The new Covid travel rules, as testing is dropped for fully vaccinated Britons

Do I need to take a test after arriving home?

Not if you are fully vaccinated. Under-18s don’t need to take a test, regardless of their vaccination status.

Those who are not double-jabbed need to take a pre-departure test and a Day 2 PCR test.

What are the rules for under 18s?

Under-18s are exempt from tests for return to the UK, regardless of vaccination status.

A number of European countries require vaccine certificates for over-12s to access venues on the ground. Some also apply this on entry. To visit Malta, for example, over-12s must be fully vaccinated. 

Children aged five to 11 can enter Malta if accompanied by vaccinated parents or legal guardians, provided they show a negative PCR test carried out within 72 hours of travel.

To enter Austria, children aged 12 or over, born on or after September 1 2006, can use the first PCR test of a Holiday Ninja Pass to enter Austria. However, adult entry rules apply for anyone born before September 1, 2006.  

How can I prove my vaccination status?

The NHS Covid Pass app offers a digital proof of vaccination for travel. It is currently accessible to travellers aged 12 or over.

Families can also request a NHS Covid Pass letter, although this takes around seven working days to arrive. 

Booster jabs are also shown on the NHS Covid Pass for travel. A number of countries, including Spain, have imposed time limits on proof of vaccination. Travellers must have received their final jab of a vaccine course, or their booster, within the previous nine months before travel to Spain. 

In France, it is a legal requirement for anyone over the age of 16 to show a pass vaccinal or NHS vaccination certificate to enter all public spaces.

How can I prove I have recovered from Covid? 

Those who have recovered from Covid within the past three months could return a false-positive result on a PCR test, even though their infection risk has long passed. Should you need to take a PCR test for any aspect of your trip overseas, this could be an issue. Some countries will accept proof of recovery instead of a negative PCR test, however.

In the same way that you access your NHS Covid Pass (ie proof of vaccination) via the NHS app, you can access proof of your recovery from Covid. 

In the ‘Get your NHS COVID Pass’ section, click ‘Travel’, then ‘Show details’. Scroll through the QR codes confirming your vaccinations, and the final one should state ‘Recovered from COVID-19’. This can be printed and saved, along with your vaccination records. Note that you must have tested positive for Covid on an NHS PCR test, registered your result, and completed your isolation period. You will not get a proof of recovery certificate based on a positive lateral flow test. See more information.

What paperwork do I need for travel?

Different countries have different requirements. France, for example, asks all arrivals to sign a declaration confirming you do not have Covid or symptoms. Greece has a Passenger Locator Form and Spain has a Health Control Form.

Most countries also require a vaccination certificate to enter without quarantine or a PCR test result. If you have received two jabs, you can access your vaccine certificate on the NHS app, where you will find a QR code and the dates of your vaccinations. You may also need to show proof of having received a booster; which is also shown on the NHS app.

Some countries will also request vaccination certificates, or proof of a recent negative test result, in order to enter indoor venues like bars and restaurants – such as France, Austria, Switzerland and Italy.

To return to the UK, you must fill in a Passenger Locator Form.

What travel insurance do I need?

Most insurance companies offer some degree of Covid cover. Check our Covid insurance guide for more information.

I live in another country, can I enter the UK?

Yes, but the rules on arrival will depend on where you live, and whether you are vaccinated or not.

The UK recognises vaccines administered in other countries including the 27 EU states, certain non-EU European states, plus the United States, Canada, and a number of other long-haul destinations. 

Arrivals from all other countries will need to take a pre-departure test and a day 2 PCR test.

Reader Service: It’s more important than ever to have holiday cancellation insurance. Learn how to get the right travel cover before you go.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.