Though the world is making great steps forwards in terms of vaccination programs for Covid, the process of travel still feels a little daunting so we have put together a step by step summary of what UK travellers need to know and consider.
Usual Travel Checks: 8 - 12 weeks prior to travel
- As usual, check whether you have enough validity left on your passport & check if you need a visa or permit to visit the country you are travelling to. At YellowWood we make this clear in the Overview information page for each Country on our website, or don't hesitate to ask if you are unsure.
- Arrange your travel insurance: it is particularly important to check cover for coronavirus-related events, including medical cover and travel disruption. Overview. Our recommendation is that you get as comprehensive a policy as possible to cover concerns you may have relating to covid.
- Check what vaccinations or inoculations you may need on the TravelHealthPro website
- If you are travelling to the EU (for YellowWood Romania or Northern Spain adventures): apply for a free Global Health Insurance card via the NHS website, to give you a right to access emergency state-provided healthcare during your temporary visit. It does not cover private medical healthcare or costs such as repatriation, and rescue services - these need to be included in your travel insurance.
Pre-departure PCR test: Book 2- 3 weeks before your travel
Many destinations require a negative PCR test within 48 - 72 hours prior to arrival in the destination country. Check the destination requirements on www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice and make sure the results will come back to you in time to meet the requirements.
Pre departure PCR tests can be booked with a host of providers and are different costs so it is worth shopping around - you might want to use a comparison website such as Covid Testing Network. Drive through Pre-Departure Tests are available at London airports - you need to book in advance and get the results by 10pm the next day. Other providers include Randox (£60 at print) and Boots (£85 at print).
Post travel PCR tests: Book 2 - 3 weeks before you travel
Before you travel you will need to pre-order your PCR tests for your return to the UK.
Day 2: All UK travellers are required to take a Covid-19 test on Day 2 after their return to the UK
Day 8: If you are not double vaccinated and have returned from an amber country, you will also need to take a Day 8 test.
Vaccination Certificate: 2 weeks prior to travel
Proof of double vaccination at least 14 days prior to travel is required for the majority of foreign travel.
- Download the free NHS app onto your smart phone (different to the Test & Trace app) . If you can't access the app, then you can download your certificate to print from the NHS website (date limited certificate) or can call 119 to ask for your Covid Pass letter to be sent to you (could take up to 7 working days).
- Complete the form which includes submitting photographic ID (your passport or driving licence).
- Your vaccination dates will be automatically loaded onto the app from your medical records. You can access your certificate of vaccination directly from the app, or via an email link. Keep your certificate electronic until you need it (printed versions go out of date)
Passenger Locator Forms: 1 - 2 weeks before your travel
It is highly likely your destination country will require you to fill in a passenger locator form per household / group (no charges apply). Check the FCDO advice for your destination. You will need your passport number, flight number and address of your first night's hotel (YellowWood adventures can send you this information).
You will receive a QR code by email with a PDF attachment to print out if you wish, or present on screen. You will be asked to present it at boarding to the airline, and then again at border control (on arrival).
Returning to the UK at the end of your holiday
- Fill-in an online passenger locator form up to 48hrs before your return home flight - you will need proof of this to travel. You will need your URN from your pre-booked Day 2 test for the form.
- Perform a Rapid Antigen / Lateral flow test within 72 hours of your flight home. You can take one with you to save trying to get hold of one in your destination country but it CANNOT be an NHS lateral flow test. You will carry out the test yourself and arrange a video call with the company or upload a picture of your negative test in order to receive a certificate required for travel. There are several companies offering this service and they vary in price so it is best to shop around.
- After your return: Complete your Day 2 PCR test
- If returning from an Amber country, Complete your Day 8 PCR test