The new Covid travel rules, as testing and forms scrapped for all UK arrivals

Do I need to take a test after arriving home?

As of March 18, you do not need to take any Covid tests or quarantine on arrival in the UK, irrespective of your vaccination status.

What are the rules for under 18s?

Under-18s do not need to take any Covid tests or quarantine on arrival in 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 similar rules on entry. It is essential that you check the latest information via the Foreign Office (gov.uk), and official websites from your destination and transport provider.

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 Spain, children under the age of 12 years old do not need to have proof of tests, recovery or vaccination. However, 12 to 17 year olds who are not double jabbed must present documentation certifying that they have undertaken a PCR test within 72 hours prior to arrival.

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 and France, 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 or France. 

In Italy, it is a legal requirement for anyone over the age of 12 to show a ‘Super Green Pass’ 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 and registered your result. See more information.

What other paperwork do I need for travel?

Different countries have different requirements and many have scrapped Covid paperwork for travellers in recent weeks. However, France, for example, still asks all arrivals to sign a declaration confirming you do not have Covid or symptoms and Spain has a Health Control Form.

To return to the UK, you no longer need to 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?

When you travel to the UK from abroad, regardless of vaccination status, you:

  • do not need to take any Covid tests before you travel or after you arrive
  • do not need to fill in a UK passenger locator form
  • do not need to quarantine when you arrive

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

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