Coronavirus travel advice
Travelling to the UK – What are the latest regulations?
As the UK enters a national lockdown from 5 Jan 2021, the Government has advised against all but essential travel both within the UK and internationally.
The Government has published a list of jobs which qualify for travel exemptions in order to travel for work or business needs.
- From Monday 18 January 2021, all UK ‘travel corridors’ have been suspended. This means that everyone arriving into the UK must self-isolate for 10 days. Some essential business travellers are exempt from this, a full list of those exempt can be found here.
- You must obtain a negative COVID-19 test at least 72 hours before travel
- You must complete a passenger locator form at least 48 hours before travel
- The ‘test-to-release’ scheme remains in place for all arrivals
Find out more information below
The ‘travel corridors‘ are destinations which do not require you to self-isolate upon return.
From 4am on Monday 18 January 2021, all UK ‘travel corridors’ have been suspended. This means that everyone arriving into the UK must self-isolate for 10 days.
Some essential business travellers are exempt from this, a full list of those exempt can be found here.
Negative COVID-19 test
From Friday 15 January 2021, all arrivals into the UK must also receive a negative Coronavirus test, within 72 hours of their planned return.
Failure to do so may result in a £500 fine for the traveller. Carriers will also be fined, so be prepared to show evidence of your negative test result at the time of check-in and boarding.
You must obtain the test results before travelling to the airport, train station or other departure point to begin your journey to the UK.
This rule applies to all people travelling to the UK, including UK Nationals.
You will still be required to self-isolate for 10 days after your return, even if your pre-travel test is negative. This is because it can take up to 10 days for Coronavirus symptoms to appear, and there is still the chance you might become infected with the virus after your test.
However, there are exceptions to those requiring a test.
Exemptions include arrivals from the Common Travel Area with Ireland, hauliers, crews, children under 11 and those travelling from countries without the infrastructure available to deliver tests.
Passenger Locator Form
All arrivals into the UK must complete a passenger locator form at least 48 hours before you travel to the UK.
Test to Release Scheme
The ‘Test to Release’ scheme also remains in place.
‘Test to Release‘ is a testing strategy for travellers arriving into England on or after 15 December 2020.
Arrivals 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.
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, check 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.
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.
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.
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.
Your Travel Counsellor will help to ensure you have everything in place to enjoy a safe trip, including up-to-date passports, visa/permits, authorisations for prescription medicines and driving licenses if required.
For non-UK passport holders do check the latest travel advice issued by the authorities in the country your passport was issued.
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?
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.
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.
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.