THERE are some important changes under way when it comes to travelling abroad.
From testing and insurance to airport queues, here are the answers to your big questions.
Why have the rules on travelling abroad changed?
It’s important we’re still cautious to protect public health and the success of the vaccination programme. The Government has put in place a traffic light system in the UK that balances reopening international travel with managing the risk of Covid-19 and variants from abroad.
OK, so what do I need to do if I want to travel abroad?
You must complete the relevant quarantine and testing measures for arrivals on your return to the UK, depending on whether you are returning from a green, amber or red destination. Passengers cannot travel to the UK unless they have completed a passenger locator form, which requires booking references for testing and quarantine (if necessary) and a declaration of vaccination status for amber arrivals. Check the advice for the country or territory you’re going to.
And is there anything I need to do before I return home?
Take a Covid-19 PCR test. Normally you’ll do this in the country you’re visiting. To board your transport to the UK, you need proof of a negative result from a test taken in the three days before the service departs. You will need to find a test provider in the country you’re travelling to the UK from. You’ll also need to complete a passenger locator form (you can submit this any time in the 48 hours before you’re due to arrive in the UK) and book any Covid-19 tests or quarantine hotel packages needed ahead of your return to the UK.
Why are there all these additional requirements when travelling to and from Europe?
Travel to Europe has changed because the UK has left the EU. You’ll need to check your passport is valid using gov.uk/check-passport. Make sure that your travel insurance covers all your needs, including healthcare, and that you have a valid Global Health Insurance Card or an in-date European Health Insurance Card.
So what are the queues going to be like at airports this summer?
We can expect additional checks and longer queues at the border in order to keep us all safe. Every single passenger will have their passenger locator form checked by carriers, and will have to show that they have had a negative test and have a day two test booked in advance. There are tough fines in place for those who do not comply with these regulations.
What happens if I catch Covid while I am abroad?
If you test positive for Covid-19 while abroad, you may have to enter a quarantine hotel. You might have to pay for this yourself if the local authorities refuse to pay. The UK Government will not cover the cost of mandatory quarantine for British nationals, so you should always make sure you have access to funds to cover these charges should they arise – or you should take out travel insurance, being sure to check that your chosen policy will cover the cost of quarantine.
Fun with the family
We will still be careful about symptoms
Vittoria Valeriana Veltri, 37, from London, is in Italy with her children Alex, 4, and Georgie, six months.
"I grew up in Calabria, Italy, and we try to come here every year. As Italy was on the amber list, I did a PCR test at a private clinic 48 hours before we flew, then when we arrived we had to quarantine at my parents’ place for five days before moving on to a hotel by the seaside. My husband, Gregor, will join us later on.
“When I left the UK, we were due to have to quarantine for ten days when we came back home, but the rules changed on July 19. Now, because we are both double-jabbed, we will just have to take a PCR test before we leave and then another on day two once we’re back home. We will still be careful about keeping an eye out for any symptoms, though.”
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