Covid’s new travel rules: from testing to quarantine requirements
Details of Covid Plan B, announced on December 8, include new instructions for working from home and vaccine passports. However, no additional restrictions on international travel were announced in addition to the measures already in place after the discovery of the omicron variant.
As it stands, there are still 11 countries on the red list, ie arrivals from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola are subject. within 10 days. staying in a quarantine hotel. There is also a flight ban for these destinations.
Elsewhere, some European countries have reintroduced restrictions. Blockades have been imposed on Austria and Slovakia, while Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have tightened Covid measures.
Holidays in most other open countries can still continue. However, some destinations still require proof of a negative PCR test result on all arrivals, while others only require a vaccine certificate for entry.
All travelers (regardless of vaccination status) must have a PCR test on day 2 on arrival in the UK, which must be done by the end of the second full day after of arrival, and isolate until a negative result is received. Anyone who tests positive should be isolated for 10 days.
In addition, all persons 12 years of age or older have had to undergo a PCR or side-flow Covid test before traveling to England from abroad.
More obstacles remain for the unvaccinated. In addition to the above measures, they must also enter a quarantine of ten days on the return, with one more test on the eighth day. Some countries will also impose a quarantine on unvaccinated arrivals.
Here’s everything you need to know about international travel, from test requirements to documentation and quarantine.
What countries can I travel to?
The UK government has placed 11 countries on its travel red list as concerns about the omicron variant, first detected in South Africa, grow.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the new variant “may be more transmissible” than the delta strain and that “the vaccines we currently have may be less effective.”
With the exception of these 11 countries, if you are fully vaccinated you can currently travel to any country or territory without having to be quarantined for 10 days on your return.
However, from 4 a.m. on November 30, all vaccinated travelers must take a PCR test on the 2nd, which must be done at the end of the second full day after arriving in the United Kingdom. United, and isolate until a negative result is received. Anyone who tests positive should be isolated for 10 days.
Also, from 4am on Tuesday 7th December, all people aged 12 and over must have a PCR or Covid side flow test before traveling to England from abroad.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you must enter 10 days of self-isolation on your return to the UK, with two more tests on days two and eight. The only country from which unvaccinated Britons can return without quarantine is Ireland.
Which countries are on the red list?
Arrivals to the UK from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Eswatini (formerly Swaziland), Namibia, Nigeria, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola must be accommodated in a quarantine hotel for 10 days. a price of up to £ 2,285.
The rate for an additional adult, or a child aged 12 or over, is £ 1,430; while children aged 5 to 11 cost £ 325 each. Those who have financial difficulties have been able to avoid the high rate.
There is a flight ban for these destinations.
Do all countries let in British?
All countries have their own requirements for testing, vaccination certification, quarantine and other documentation. Many nations welcome the British, although some have border restrictions that prohibit British entry.
Check the Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) page of your destination to see if you can go.
Do I have to take a test before traveling?
It depends on the destination. If there is a requirement, it is usually a PCR test performed no more than 72 hours before the trip / arrival.
However, many countries now accept a vaccine certificate instead of a PCR test. Check the destination FCDO page before you leave.
Do I have to take a test before returning home?
From 4am on Tuesday 7th December, all people aged 12 and over must have a PCR or side flow Covid test before traveling to England from abroad.
Do I have to take a test after I get home?
From November 30, those who are fully vaccinated must take a PCR test on or after the second day (the day of arrival is day zero). You need to isolate yourself until you receive a negative result. Anyone who tests positive should be isolated for 10 days.
If you are not fully vaccinated, you should be quarantined and tested for PCR on days two and eight. If you opt for Test to Release, you can take a second test on day five to get out of quarantine (if your result is negative), but you will still have to take another test on day eight.
What are the rules for children under 18?
Travelers under the age of 12 returning to England from a non-redlisted country do not have to take a pre-departure test before returning to England. However, children between the ages of 12 and 17 should have a PCR or Covid side flow test for 2 days before the trip to England.
In addition, children 12 years of age and older should have a PCR test on day two or earlier and be isolated until a negative result is found. Children under the age of 18 returning from countries on the red list must enter a hotel quarantine.
Most countries do not require vaccine certificates for children under 18, but some do. Malta, for example, requires young people between the ages of 12 and 18 to be fully vaccinated before arrival. Children aged five to 11 can enter Malta if accompanied by vaccinated parents or legal guardians, as long as they show a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of the trip.
Some other countries have imposed bans, quarantine or other strict rules on unvaccinated children and adolescents. Read about them all here.
What documentation do I need to travel?
Different countries have different requirements. France, for example, is asking everyone to sign a statement confirming that you have no Covid or symptoms. Greece has a passenger location form, as does Spain.