Is one jab and proof of recent recovery from Covid enough to bypass quarantine on re-entering the UK from an amber country? The Holiday Guru answers travellers’ testing questions
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week he turns his attention to the extremely confusing world of Covid travel tests…
Q. My 18-year-old daughter has had one jab and has proof of recent recovery from Covid on her NHS app. Greece will accept this, but can she also re-enter the UK without quarantine?
Catherine, via email.
NHS tests cannot be used for foreign travel purposes. You will have to pay for one
A. No. Exemption from quarantine on return from ‘amber’ countries such as Greece is dependent on having two jabs if you are over 18.
See the Greek entry requirements page and latest Government travel ‘traffic light system’ rules, both at gov.uk — for Scotland (gov.scot), for Wales (gov.wales).
Q. My wife and I are going to Tenerife and are fully jabbed. Please could you advise on the standard of lateral flow/antigen tests needed prior to returning?
Lee Darrah, via email.
A. Exact standards are complicated and explained at ‘Coronavirus testing before you travel’ on gov.uk. To keep things simple, two options are available: either book a lateral flow test to take with you from an officially recognised UK supplier such as Qured.com (£39) or ask your hotel, rep or a local pharmacy for a trusted test centre that meets ‘fit to fly’ standards. Such tests are usually about £26.
Q. On return from Spain, can I take a free NHS PCR test?
Stephen Macqueen, via email.
A. No. NHS tests cannot be used for foreign travel purposes. You will have to pay for one.
Q. I am travelling to Northern Ireland soon. Do double-jabbed visitors from England require tests?
Paul Donald, Essex
A. You are advised to take a lateral flow test (NHS tests are OK here) before travel, then on day two and day eight of being in Northern Ireland. On return, the same procedure is advised. Note that this is merely a recommendation not a rule. See ‘Coronavirus: travelling within the Common Travel Area’ at nidirect.gov.uk.
If you have two jabs you can travel to any ‘green’, ‘green watchlist’ or ‘amber’ country
Q. It’s hard to navigate government websites about what tests I need to travel. I’m double jabbed. Help!
Delia Worth, via email.
A. If you have two jabs you can travel to any ‘green’, ‘green watchlist’ or ‘amber’ country — with the UK government requiring that you take a lateral flow/antigen test 72 hours before returning home, and a PCR test on return by day two. However, some countries may have test requirements and this varies country by country. You must check ‘entry requirements’ for your destination at gov.uk.
Q. I have booked a holiday in Crete. Can I complete my return Passenger Locator Form before I go?
Jenny Pritchard, via email.
A. Unfortunately not. Forms must be submitted in the 48 hours before arrival in the UK. Best to find somewhere to arrange a print-out in Crete.
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If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here. Email [email protected]