can also be ordered online and delivered to your door.

It’s important to remember that if you or anyone in your household are experiencing coronavirus symptoms need to follow self-isolating advice.

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Our top 10 tips to consider before you fly

If you have understood the information and feel ready to travel, here is a handy checklist of things to consider before your fly:

  • Sign up for travel advice email notifications, so that you don’t miss any of the latest updates on the country you are planning to visit.
  • Make sure you've checked which COVID-19 test you need to visit the country you're going to, or to return to the UK. 
  • Read the safer air travel guidance for passengers before your holiday, which details sensible precautions that must be followed whilst travelling such as social distancing (where possible), use of face coverings, hand hygiene and contact tracing.
  • Buy enough face masks or coverings for you and your family. For extra safety we recommend you carry around hand sanitiser for use when soap and water is not available.
  • Contact your holiday accommodation provider before you leave to ensure appropriate safety measures are being undertaken.
  • Check your cancellation rights across various aspects of your holiday, including flights, hotel, tours etc.
  • Get travel insurance before you go. If you do not have adequate travel insurance, you may be liable to pay emergency medical costs whilst abroad.
  • Tell people you are travelling and make sure you stay in touch with friends and family. You may need to quarantine (more below) when you arrive, so it’s important to stay connected and look after your mental wellbeing.
  • Get a test, you may need a negative COVID-19 test to enter a country.
  • If you've had a full vaccine course you may be able to demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status
  • Read and follow the advice of local authorities before travelling to ensure you are willing to comply with local measures in place.
  • Prepare yourself for the possibility that you may need to stay longer. Imposed quarantines or local lockdowns may occur during your visit. Plan ahead for delays and make practical arrangements where necessary.

Check what vaccines you need

What you can expect at the airport

  • Most airlines are requesting online check-in before arrival.
  • Normal seating areas may be cordoned off to encourage social distancing. Floor markings may also be in place.
  • Your temperature may be taken before your flight.
  • Face masks may be required on the aircraft, it can be removed when eating and drinking, taking medication or communicating with someone who rely on lipreading.
  • Contactless payment will be encouraged.

Will you need to quarantine once you get there?

Depending on where you’re travelling to, local measures will be in place upon arrival at the airport. See travel advice for latest guidance on your destination.

You must be prepared to comply to a quarantine in your hotel or accommodation upon arrival or at any time during your stay. This may occur if you test positive for coronavirus whilst on holiday or if a local outbreak occurs.  Be sure to keep your travel company updated on any changes to your trip as they will be able to assist you.

References

www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-air-travel-guidance-for-passengers
www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-from-the-uk-chief-medical-officers-on-extension-of-self-isolation-period-30-july-2020
www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/how-long-to-self-isolate/