This weeks update begins with this mornings much anticipated announcement by the UK government that from October 24th, fully vaccinated passengers arriving back from non-red listed countries will be able to take a less expensive lateral flow test on day two instead of the current more costly PCR option. This change only applies if you live in England – the devolved nations have their own policies in place with regard to testing following international travel.
Last week the UK red list was hugely reduced, in fact there are now only seven countries listed on there – Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Haiti, Panama and Venezuela.
Unfortunately, this does not automatically mean that all other countries are allowing UK citizens in, with or without proof of vaccination.
For any country that you are interested in travelling to, please refer to the Foreign Office travel advice website. It offers the option for you to sign up to receive all updates for every country globally or just receive notifications for the specific destination that applies to you. This service is invaluable for keeping you up-to-date should anything change not just before you travel, but also whilst you are on holiday.
Australia opens its borders for international travel next month, but unfortunately, it is not yet opening for tourism. Initially, only Australian citizens and residents will be allowed to travel internationally but quarantine will be imposed for the majority upon their return home. It is the first, very tentative step that Australia is taking towards re-opening to the world following its long-standing ‘bubble’ only with New Zealand. Watch this space! If this initial step is successful, then hopefully it won’t be too much longer before we are able to head down under to visit loved ones or simply enjoy some renowned Aussie hospitality and experiences.
Thailand, Fiji and, just today, Cuba are amongst the most recent countries to announce that they will be re-opening their borders to international visitors within the coming weeks and preparations to welcome fully vaccinated tourists back are well under way. Singapore will begin a Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme from 19 October this year that will allow vaccinated travellers from the UK and a handful of other countries to enjoy quarantine free travel to Singapore. Initially, the VTL strategy will only be available on designated flights in to Singapore.
In addition to several European countries not requiring us to quarantine on arrival, there are many more now worldwide that just ask for proof of approved vaccinations (the last one being at least two weeks before your arrival in to that destination), the completion of a passenger declaration form and/or negative a PCR test. These destinations include Maldives, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Mexico.
For a full update on changes to travel, please read the government news here. For Covid-19 travel rules in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales just click on the links provided. It is very important that you adhere to the regulations that are applicable to the region where you live, not fly in to.
For travellers who have not been vaccinated for COVID or have only received one vaccination, rules around travel will be different in terms of testing and possibly quarantine, both at a destination and on return to the UK.
Covid vaccination passes are predominantly required for international travel and should be downloaded from the NHS website or app pertinent to the nation where you received your vaccinations and your GP surgery is located. The passes are normally valid for 30 days from the date of issue and can be renewed again when required.
Why not take a few minutes out of your busy schedule and re-visit your holiday wish list…you will be there sooner than you think!