Coronavirus travel advice
Travel Counsellors puts the wellbeing of our corporate clients and customers at the centre of everything we do.
We are supporting our business travellers to follow the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), keeping traveller health and safety at the forefront. Our aim is to keep you up-to-date on the latest information so you can feel as informed and as confident as possible before you take to the roads, rails and skies again with the support of your Corporate Travel Counsellor.
Latest travel advice
The FCDO has updated its global advisory against ‘all but essential’ travel, highlighting destinations that no longer pose a high risk for British travellers. You can view the list here, or please ask your Travel Counsellor for further details. The UK Government has also confirmed a list of countries that do not require you to self-isolate on returning home, and these destinations can be viewed here.
One of the most recent developments is the announcement that a testing strategy for travellers arriving into England will be introduced from December 15. Arrivals from countries not on the UK’s travel corridor list will have the option to take a test after five days of self-isolation, with a negative result meaning you no longer need to isolate. Please note different rules may apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Please check with your Travel Counsellor for more details.
Of course, the guidance can change quickly, so your Travel Counsellor will always stay close to your booking and keep you informed on the latest advice for travel to your destination, plus any further changes to requirements on quarantine, both in-location and back in the UK. On this note, it’s also worth talking to your employer about the opportunities you have to meet any measures should the advice change when you are in resort, for example, if you are required to quarantine for a period of time on arrival back home or at a named address in the UK.
For non-UK passport holders do check the latest travel advice issued by the authorities in the country your passport was issued.
What can I expect from the travel experience?
The next time you travel again may feel a little different to the trips you’ve made in the past, but the good news is that destinations and travel supplier partners, including airports, airlines and accommodation providers across the globe, are continuously accessing their health and safety measures to ensure that social distancing and hygiene standards are maintained throughout your journey and your stay.
Before you travel, it’s worth checking the FCDO’s Coronavirus travel advice, and remember your Travel Counsellor will personally liaise with all of the travel suppliers involved in your booking and will advise on the measures they’re taking to protect your health, safety and wellbeing throughout your trip.
You can travel safely through airports and on flights by following all of the advice here, which includes frequent hand washing, use of sanitisers and face coverings, plus what to expect at the airport, check-in and security, as well as on board the aircraft.
You’ll also notice social distancing and enhanced hygiene measures at your destination, as well as at your hotel or self-catered accommodation. As flights take off again many Travel Counsellors and corporate travellers alike are reporting that enhanced safety protocols offer welcome reassurance. Your Travel Counsellor will help to ensure you have everything in place to enjoy a seamless, stress-free trip, including up-to-date passports, visa/permits, authorisations for prescription medicines and driving licenses if required.
Some destinations are also requiring travellers to show evidence of negative Covid test results pre and post-travel. Your Travel Counsellor will advise you of any such requirements, and you can also check the latest information provided by the FCDO on entry requirements to countries here.
What about ‘Air bridges’, ‘Travel corridors’ and quarantine requirements?
Air bridges and travel corridors refer to the same concept, which is the idea that you don’t have to self-isolate on return to the UK from a country that the Government has established an agreement with. ‘Travel Corridor’ is now the favoured phrase as it can encompass travel by road, rail, sea or air.
The UK Government has confirmed a list of ‘travel corridors’ with countries listed here, and a condition for travel in many of these countries is the requirement to complete a passenger locator form, usually online. Your Travel Counsellor can check whether you need to complete a form before travelling to your destination, plus when you arrive back in the UK you will be expected to complete and submit the passenger locator form too.
Please bear in mind that you may also need to comply with coronavirus requirements in the country you’re travelling to. This may include temperature checks, self-isolation or providing your details to local authorities. Check the latest travel advice in place for every country here before you go.
You will need to self-isolate if you visited or made a transit stop in a country that is not on the travel corridors list before you arrive in the UK. Please note this requirement applies to both overseas visitors and UK residents. If you’re arriving from within the Common Travel Area (CTA), which is Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands and have been in the CTA for the last 14 days before entering the UK, you will not need to complete the Public Health passenger locator form or self-isolate.
As you know, the guidance can change quickly, so your Travel Counsellor will always stay close to your booking and keep you informed of the latest advice for travel to your destination, plus any further changes to requirements on quarantine, both in-location and back in the UK.
What happens if my business travel plans are affected?
If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against travel to a destination and your business travel arrangements have been affected, your Travel Counsellor will always get in touch to advise you of the options available to you.
Given the increased risk of disruption at this time, it is even more important than ever to ensure that you have adequate travel insurance regardless of your destination – you should ensure that any policy properly covers you for disruption to travel plans and medical expenses, and you should carefully consider the scope of your policy and any restrictions on it.
Please rest assured that booking your travel through your Travel Counsellor means you have the backing of the company’s global support team, and a dedicated, 24/7 Duty Office should you need help and advice wherever you are in the world.
I live in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – does travelling abroad differ for me?
The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Governments are broadly supporting the latest FCDO guidance on exemptions to the ban on all but non-essential travel to counties listed here, and those with travel corridors established. Please do check your government or executive websites for the latest information, and your Travel Counsellor will always be available for further advice and support too.
Northern Ireland – https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19
My passport is nearly six months away from its renewal deadline, should I renew it?
The FCDO has advised it’s taking longer than usual to process applications, and many destinations across the globe require at least six month’s validity on your passport, so it’s worth submitting your renewal for an adult or child passport sooner rather than later.
Please also check the latest travel advice for the country you’re travelling to, and in particular your country’s government guidance. For example, UK passport holders may be granted access to countries exempt from the ban on all but essential travel, but Irish passport holders may not, and vice versa. Your Travel Counsellor will always help you to ensure you have the correct documentation for travel.
Please remember we are here for you. Should your plans change for any reason, you can always rely on your Travel Counsellor to provide personal travel advice – whether that’s to amend a booking or ensure you return home quickly and safely when needed.
As a business we would also advise you to use the latest guidance to assist employers and businesses, which provides advice to staff on:
- The coronavirus, COVID-19
- How to help prevent spread of all respiratory infections including COVID-19
- What to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 has been in a workplace setting
- What advice to give to individuals who have travelled to specific area
- Advice for the certification of absence from work resulting from Covid-19
Travellers should always check the applicable country(s) travel advice before travel as this provides useful information for your trip, in addition to information on the COVID-19 virus outbreak. These can be found at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel‐advice, and can check the latest advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website travelhealthpro.org.uk.
Travel Counsellors travel safety advice is also available – Click here to read or download a copy.