- advice stresses that travel is different and travellers need to take action before they go abroad
- more than 100 countries and territories have restrictions or requirements on travellers from the UK
- travellers should check the FCDO’s travel advice for entry requirements and sign up to get updates
As schools break up for summer and people across the country consider taking well-earned holidays, travellers should follow Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice to make sure any international travel is as safe and disruption-free as possible.
Since 19 July, people fully vaccinated with an NHS-administered vaccine will not need to self-isolate on return from amber list countries to the UK except for those returning from France.
But with 100 countries and territories placing restrictions or requirements on travellers from the UK, travel this year will be more challenging than ever before and anyone going abroad should make extra preparations.
The FCDO has issued 8 travel tips that people should follow if they plan to travel abroad this summer:
- check FCDO Travel Advice for your destination’s entry and quarantine requirements before you book
- know and follow the local COVID-19 rules and restrictions for your destination – there may be limits on group numbers and curfews
- your destination might ask you to prove you have been fully vaccinated – check FCDO Travel Advice for how you can show your COVID-19 vaccination status
- check what new actions you need to take before visiting Europe. There are new rules for UK travellers, including passport validity, access to healthcare, taking a vehicle or pet, and travelling with food and drink products
- be prepared for change – coronavirus is still a threat. Travel disruption is still possible. To protect public health in the UK, countries can be added to the red list. Foreign countries can also close borders or change their entry rules for travellers from the UK at short notice
- sign up for travel advice email alerts, so you automatically receive the latest travel advice updates for the destinations you want to know about
- get a travel insurance policy and make sure you know what the exemptions are. If you are visiting the EU, make sure you also have a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), or replace it with a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)
- check what proof of vaccination status your destination accepts. In England and Wales remember to download the NHS app and follow instructions to validate your NHS COVID Pass. In Scotland you can get a record of coronavirus vaccination status. In Northern Ireland you can apply for a vaccine certificate
Jennifer Anderson, Director of Consular, FCDO, said:
The success of our vaccine roll out means people who have been fully vaccinated in the UK can now travel to amber list countries, without the need for quarantine on their return, with the exception of those returning from France.
But travel this summer is still different from before. It is essential that travellers plan ahead and familiarise themselves with the rules and requirements of the country they plan to visit to minimise disruption and avoid disappointment.
The first step for anybody thinking of going abroad is to check the FCDO’s Travel Advice and subscribe to updates. We keep it under constant review so it reflects the most up to date information.
Traffic light system
Inbound international travel will continue to be governed by the traffic light system. Residents in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must adhere to the appropriate testing and quarantine requirements that apply to them.
Coming back to the UK
Before returning home, travellers to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must provide proof of a negative coronavirus test – they must take this even if they have been fully vaccinated.
Travellers will need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their return journey. Anyone testing positive prior to travel will not be permitted to travel back and will be required to follow local rules for isolation – you could incur additional costs during this period.
Before travelling to the UK, everyone needs to complete a passenger locator form regardless of where they are coming from. If arriving from a green list destination you will also be required to take a day 2 PCR test. Arrivals from amber list countries and territories who are not fully vaccinated will need a day 2 and day 8 test, and to quarantine for 10 days.
In England, the Test to Release scheme remains an option for non-fully vaccinated travellers returning from amber countries and territories to shorten their quarantine period. You should not travel to red list countries or territories.
Travellers are encouraged to check the booking terms and conditions on flexibility and refunds because the situation remains fluid. Many travel firms have changed their terms to be fully flexible.
Notes to editors
Since the start of 2021, the FCDO has provided tailored consular assistance to almost 1,000 people who have been either diagnosed with COVID-19 whilst overseas or have been affected by it in a way that required assistance from the government.