A guide to international travel post-lockdown
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It may be a relief for some of you to hear that lockdown is being eased. Some of us are taking the ease as a time to meet up with old friends or have a long-awaited drink in the pub. Some of us may feel ready to travel again. Whether that is for business or pleasure, please keep in mind that the pandemic is ongoing, and no travel is risk free. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) still advises against non-essential international travel. However, if you are travelling, it is important to stay updated about restrictions, risks, and precautions that should be taken.
What other countries can I travel to during Covid-19?
The FCO has released a list of countries and territories that no longer pose an ‘unacceptably high risk’ for British travellers. See here for the list of countries that have been deemed acceptable to travel to.
What safety precautions should I take when travelling during Covid-19?
We advise that you always wear PPE (personal protective equipment) when out in public, in any country. For better protection it is worthwhile to get a medical grade N95 respirators. However, failing this, using other surgical masks and face coverings are still better than nothing. It is also important to wear PPE during your travel to the airport. It may be worthwhile to get an antibody test before travelling, which can be provided by Qured. This will inform you if you’ve previously had the virus, so you’ll know if you need to take extra caution whilst travelling. Remember to take care of your mental wellbeing during this time. Travelling may offset some anxiety or negative feelings, just remember to stay in contact with your loved ones and keep them updated on your situation.
What else do I need to consider when travelling during Covid-19?
Traveling during Covid-19 means that you may have a longer checklist than before. Please see here for a Covid-19 travel checklist. This includes keeping up to date with the latest developments for the country you are travelling to. You also should find out what entry restrictions are in place, for example if you are required to quarantine or be screened on arrival. You may find it easier to travel with a medical certificate stating you have tested negative for Covid-19. Many countries will be testing travellers on arrival, meaning a safe-to-fly certificte may save you some time and effort. Qured can provide these certificates after a negative result from a PCR swab test. Even in cases where the destination country does not require proof of a negative result, knowing you are coronavirus free before travelling to a foreign country can give you extra peace of mind. Our Covid-19 ‘safe to fly’ certificates are available for a small additional fee. Please check with your airline or destination country to determine how soon before departure the test has to be taken and processed by the lab.
You will also need to check standard safety requirements specific to the country, for example if you legally need to wear PPE in shops or transport. It may also be worthwhile to get health insurance. It might be usual for you to get out cash in whichever currency you are flying to, we advise against this. Instead it is safer to use contactless payments when you can. Upon re-entering the UK, you will need to check what Covid-19 related requirements are in place or you may risk being fined. See here for more information on re-arrival. Please also keep in mind that there is still a risk of another lockdown, both in the UK and other countries.
What will travel be like now?
Airports and airplanes are adhering to Covid-19 health and safety regulations just like anywhere else. You should expect to see a lot of cleaning, sanitizing stations, and social distancing measures. Pay attention to floor markers and signs which indicate proper social distancing. Onboard it may be the case that you will have people in the seat next to you, this depends on the airline. Many airports and airplanes will require you to wear masks and even gloves, so have your PPE at the ready! Usually the cabin crew will inform you that masks can be taken off to eat and drink on the plane. You may also be asked to use contactless payment rather than cash.
How do Qured’s Covid-19 travel certificates work?
If you require a PCR test for travel, please ensure you have checked with the airline the timeframe for when the test needs to be done before the flight. We would recommend ordering your test so it is returned to the lab with sufficient time to process the results, and receive the certificate via email. Once the airline has confirmed this, the test needs to be returned to the lab at the earliest date that can be stated on the results. Results are released 48 hours after the completed test is received at the lab. Our team works 7 days a week and will send the certificate and results via email as soon as they are received. The results will include the patient name, date of test, DOB and results from the test taken. For an additional £20, we can provide a medical certificate from a Qured GP which will state the date the test was done and is signed by the GP. All tests are sent via Royal Mail Next Day Tracked service, and we recommend you return them to the lab using the same shipping method to guarantee timely receipt. If you are within the M25, you can book a courier to deliver the test and take it to the lab, for an additional £29.
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