If you want to travel during the pandemic, you’ve probably found that the travel rules are as clear as mud at the moment. We wanted to hear people’s thoughts about travelling right now so we put out a poll on Instagram asking the question: ‘Do you find the current travel restrictions confusing?’ and an overwhelming 87% of you said yes! So we got to work, gathering our experts together to answer the questions that you have been asking us, to provide some clarity on the very confusing travel situation at the moment. Read on to find out the answers to your key questions about how to travel during the pandemic…
What happens if the destination I book goes on the red list?
If you book with us and the destination you are travelling to is added to the red list AND the FCDO also change their advice to advise against travel to that country, then we are able to offer a refund. Otherwise, we can try and postpone your trip if you don't want to travel (because presumably no-one wants to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days), but this will be subject to availability on the new dates, and there may be additional costs involved. This is where travel insurance is crucial. Our travel insurance partners offer coronavirus-related cover to give you an added sense of security in case your holiday is unable to go ahead due to changes in travel restrictions. You can also include specific red list insurance in your policy.
What test do we need to take before coming back to the UK?
If you book with us we will recommend where you can obtain pre-departure (to the UK) tests while you are away. Alternatively, some of the government-approved suppliers offer antigen tests you can take with you to do in your destination. With these you need to register them, take the test, and then send a photo of negative test and proof of ID to the provider. They will then send you a certificate to show at the airport on your return. You cannot use the free NHS lateral flow or PCR tests.
Can I get travel insurance that covers coronavirus-related claims?
Yes - our travel insurance partners offer a range of travel insurance policies relating to coronavirus - we will talk through these with you when planning your holiday.
What happens if someone on my flight later tests positive for coronavirus?
This will depend on different government and airline policies, but officially, if you sit within two seats of someone who later tests positive for coronavirus, you will count as a close contact. But the rules for self-isolation differ from country to country. For instance, in England, you no longer have to self-isolate as a close contact if you are fully vaccinated, so if this happened on the return flight home, you would be OK.
What counts as proof of vaccination for travel?
Once you are fully vaccinated against coronavirus and it has been two weeks since your second dose, you can either request an NHS Covid Pass to be sent to you as a letter or you can get a digital version on the free NHS App (N.B. this is different to the NHS Covid App) as long as you live in England and are registered with a GP. Before you travel, be sure to check that the app will be accepted as proof of vaccination, as some destinations may not recognise this - we can help you clarify the rules for your chosen destination(s). It's worth noting that the NHS appointment card that you were given at your appointment cannot be used to show your vaccination status.
What happens if I get coronavirus when on holiday?
If you test positive while on holiday, you will not be able to travel back to the UK straight away and will instead need to quarantine in your destination. Depending on where you have travelled to, this will either be in the accommodation you have been staying in or in a specific quarantine hotel. We can assist you as much as possible on this. Additionally, our travel insurance partners offer coronavirus-related cover, which includes cover if you are diagnosed with coronavirus while you are on holiday.
Do I need to fill in Passenger Locator Forms for my children?
Yes - every arrival into the UK needs to be included on a passenger locator form. Each adult needs to complete their own form, but those under 18 can be included on an adult's form as long as you are travelling together and then staying together at the same UK address. We will discuss these requirements with you when planning your holiday.
What happens if I test positive before I travel?
We can be as flexible with postponements as hotels/guides/lodges will allow. But travel insurance is key! Our travel insurance partners offer coronavirus-related cover, which includes cover if you are diagnosed with coronavirus and are unable to travel, as long as you have confirmation from your GP of your diagnosis.
What proof do I need that I have booked my Day 2 PCR test back in the UK?
It is not enough to show that you have bought the tests, so an invoice is not sufficient. Instead, you need to book and register your PCR tests because you will need to enter your URN (Unique Reference Number) into the Passenger Locator Form in order to complete and submit it.