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Covid Travel Advice

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The situation regarding Covid-19 and rules for travellers are constantly changing, and it’s important to remain up to date and to understand the potential risks for travel disruption. Below, we’ve pulled together some of the most frequent questions and information to help you.

Where can I travel, and what are the restrictions?

You can follow the latest travel advice from the UK government here, and there’s an excellent interactive map from IATA that you can find here.

However, we do also recommend visiting the official website of the health department for the country you intend travelling to and perhaps following the local newspapers or TV channels (you can do this online). These will often give you insight into the situation locally, ahead of the UK government website updates.

Make sure you check if borders are open, what the local rules are, such as the need for vaccinations or negative tests before travelling (and what type of test), as well as any paperwork that requires completion. Will you need to quarantine on arrival, and if so, for how long and where?

Check the rules regarding the use of masks, including the type of mask required on public transport, social distancing requirements, whether tourist attractions will be open and if you need to pre-book them.

Most importantly, don’t just check the rules for the country you’re visiting, but also what the rules are for returning to the UK. For example, if you’re returning from a red zone, you may find yourself having to quarantine in a hotel at significant cost to yourself.  

Some countries have also changed their visa requirements as a result of the Covid situation, so do check and recheck before travelling to ensure you have everything you need.

Will I be insured?

Many insurers withdrew cover during the height of the pandemic in the first wave, making it extremely difficult for travellers to obtain insurance. This seems to have eased a little, but it’s important to check very carefully what is and is not included in your insurance before you travel. Will you be covered if you have to cancel due to Covid prior to travel? And what exactly is covered – airfares, accommodation, pre-booked trips? Will you be covered if you are affected by the virus while abroad? Make sure you read through all the fine print to understand what is covered as well as your legal rights if the worst happens.

Practical aspects

Make sure you understand the rules for the airline, ferry or train company you’ll be travelling with. Do you need to take a mask, and if so, is there a requirement for a specific type? Some airlines specify that you must wear disposable masks. Make sure you have sufficient for your journey (and don’t forget the return trip).

Try to minimise all types of contact during your trip, for example, by checking in online, putting luggage in the hold rather than carrying hand luggage and remain seated as much as you can.

Find out what the rules are for using the toilets on the plane, particularly if you’re travelling with young children or anyone with a medical condition that necessitates frequent trips.

 

Minimise your risk

We’ve put together some guidelines for minimising your risk if you are planning to travel over the next 12 months or so. The key message is around ensuring you maintain as much flexibility as possible, but to find out more, read our blog here.