FAQs – Covid Travel Rules
The traffic light system was retired on 4th October 2021 and moved to a two-tiered system. In its place remains a single red list of countries and reduced restrictions to elsewhere in the world.
Despite the reduction in UK requirements, some countries have their own restrictions, please give us a call so we can talk you through the specific requirements of the country to which you wish to travel.
Travel Requirements Travel
|Passenger Locator Form||Yes||Yes|
|Pre-departure test before arriving in the UK||Yes||Yes|
|Quarantine Managed at Hotel||No||Yes|
|Self Isolation||No||10 days|
|Test to release||No||No|
|PCR Testing – From Oct 4th||Before or on day 2 since arrival in the UK||Before or on day 2 since arrival in the UK|
|Day 2 Test – From end of Oct||Can be a lateral flow test or PCR||Before or on day 2 since arrival in the UK|
|Additional PCR Testing||No||On day eight|
What about individual destination entry requirements?
The measures above are only those introduced by the UK government. Each country has their own border controls and additional measures that you need to comply with to enter. Please take a look at the government pre-travel checklist before you start planning your next trip.
How do I prove my Covid vaccine status?
You can demonstrate your COVID vaccination status via the NHS app. We suggest you download the NHS app in readiness for your next trip and check that your status is up to date. The NHS app will be accepted as proof of status by most countries around the world and is due to be integrated into the EU’s Covid Passport scheme.
What does ‘fully vaccinated’ mean?
This means you should have had two government recognised jabs, administered in the UK, no less than 14 days prior to your commencement of travel.
What if I have had a vaccine that is not recognised by the EU (or the country I am visiting)?
The EU recognises all of the jabs given in the UK however different names are sometimes used:
- Pfizer-BioNTech is known as Comirnaty
- Oxford-AstraZeneca (AZ) is known as Vaxzevria
- Moderna is known as Spikevax
- Janssen (sometimes referred to as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine) is the same as in the UK
You may have heard that the EU does not recognise a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine called Covishield, produced by the Serum Institute of India, because it is yet to receive approval in Europe. Up to 5M doses of this vaccine have been administered in the UK and are identifiable by the batch numbers included on the NHS app (4120Z001, 4120Z002, 4120Z003). We can check this for you and in most cases, you can still enter the country you plan to visit but will need to provide proof of a negative PCR test result.
Returning to the UK
To get back into the UK you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form, 48 hours before your arrival.
On your return to the UK, on or before day two after your arrival, you will need to have taken a private PCR test. Details of this PCR test will need to be provided on the Passenger Locator Form, so it is important that you get this test booked before you depart the UK. You may wish to organise this through a provider that Steppes has been in discussion with, CHB Medical – use the code ‘Steppes10’ to receive a 10% discount on the cost of the services provided.
From the end of October, the PCR test can be replaced with a cheaper lateral flow test.
What about children?
Children under the age of 18 will not have to isolate when returning to England. Children aged 4 and under are exempt from any travel testing.
Children aged 5-18 will need to do a day 2 test on return to the UK. Until the end of October, this will need to be a PCR test. However, this will then change to being a cheaper lateral flow test.
What if the country I am due to travel to is red?
If you are due to travel to a country on the red list and your departure date is imminent and you do not wish to travel, then you are entitled to a full refund or postpone your booking to a later date. If your departure date is more than a few months away, we will call you to discuss what is best to do.
If you are still happy to travel, then – provided your destination is open for international travel and we can fulfil the services you have booked – you are of course entitled to do so.
What happens if the country I am due to travel to changes to red?
If your departure date is imminent then you can choose to cancel and receive a full refund or postpone to a later date. As above, you can still choose to travel should you wish to. If your departure date is more than a few months away, we will call you to discuss what is best to do.