How is Covid-19 impacting travel now?
Mon. 10th October 2022
Covid-19 isn’t going away anytime soon and there are still risks to consider when travelling. While most countries have lifted their Covid-19 restrictions on travel, some regulations do remain in certain countries. Here is our guide to travelling and keeping safe from covid-19.
Is covid-19 still impacting travel?
In some instances, yes. A handful of countries are still requiring tests or proof that you've had a vaccination before you travel. Some of these countries include:
- Italy (random Covid testing in airports)
- Jamaica (random Covid screening at airports if deemed to be at risk)
- Maldives (Traveller Declaration Form required)
- Mauritius (All-in-one Travel Form required)
- Spain (proof of vaccination or PCR/antigen test)
- Tunisia (PCR or antigen test required if not fully vaccinated)
It’s easy enough to get a fit-to-fly PCR test or rapid antigen test if the country you are travelling to requires one. Most countries, such as Spain, just require you to provide a QR code so they can scan it and see what your Covid-19 status is.
What are the UK government's rules on travel?
The UK government has lifted restrictions on all countries, except for those where a current public health risk exists. As such, they recommend you check the restrictions and advice of the country you're hoping to visit before you book.
In the UK, we also no longer have any laws or regulations surrounding coronavirus, so if you test positive, staying at home and avoiding contact with others is simply advice. The same applies to travelling. Ideally, if you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms such as a high temperature or a continuous cough, or you don’t feel well enough to carry out your daily activities, you shouldn’t travel and should stay at home until you feel well enough. However, there are no laws enforcing this. Of course, you will still need to abide by the rules of the country you're going to.
Rules of other countries
Most countries have their own approaches to tackling the virus. Here is an overview of several popular holiday destinations and the regulations (if any) they have in place.
Spain has not issued any new rules or warnings in the past 6 months. As it stands, you must be fully vaccinated to enter the country (all three vaccines) or test negative on a PCR or rapid antigen test. Compulsory mask wearing in certain areas, such as public transport, medical centres and pharmacies, is also required. Some hotels, bars and shops still use social distancing measures, so you'll need to bear this in mind and bring some masks with you.
Spain accepts the UK’s Covid-19 vaccination pass - this needs to be in QR code form on your phone or you can bring the paper version.
France is not currently restricting travellers from entering or leaving the country. However, they do require a 7-day self-isolation period if you’re vaccinated or 10 days if you’re not if you test positive when you're there. Some towns and cities require mask wearing on public transport, but you don’t have to prove vaccination status or take a test to enter the country.
The country has not restricted travel to any particular areas, so you can visit Greece as normal. Plus, their Covid guidance is the same for everyone, whether you are vaccinated or not. As such, all passengers arriving in Greece do not have to show a negative COVID test, proof of COVID vaccination or a certificate of recovery from COVID. You also don't have to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF).
However, Greece still has a compulsory 5-day self-isolation period from the day you test positive, but tourists can return home. You have to wear a mask on public transport and in care settings and hospitals. Note: the government is Greece is constantly monitoring the situation, so these rules could change.
Australia used to have some of the strictest restrictions on travel in and out of the country. However, it has since relaxed its entry requirements and now welcomes overseas travellers for both tourism and business purposes.
It's worth bearing in mind that each state in Australia sets its own rules when it comes to restrictions, so make sure you check the government website for the state you're visiting. Currently, New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC), South Australia (SA), Queensland (QS), Western Australia (WA), Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory (NT) have no Covid-19 entry requirements.
Some airlines that fly to Australia do have their own rules in place regarding mandatory testing or vaccination, however. All passengers flying to Australia have to wear masks on the flight except children under certain ages or people with medical exemptions. Some social distancing is also still in place on planes and in cafes, restaurants, bars etc.
If you're travelling abroad soon or are simply looking to book a holiday, you can view all foreign travel advice on the government's website.
Do you still need to wear masks on planes?
Wearing masks is still recommended for flights originating in an infected area or those travelling through an infected area (en route to your destination). It's also worth noting that some airlines still require mask-wearing, such as Air France and Aer Lingus. Consult with your airline before booking your flight if you don’t know whether wearing a mask is a requirement.
Covid-19 is still around and will be for some time, so mask-wearing in enclosed spaces like planes is recommended to protect yourself and others. As the pandemic begins to lessen in intensity, it’s important for people to not get complacent with restrictions and living with Covid.
We hope this guide has helped you to understand travelling as we continue to navigate the pandemic. For more information or guidance on a specific country you plan on travelling to, please read the foreign travel advice on the government's website, you can search for specific advice on the country you are travelling to.
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