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News Latest Travel News: 10 countries added to red list and newest testing rules

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Latest Travel News: 10 countries added to red list and newest testing rules

In this week’s travel news headlines: after being cleared of all countries in October, the UK’s travel red list is back as the UKHSA investigates a new COVID-19 variant found in Africa. The government is also bringing back day 2 PCR tests for all international arrivals. Remember you have up to two days to take this test, meaning it can be taken any time after you arrive and before the end of day 2 at the latest.


Published: 02/12/2021

The US tightens travel testing rules in wake of new Omicron cases

The US tightens travel testing rules in wake of new Omicron cases

From 12:01 am EST (5:01 am GMT) on Monday, December 6, all international travellers to the US, including Americans, must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 24 hours before departure, regardless of vaccination status. This is a change from the current three-day policy. All arrivals must be tested with a viral test at any time during the day before their flight. This could be either a rapid antigen test or a PCR (or another type of NAAT).

If you’re fully vaccinated, your viral test must be conducted on a sample taken no more than three days before departure. If you are not fully vaccinated, a sample for your test must be collected no more than one day before departure. If you recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, you may instead travel with proof of recovery. In this case, you will need your positive test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel. Also, the mask requirement has been extended until March 18, 2022, for all flights, trains and buses in the US.

Published: 29/11/2021

Ten African countries added to the UK’s travel red list

Ten African countries added to red list

New restrictions are being introduced on travel to the UK from ten African countries as the UK Health Security Agency confirms a new B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant under investigation. Flights from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia are suspended. All ten countries have been added to the UK’s travel red list.

All arrivals from these countries must quarantine in a pre-booked government-approved hotel for ten days at their own cost. Contacts of those who test positive for the Omicron COVID-19 variant are also required to isolate for ten days, even if they’re fully vaccinated.

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Published: 29/11/2021

PCR tests for all arrivals

Travel testing and mask rules tightened over Omicron variant

From 4am GMT Tuesday 30th, all arrivals to the UK will be required to take a PCR test by the end of day 2 of their arrival and self-isolate until they get a negative result. This doesn’t apply to those coming from the Common Travel Area that covers the Channel Islands and Ireland. You can take your day 2 PCR test either on or before day two. The day you arrive will be treated as day zero. So if you arrive on Friday, you can have your PCR test taken on Friday (day zero), Saturday (day one) or Sunday (day two). Travellers who test positive will have to self-isolate for ten days.

Additionally, people in England will have to wear masks in shops and on public transport again. This policy had been relaxed in England, but it’s now being brought back. Masks are already required on buses, trains as well as in some shops and restaurants in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Published: 29/11/2021

Europe introducing tight restrictions to combat a new wave of cases

A catch-all of the latest restrictions

Switzerland adds the UK and four others to its quarantine list, Spain bans non-vaccinated Britons, and France brings in new COVID-19 test rules for all non-EU arrivals. Those arriving to Switzerland from Britain will need to present a negative COVID-19 test and quarantine for ten days on arrival. The quarantine requirement doesn’t apply to UK travellers transiting through Switzerland in less than 24 hours without a stopover. Transit passengers may be asked to show proof of their onward travel and accommodation. Anyone transiting Switzerland by air must also fill out an online form and provide contact details.

From December 1st, all arrivals to Spain from the UK (excluding children under the age of 12 years old) must present proof of vaccination. Also, those travelling to France from outside the EU, including the UK, must present a negative COVID-19 test less than 48 hours old.

Other important news:

  • British Airways suspends flights to Hong Kong
  • Japan closes borders to all foreign visitors in response to new COVID-19 variant
  • Morocco suspends all incoming flights for two weeks from November 29th
  • Arrivals to Portugal must take a PCR test regardless of their vaccination status

Published: 19/11/2021

Boosters to be added to NHS COVID Pass for travel

From November 19, travellers who have had a booster dose of the Covid vaccine in England will be able to prove their vaccination status using the NHS COVID Pass. Those who have received their booster vaccine or third dose in England can now travel to countries like Israel, Croatia, and Austria, which have already imposed a time limit for the COVID-19 vaccine to be valid for quarantine-free travel.

However, booster and third doses will not be included in the domestic COVID Pass, since it is not currently a requirement for individuals to receive booster doses to qualify as fully vaccinated. It is also not necessary to show proof of a booster for travel into England at this time.

Published: 19/11/2021

Brits will be required to pay €7 to travel to the EU from 2022

Brits, Americans, Australians, and other Non-EU citizens will have to fill out a €7 application to enter Europe starting next year. The EU has confirmed its plans to charge visitors a fee of around £6.20 once it introduces the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) before the end of 2022.

The new system is based on the US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). The change will affect all visitors from visa-exempt nations such as the UK, who travel to EU states and other Schengen countries. Before travelling, all of them will need to fill out an online application form, which costs €7. For people under 18 and seniors, the form is free. After your application has been approved, it lasts for three years, which is great news for frequent travellers!

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