The travel and tourism industry has gone through unprecedented economic harm as various countries and territories worldwide imposed travel restrictions. The continuous rise and fall of COVID-19 cases have disrupted travel plans with quarantine measures to deter people from traveling.
With the plunge in revenue of various transport services, the massive shutdown cost countries a significant amount, leading to people losing their jobs, and has turned the industry into one of the most extensive casualties of the pandemic.
Many countries are reopening their borders to travelers to mitigate further loss despite the number of risks the COVID-19 pandemic has brought, however, with stricter and stringent measures.
The United Kingdom is one of the countries with the highest numbers of deaths due to COVID-19 globally despite being the first country to introduce a vaccination scheme. A new variant of the coronavirus was discovered in the UK exacerbated matters, prompting authorities to ban traveling altogether.
The UK has a red list or list of countries from which entry to the UK is banned. If a visitor has been in or through any of the countries included in the list, they will be automatically barred from entry unless they are UK citizens.
Regardless of whether British citizens or foreigners, all the travelers who will enter the UK must present a negative Fit to Fly COVID Test to gain entry permission.
Here are some of the travel advice for British people traveling abroad under UK COVID-19 Travel Restrictions.
Who Should Not Travel?
Depending on which country you will be traveling to, find out policies on what kind of tourism travel is allowed and who is specifically not allowed to travel. Generally, people who tested positive for COVID-19 should be isolated and must not travel under any circumstances. Accordingly, anyone who has been in contact with people diagnosed with COVID-19 should be in quarantine.
People ages 60 and over and those who have chronic illnesses and underlying conditions should postpone traveling for the time being. If traveling is a must, older adults should take special precautions and wear protective equipment such as a face mask throughout the travel.
Plan for Your Travel
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC advises people to delay travel and stay at home to protect themselves and other people from the virus as travel increases the chances of spreading and acquiring COVID-19.
However, if you must travel, taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and others is essential. No travel is risk-free, and any country may revise and impose new rules at short notice or implement more strict measures. As such, plan your trip by knowing up-to-date information and travel guidance.
It is best to be prepared by being flexible as restrictions and policies might change during your travel.
Before making travel plans happen, ensure that you can do so under the COVID-19 travel restrictions. You must complete a declaration form for international travel that details a reasonable excuse for traveling abroad. Otherwise, it is illegal to travel abroad without an acceptable reason.
If you wish to travel abroad for holidays, then forget about such plans as it is not permitted. You should show the declaration form at the port of departure and on the way to the port of departure. It is also helpful to carry around to support your reason for traveling.
Check for any restrictions, testing, or quarantine requirements. It is best to ask accommodation providers about the COVID-19 safety measures you might need to follow. Accordingly, heed local authorities’ advice and followed local health requirements during your trip and at your designated destination.
If you have further questions, contact your tour operator, transport, or accommodation providers for a detailed explanation.
When You Are Abroad
Local and International restrictions may change anytime. As such, it is crucial to stay informed of the up-to-date changes, and you can do so by regularly checking foreign travel advice. It includes the latest information about the pandemic, entry requirements, safety and security, and some travel warnings, if any.
Prepare for a possible change in restrictions in mitigating local COVID-19 outbreaks. Should you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to immediately seek treatment regardless of the country you are in and remain there until you have recovered. If local authorities were to give you strict quarantine protocols, you need to follow them.
With the current pandemic, there is a high probability of flight delays and cancelations which means you need to plan in such unexpected cases.
Necessary Preparations for Returning to the UK
- Before returning to the UK, you should take a COVID-19 test three days prior to departure, as you will need to present a negative result upon arrival in the UK.
- You should fill in the passenger locator online anytime within 48 hours before arriving in the UK. Keep in mind to be truthfully honest when filling up the form as it is a criminal offense to provide false and deliberately misleading information. Such an act can result in you being fined, imprisoned, and worse, suffer the consequences of both.
- If you are from a country included in the red list or have transited into one in the past ten days, you must stay at a managed quarantine hotel. However, if you are from another foreign country, immediately book COVID-19 testing under quarantine rules.
- If you arrive in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Island, there might be some different requirements you need to check out.
When You Arrive in the UK
Upon arriving in the UK, travelers will need to quarantine for ten days and take a COVID-19 test on the second or eighth day. Today, passengers arriving in the country can now shorten their self-isolation by half after receiving a negative result.
It is called a Test to Release scheme in the UK, allowing passengers to finish self-quarantine earlier should they receive negative test results on or before the fifth day. However, it is still imperative for people to follow domestic rules in the local area even with proof of having negative coronavirus test results.
What Precautions Should People Take During Travel?
It is important to maintain good hand hygiene by frequently washing the hands. It is good to bring hand sanitizers and alcohol when people have no access to sink or comfort room. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or bent elbow.
Maintain social distancing of at least one meter from others. Follow the recommendations of travel authorities relating to COVID-19 safety measures and policies.