Lockdowns, hotel quarantines and multiple COVID-19 tests have meant it has not been a good year for international travel so far but is this all about to change?

In their ‘roadmap out of lockdown,’ the UK Government stated that foreign travel for the purpose of holidays would not resume until 17 May at the earliest, with a review on how this might happen taking place in mid-April. Fingers crossed then, we may have a clearer idea of what is happening to the summer holidays in a few weeks time. 

What the Government has also said is although international travel is likely to restart on the 17th May, there is a high possibility that a lot of the current measures that are designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus will still be in place when it comes to international travel, such as isolation and covid-19 testing for example.

So what does this mean if you are wanting to book a holiday for when the travel restrictions are lifted? Well at the moment it’s a tough call. Even with many companies offering flexible booking options, there is still a risk you could find yourself out of pocket if the date we are allowed to travel internationally suddenly changes. 

Why do travellers to the UK need to hotel quarantine?

Recently there have been new coronavirus variants found in Brazil and South Africa, leaving these countries on the list of high-risk countries to travel to and from. If you are arriving back in the UK from either of these countries then you will need to book into a quarantine hotel, which has been approved by the UK Government, for 10 days after you arrive home. 

The government has warned that if you fail to do this, you could face up to 10 years in prison. 

There has been no indication yet as to how long this hotel quarantine scheme will remain in place, but it could continue to affect international holidays this summer. As we know from experience, government rules are changing very quickly at the moment, and so you may find yourself travelling to a country that is not on the red list this summer only to find it is placed on the red list while you are there. 

What about COVID-19 testing?

Even if travel abroad is permitted this summer and hotel quarantine is removed, it is likely that compulsory COVID-19 testing will remain in place.

Almost all countries require proof of a negative test result and a Fit to Fly certificate before departure, and a follow-up test to be completed on arrival. Passengers will also need to provide negative COVID-19 test results to return to the UK, plus tests to be completed on day 2 and 8 of quarantine. However, Fit2FlyTest ‘Test to Release’ PCR Test can help to shorten this quarantine time, as it can be completed on day 5 of your return home, giving you peace of mind you can end your self-isolation period early on receipt of a negative test result. 

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