Amid the pandemic, travelling for leisure seems risky and far-fetched due to restrictions on movement, lockdown implementation and travel bans across countries worldwide. As vaccination efforts against coronavirus and new variants continue across countries today, our lives have returned to some semblance of normality, with changing rules for travellers.
The travel restrictions especially the traffic light system in the UK has seen major developments as of October 4, countries are no longer placed on green, amber, or red lists. Instead, travel destinations are now set out in the red list, or the green list which means the ‘rest of the world’ list. The list determines whether a destination is safe for travel. If a country is placed on the red list, it is usually because there is a surge of coronavirus in that particular country making it unsafe for travellers. However, travellers can opt to visit a country from the ‘rest of the world’ list with fewer travel restrictions on their arrival back to the UK. The latest update was the removal of all countries from the red list meaning people will no longer need to spend eleven nights in a hotel for quarantine when they arrive in the UK – doing away with a requirement that came with a cost of £2,285 for adults.
With that said, here are the types of COVID-19 tests required when visiting the following popular destinations:
The country is open to tourists now, but some requirements are needed, such as a health visa application when it comes to international travel. Tourists also need to show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and take a Rapid Antigen test prior to arrival. For unvaccinated travellers, an RT-PCR test certificate demonstrating a negative result is required. Further, they need to have travel insurance in place.
Canada has stringent rules in place due to coronavirus for travellers. Canada does allow travel for tourism however, travellers must be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine and have a negative RT-PCR test before arrival to Canada. The RT-PCR test must be taken within the timeframe of 72 hours before travel. Canada does not accept rapid antigen test kits. Only Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate and extended family, temporary foreign workers and most international students can travel to Canada even if they are not fully vaccinated.
In Cape Verde, travellers need a negative PCR or an antigen test result that is taken within 72 hours before travelling, or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate. Along with this, Cape Verde is only accepting a letter version of the NHS COVID Pass, not a digital one.
Travellers also need to fill out an airport security tax form with a £30 fee and fill out an international travel form.
Unvaccinated travellers can visit Croatia with proof of either a negative COVID-19 antigen test issued within 48 hours, a negative PCR test result issued within 72 hours of arrival, or a doctor’s certificate of recovery.
In France, only vaccinated individuals can visit without an essential reason. Further, fully vaccinated travellers do not need to present a negative test result before travel. Unvaccinated travellers are not permitted to visit France unless their reason can be classified as ‘essential’ according to the rules laid down by the French Government. France has a system similar to the traffic light system in place with countries categorised in red, amber or green list. The UK has been categorised as an Amber list country by France. If travellers are not fully vaccinated, they need to have a crucial reason to enter the country, and they are required to undergo quarantine.
NHS tests should not be used for travel purposes as they are not appropriate for it. A test can be booked only with a private provider listed on the Government website www.gov.uk.
Only fully vaccinated individuals from the UK are permitted to visit Germany for holidays as the UK has been classified to be a ‘high-incidence area’. Children under 12 years old will only be allowed to enter the country even if they do not have proof of a negative test result and travel with at least one fully vaccinated parent. Although, the children would be required to quarantine for 5 days upon arrival. Only those passengers who are ‘eligible’ will be permitted to enter Germany even though they are not vaccinated. and may be subject to quarantine for up to ten days with a test to release option available from the fifty day.
Travellers who are unvaccinated can visit Greece if they can provide proof of a negative PCR test result within 72 hours of arrival, evidence of a negative antigen test from an authorised laboratory within 48 hours of arrival, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 if they have a history of contracting the virus. These requirements are applicable to all individuals above the age of 12.
Visitors are permitted to enter Italy even without undergoing a quarantine period provided that they can show proof of COVID-19 vaccination and a negative test taken within 48 hours before entering the country.
Travellers can visit The Maldives if they have a negative PCR test result that is taken within 96 hours of departure. They would also need to fill out a form before they can travel. The Maldives’ authorities have stated that there are no plans to quarantine tourists on arrival.
Travellers can visit Panama if they are fully vaccinated. If the traveller is not fully vaccinated, they need to show proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival to the country and undergo quarantine for the first three days in the country, either at home or at an approved hotel.
Travellers who have an NHS Covid Pass or EU digital COVID vaccination certificate proving that they are fully vaccinated at least 14 days of travel do not need to take a COVID-19 test to enter Portugal. It also applies if travellers can show proof of recovery from COVID-19 between 11 to 180 days before they travel. Portugal also requires travellers to fill an online passenger locator application for entering the country.
If the visitor is not fully vaccinated, they need to take a PCR test within 72 hours of travelling or an antigen test within 48 hours. Children up to the age of 11 are exempt from this.
Travellers can visit quarantine-free provided that they can show proof of a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of arrival or a rapid antigen test result taken within 48 hours. Along with this, travellers can also visit if they can show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have fully recovered from COVID-19 if they have a history of getting the virus.
British travellers who can show and provide a negative PCR test result issued within 48 hours of arrival or proof of vaccination in the country are permitted to enter Spain. A Health Control Form is required to be filled out by all passengers arriving at this destination.
The United Arab Emirates
Complete vaccination is not a requirement to visit the UAE. Unvaccinated tourists arriving in Dubai need to present evidence of a negative PCR test result that is taken no more than 72 hours before departure, which must be shown at check-in. A PCR test on arrival is also mandatory for those passengers arriving in Abu Dhabi. UAE is not accepting the lateral flow a.k.a rapid antigen test kits as proof of a negative coronavirus test.
Do I Need to Undergo Quarantine When Returning to the UK?
According to the UK government’s latest announcement, travellers who have not had been vaccinated need to self-isolate for 10 days even when they come from any country on the safe list.
Travellers are also required to take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on days two and eight, although they can also take an extra Test to Release PCR on day five to end quarantine early, if the result comes out as negative.
Are you looking for a testing provider?
Harley Medic Global is a government-approved testing provider and an expert in COVID-19 testing. They have many locations across the UK, ensuring that a testing centre is near you. Getting a test is as easy as booking online and finding their closest clinic. Visit their website harleymedic.co.uk to learn more.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in the article should not be relied upon for bookings as rules may differ depending upon the country or the airlines. Please check the latest government guidelines and regulations on www.gov.uk .