Since the last lockdown began in January 2021, international travel has been illegal except for those with a primary reason.
From today it will no longer be illegal to travel – but the traffic light system will dictate whether you are advised to travel.
For those traveling to “green” countries, they can travel without having to self-quarantine upon their return.
Britons are not advised to travel to the Orange and Red countries – and strict quarantine rules are in place for those who must travel.
But everyone will need to pass multiple coronavirus tests in order to limit the spread of the disease.
So what are the new rules for traveling? And what will your visit to the airport involve? Here’s all you need to know.
New rules for traveling
The most important thing to know before traveling is the traffic light system.
What you need to do before you leave and when you return depends on whether your destination is on the Green, Amber, or Red list.
Green: low risk – You can go on vacation to a country on the green list, but you will need to pass a pre-departure test in that country before you return.
On or before, the second day after arriving in the UK, they will need to take a Covid-19 PCR test from a private provider. These vary in price, but typically cost around £ 120.
Those arriving from green countries do not need to quarantine, unless they receive a positive test.
Tests must be booked and paid for in advance.
Amber: medium risk – People are asked not to go to amber countries for “leisure”.
If you have to travel to an Amber Country, you will need to take the usual pre-departure test and then PCR testing on the second and eighth day after you return home.
In addition, arrivals will need to be quarantined, either at home or where they are staying.
You have the option of having early release from quarantine. It’s called Test to Release.
In this case, you need to take another test on the fifth day – if it comes back negative, they can leave the quarantine.
However, they still have to pass the pre-departure test, as well as the test on days two and eight.
Red: high risk – As in the amber countries, you are advised not to travel for “leisure”.
If you are returning from a red country, you must quarantine yourself in a government approved hotel for 10 days upon your return, at your own expense at £ 1,750 per person.
In addition to the pre-departure test, you will also need to take a PCR test on the second and eighth day of your hotel quarantine.
It’s the same as the Amber group, however, you won’t be able to pay for Test to Release.
You can see the full list of green, amber, and red countries as of May 17 here.
What will the trip to airports involve?
From May 17, you no longer need to complete a declaration form to travel abroad.
However, upon your return you will be required to submit a passenger locator form.
Those who have taken a full course of the coronavirus vaccine (two doses) will be able to demonstrate their status in order to enter certain countries. This can be proven with the help of an app or a letter.
Other countries will determine their own health rules, so you should check the entry requirements for the country you are traveling to.
You may need to prove that you have passed a negative Covid-19 test before entering certain countries.
If you do, you must book a private test – you cannot use the NHS Test and Trace service.
Some airports, such as London Stansted, offer an airport test facility. This will need to be booked prior to your arrival.
When you return to the UK, you will need to show proof of a negative Covid test, along with proof of booking two more tests.
In addition to proof of a negative Covid test, depending on your destination or origin, you may be required to present documents such as your passport or visa.
At the airport, you will need to wear a face mask and obey the rules of social contact.
There will undoubtedly be improved cleaning and other measures such as plexiglass screens and sanitation stations.
As the restrictions relax, people will be allowed to eat and drink at the airport.
Non-essential stores will also be open, so you’ll still be able to shop before the flight.
Keep in mind that due to the extra measurements things may take a bit longer at the airport – so make sure you have plenty of time.
Remember not to travel if you have any of the symptoms of coronavirus.