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In many countries, the floodgates for travel have opened back up and thousands have been booking last-minute trips away – but what is it like to travel post-COVID and is it worth it? Well, this does depend on many factors including where you are travelling from, if you are double jabbed, where you are travelling to, how much travel is costing you and if you have any health conditions, to name a few. Presuming you are double jabbed and are departing from England, you can now travel to Cyprus, Greece, Norway, Tenerife and Switzerland (there may be more but this is what we have found so far). Obviously, we now live in changeable times where this data could differ from one week to the next so double check on your government website before starting to look for a holiday. With this in mind, this means that you can travel to one of the above destinations without getting a covid test on the way out and with no PCR test on the way back, hurrah.... but there are still some hoops to jump through....
Lots of research has to be done before booking and it's possibly better to book very far in advance or very last minute. Check your government travel advice for the destination you want to visit and see what the country you want to go to requires for entry. Booking a trip is actually now the most challenging part of a holiday. Make sure you have COVID cover and your booking is flexible in case you should test positive between booking and travelling.
You now have to complete a passenger locator form when 24-48 hours before you arrive in your destination, it’s a fairly straightforward form with your flight info and passport info. You also need to complete one of these 48 hours before coming back to the UK (and likely will have to for any country you are returning to). The UK form is a bit longer and you will need to have a COVID test kit reference as you need to do a test 2 days after you arrive back in the UK – at your own expense. Expect to pay £20-£99 for this – there are home options available or you can go to a travel clinic. The test needs to be from a government-approved lab.
Many destinations need a ‘fit to fly’ negative COVID test approval letter before you can leave your country and they are checking these at the airport along with your vaccine status. There are drop-in clinics all over where you can pop in, or you can get kits posted to you. It's quick and easy, again expect to pay £20 -£99. You can get results in a few hours. If returning to the UK you will also need to do a test when you get back – but you need to book this before you depart as you need to give the booking reference number on your passenger locator form.
One of our team travelled abroad recently (10th October 2021) and said the travel experience between London and Portugal was quite seamless. “Just make sure you know what you need to enter the country before you book” they shared. The airport was fairly empty on both sides, as was the destination. Booking was stressful but from the point of arriving at the airport in London onwards as straight forward and mostly back to normal. You will have to wear a face mask on the plane and in some areas so make sure you take some with you.
If you are planning a trip, don’t forget all the essential travel accessories. Take a look at what we have in store in case you have forgotten what you need to pack (it’s been a long time!)