Post Pandemic Travel
The lockdown has certainly taken its toll on individuals and families as well as the travel community. We can now see the light at the end of the tunnel as places are opening up and the buzz around being able to go travelling is emerging.
Our priority now is for people to travel again and travel safely.
Coronavirus has changed the way we travel
As travellers we must adopt a different mindset when exploring the world. There are many communities and groups around the world who are open to travellers.
What to expect at the airport
Different airports in different countries will vary, but here is some general guidance about what to expect if this is your first time travelling since the pandemic began.
Only the travellers themselves may enter the airport – if you are saying your goodbyes, you must do it outside or at home. Exceptions are made for the carers of vulnerable people.
You must be wearing a mask at all times throughout your journey – this includes on the plane.
You may be encouraged to check-in online to reduce face-to-face contact.
If departing from England, you must complete a declaration form for international travel.
Make sure to maintain social distancing at all times, especially in busy areas such as terminals or queues.
There may be markings along the floor directing you on where to go. It is important to follow these in order to get through the airport as quickly and as safely as possible.
Depending on your airline’s policies, you may be required to have your temperature checked before boarding your flight.
Certain shops in the departure lounge may be closed, with only essential services open.
- Hand sanitiser
- Multiple face masks
- A separate place to store used masks prior to washing them (i.e. a plastic bag to keep them in)
- Tissues – good to include in general but especially these days
- The option for contactless payment – can be via card or your banking app on your phone.
- Disposable gloves
Current UK Travel Restrictions
If you are fully vaccinated, this is what you must do when returning to England:
- Take a COVID-19 test up to two days before your flight to England.
- Book and take a COVID-19 PCR test, which you will need to take after you arrive in the country.
- Complete your passenger locator form before you arrive.
You must quarantine whilst you are waiting for your test result. If the test comes back negative, you can stop quarantining. However, if you receive a positive result then you must isolate for 10 days.
If you are not vaccinated, or only partially vaccinated, then you must follow a different set of guidelines to those who are fully vaccinated:
- Take a COVID-19 test up to two days before you travel.
- Book and pay for two COVID-19 PCR tests for your isolation period – to be taken on days 2 and 8 of your quarantine.
- Complete a passenger locator form up to two days before your arrival.
You do not need to take your day 8 test if your day 2 test was positive. If either test was positive, you need to isolate for a full 10 days.
Red list countries
Direct flights to red list countries are currently banned. However, if you are returning to the UK from one then you will be required to isolate for eleven days in a managed quarantine hotel.
The red-list is currently inactive, however countries will be added to it if necessary. Check back here to see if anywhere has been added.
Which countries are on the red list?
- Try to stick to the 2m rule and remain socially-distant from other people whenever you can. This includes when queuing, sat down or in the toilets.
- For proof of a negative coronavirus test to enter another country, you must use a private test provider. The NHS testing service cannot provide the correct documents you will need.
- When wearing your face covering, make sure it is made from a non-permeable fabric and covers both your mouth and nose.
- If you can't find anywhere to wash your hands, sanitising is the next best thing. Make sure you always carry a bottle on you and that it contains a high alcohol count.
- Remember to avoid touching your face, even after you have washed your hands, as the virus can spread easily through your mouth, nose and eyes. You should also sanitise your phone screen if it has been out all day.
- Try to avoid travelling in busy times, such as rush hour or at the weekend. This will limit your exposure to other people.
On the 17th of May 2021, the international travel from the UK began to reopen, with a three-tiered ‘traffic light’ system being put in place to rate the safety of different countries. As you might be able to guess, the system rates countries based on a green, amber and red basis, with green being the most safe and accessible to visit, and red being the most heavily restricted.
On the 17th of May 2021, international travel to certain destinations became legal again and travellers across the country were allowed to go on holiday again – provided the country they chose to go to was on the green list (see here for more information). This was really exciting news – it was a chance at freedom after being locked up inside for so long.
With the global vaccination charge getting underway, it will, hopefully, be soon that we can ask ourselves where should we go on holiday? Which country will be the safest? Germany is currently an economic and political powerhouse of Europe, and as such is on track in vaccinating its people as efficiently as possible.
Jacob Taylor and Sarah Campbell were supposed to get married in the summer of 2020. They were a long distance couple, Jacob lived in England whilst Sarah hailed from Canada, and the wedding was to be in Durham. The pandemic hit, and everything stopped. Sarah and her family could not leave Canada, the wedding was postponed and they waited for restrictions to lift.
2020 left a lot to be desired when it came to travel. The coronavirus situation put a temporary end to many people’s holiday plans, but there is hope that in 2021 we will be able to get back to doing what we love and exploring the world. The travel industry needs all the help it can get to rebuild, and we hope this guide will provide you with the key safety information required so that you can travel safely when destinations open-up again.