Navigating the world of travel during a pandemic can be both daunting and confusing, but it is still possible. Whilst the specific restrictions vary from week to week, it is becoming clear that until we have a vaccine, the need for a Covid-19 test either before, during, or after your holiday is a necessity and should be factored in when booking your holiday.
When Can I Travel?
The government has confirmed quarantine-free travel will restart for ‘Green List’ countries starting 17 May. This will include the removal of the ‘international travel ban’. However, as before countries will be categorised by their Covid record.
For holidays at home, hotels also reopen on 17 May, although you can stay in self catering accommodation from next Monday – 12 April.
What do I need to do to travel?
When leaving the UK, there are currently no requirements set by our government. We’re able to travel freely, and there is no longer a form to ask where we are going.
However, there could very well be different requirements set by the country you are travelling to, or planning in travelling to. Regardless of whether it is on our Green List or not, they may impose mandatory quarantine on arrival, a PCR test before travel, and a passenger locator form.
When returning to the UK, you will need the following:
– A negative Covid test, taken by a clinican to UK standards – with certificate
– A completed Passenger Locator Form
– Booked a PCR test (Depending on List Category)
Where Can I Travel?
The government will categorize countries depending on their Covid-19 risk to the UK – either by the number of cases, variants of concern, and their immunization programme, in what has been referred to as the ‘traffic light system’. Cruises abroad will also be allowed, in line with the country traffic light system.
Testing will be required when you come home, regardless of which list the country is on – and of course, there may be some requirements by the country you are visiting for entry.
A Covid-19 test (which has been taken by a clinician to UK standards – either PCR or Lateral Flow) is required before returning back to the UK, with a further PCR in the first two days of entering the country.
You also need to complete a Passenger Locator Form before arriving back into the UK.
A Covid-19 test is required before returning back to the UK, with a further PCR in the first two days of entering the country. There is no requirement to quarantine.
Green ‘Watch List’ countries are those which could shortly move to the Amber list, and therefore should be prepared for those entry conditions.
A Covid-19 test is required before returning back to the UK, where you’ll be required to quarantine at home for up to 10 days.
You will need to take further PCR tests on days 2 and 8, or use the ‘Test to Release’ scheme with a single PCR test after day 5.
From Monday 19 July, anyone fully vaccinated in the UK can travel from an Amber list country and follow the Green list rules.
A Covid-19 test is required before returning back to the UK. There is a requirement to stay in hotel quarantine for 10 days (at your own cost), with further PCR tests on day 2 and 8.
South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
British Antarctic Territory
Antigua and Barbuda
British Indian Ocean Territory
Turks and Caicos
Akrotiri and Dhekelia
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Virgin Islands
Central African Republic
Czech Republic (Czechia)
Greece (including islands)
Israel and Palestine
The Occupied Palestinian Territories
Papua New Guinea
Portugal (inc The Azores)
Sao Tome and Principe
Spain (including Canary Islands, Balearic Islands)
St Kitts and Nevis
St Martin and St Barthélemy
St Vincent and the Grenadines
United States (USA)
Wallis and Futuna
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Trinidad and Tobago
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
When will conditions be reviewed?
The first ‘Green List’ was unveiled by the government on 7 May, with just 12 destinations included for travel to restart on 17 May, in accordance with the traffic light system.
The ‘traffic light’ lists will be constantly assessed and will be reviewed frequently – with an update every three weeks, any country at risk of moving category will be added to either the Red, Amber or Green Watch Lists.
The system as a whole will be reviewed again on 28 June, and then no later than 31 July (school holidays) and 1 October.
Testing Centres & Testing Kits (For UK Departures)
Acorn Pharmacy (Berkhamsted)
Hubert Figg Chemist (Berkhamsted)
Your-Doctor (Tring / Wexham Park)
Corona Test Centre (Watford & London)
In House Doctor – Dr Jeremy Cohen
Express Test (Gatwick / Edinburgh Airport)
When returning to the UK
No matter where you return from, the government requires a full PCR test (on day 2 for Green, and day 2 & 7 for Amber) from an approved supplier which can be found here.
Foreign Office (FCDO) – Global Travel Advice
The restrictions on travel are updated frequently, especially when countries are dealing with the virus at different stages and have different policies in place to what we have in the UK.
For specific country and region advice, its best to visit the FCDO website, which has the most up to date information.