Travel ban: Epidemiologist says ‘closing borders does not work’
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The key thing to remember when looking to book a trip in the age of coronavirus is that no destination or trip will be completely “normal”. All countries will require some level of testing or behaviour modification, even if it’s just the UK, which has strict re-entry testing rules in place. That said, there are still plenty of chances to escape for some winter sun in a safe and enjoyable manner as long as you follow the travel advice.
With so many different rules for countries around the world, it’s easy for travellers to get confused.
Christian Corney, CEO of Cignpost ExpressTest which offers comprehensive testing packages for travellers, spoke to Express.co.uk about what travellers need to know.
He said: “With COVID testing requirements being lifted for travellers coming into the UK, it’s easy to think that the same process is happening across the world.
“But many countries, especially long-haul destinations, have their own testing requirements, and holidaymakers need to plan carefully to make sure they have booked the correct tests and can get results back before they fly.”
Having the correct information is hugely important he said, as “without proof of the right negative test taken at the right time, travellers will not be allowed to board the plane”.
Here are some ideas for winter sun destinations for full-vaccinated travellers (please be sure to check individual nation’s travel advice before booking anything as these are subject to change):
- Abu Dhabi: negative PCR test taken within 48 hours prior to travel, plus a PCR test on arrival
- Barbados: negative PCR test taken within three days prior to travel
- Brazil: negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel, or negative lateral flow test within 24 hours of travel
- Canary Islands: no restrictions
- Cape Verde: no restrictions
- Costa Rica: no restrictions
- Cuba: negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel, followed by a PCR test on arrival
- Dubai: negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel
- Egypt: no restrictions
- Indonesia: no restrictions
- Maldives: negative PCR test taken within 96 hours prior to arrival
- Mexico: no restrictions
- St Lucia: negative PCR test taken five days or less before travel
- Seychelles: negative PCR test taken 72 hours or less before travel
- South Africa: negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel
- Thailand: negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel
- Trinidad & Tobago: negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel
What are the rules for re-entering the UK?
Wherever you’ve been, there are a number of strict requirements you need to follow to re-enter the UK.
These might sound daunting but they need not be, there is plenty of advice and people who are willing to assist.
Note the testing rules do not apply to travellers from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man (unless they have been in another country in the 10 days before departure for the UK).
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Here are the current rules:
Before departing any country to head to the UK:
All travellers to the UK aged 12 and over have to show proof of a negative test, even if they are fully vaccinated.
This can be a PCR or a lateral flow test, and must be taken in the two days before departure for the UK.
You’ll need to find a private test provider for this – free NHS tests are not allowed.
The test can be taken either in the country where you start your journey, or in another country en route to the UK.
If you test positive, you must follow the rules in the country you’re in, and not travel to the UK.
In addition, all travellers coming to the UK must fill in and submit an online passenger locator form no more than 48 hours before arriving – even if they are just passing through the UK.
After arriving in the UK:
You have two days to take another test – which must be a PCR.
This must be booked before you travel, and bought privately from a government-approved list of providers.
While you are waiting for a result, you must self-isolate – whether or not you have been vaccinated. You can stop self-isolating if your test is negative.
Everyone aged five and over (11 and over in Scotland) must take these tests.
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