Travelling During the Pandemic

Travelling During the Pandemic

This advice is for UK citizens travelling overseas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, if they are legally permitted to travel internationally. Please do not travel unless you are legally permitted.

The following information has been taken directly from the UK Governments website:

From 15 January, if you intend to travel to England or Scotland, including UK nationals returning home from travel abroad, you must now provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival. All other current entry requirements and restrictions continue to apply.

If you are legally permitted to travel, check our advice for the country you are visiting. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning. Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. Also check if you need to self-isolate.

Before you travel

  • follow all the current rules for where you live. You need a legally permitted reason to leave your home at all, including to travel abroad. In the UK, there are different restrictions in place in EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland
  • keep up-to-date with the latest developments for your destination. Sign up for travel advice email alerts and check the TravelHealthPro website for travel health guidance 
  • find out about any entry restrictions, screening or quarantine requirements on arrival that might affect you. Check ‘entry requirements’ in our travel advice and contact the UK-based embassy of the country you’re travelling to for more information
  • if you need to take a COVID-19 test to travel to another country, you should not use the NHS testing service. You should arrange to take a private test
  • read the safer air travel guidance on sensible precautions and steps to take if you’re flying. Consider your own circumstances and health, and remember you will need to wear a face covering on flights in England and Scotland. See also the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) guidance
  • check with your accommodation provider for information about availability and the safety measures they have put in place 
  • read the advice of local authorities and follow all local health measures in place during your journey and in your destination. Local measures and travel restrictions may change before you arrive or during your stay. Check the travel advice page for your destination and check with your transport provider for more information 
  • get travel insurance, and make sure you are content with the level of cover it provides. If you already have travel insurance check it is valid and provides appropriate cover 
  • check your cancellation rights. Contact your tour operator, transport and accommodation providers if you have any questions 

When you’re abroad

  • continue to follow any updates to our travel advice for your destination
  • be prepared to comply with measures to manage localised outbreaks such as border closures, movement restrictions, testing requirements or quarantine rules. These could be brought in at short notice
  • if you test positive for coronavirus you are likely to need to get treatment locally and stay there until you have recovered. If you are required to quarantine or self-isolate by local authorities, you should expect to do so in the country
  • you may need to stay longer than you intended. Plan ahead for any delays to your return home and the financial implications or practical arrangements you may need to make
  • you should liaise closely with your travel company or airline to ensure you are aware of any changes to schedules. Plan for the risks of disruption and local domestic measures affecting your travel when arranging your return to the UK
  • if you will be returning to the UK, prepare for your return journey by completing the passenger locator form. From 15 January, if you return to England or Scotland, you must also provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure

When you return

  • you will need to follow the rules for entering the UK
  • from 15 January, to travel to England or Scotland, you must also provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival
  • you must show proof of a completed passenger locator form at the UK border. You can complete it up to 48 hours before you enter the UK, and should do so before arrival. Failing to complete the form is a criminal offence
  • you may have to self-isolate for the first 10 days you’re in the UK. See the guidance on self-isolation for EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland
  • you may not have to self-isolate when you arrive from some countries and territories known as ‘travel corridors’. View the latest guidance and list of travel corridors for EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland
  • check the list of people who are exempt from the English border rules
  • if you need to self-isolate, you may be able to pay for a COVID-19 test to find out if you can reduce your self-isolation period