In response to the Global Travel Taskforce Report, the government has provided guidance in respect of re-opening non-essential international travel on or after 17 May.
To facilitate the return a traffic-light system will be introduced. Countries will be placed in green, amber and red categories depending on a range of factors including the rate of infection, the percentage of population vaccinated, the prevalence of variants of concern and the country’s ability to provide reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
Green – There will be no requirement for self-isolation or quarantine, however PCR testing must be completed both pre-departure and upon return to the UK (on or before day two).
Amber – Travellers will need to take a pre-departure PCR test, self-quarantine for ten days on arrival and take a PCR test on days two and eight with the option for test to release on day five to end self-isolation early.
Red – Travellers will need to take a pre-departure PCR test, pay to stay in a quarantine hotel for 10 days and take a PCR test on days two and eight.
Due to the evolving dynamic of the pandemic, a green watchlist will be introduced to identify countries that are most at risk from moving from green to amber status.
The government will confirm the return date (provisionally on or after 17 May) together with which countries are on the green, amber and red lists at the start of May. The restrictions will then be formally reviewed on 28 June, 31 July and 1 October to take account of both international and domestic Covid conditions.
Whilst PCR testing is currently expensive, ranging in price from £85 to £250, the government has committed to work with airlines, travel firms and the test providers to see whether prices can be reduced. That could involve cheaper tests, or the government providing the pre-departure tests.
As part of our Return to Travel strategy Meon has invested in integrating systems that enable the provision of Covid related travel requirements into the booking process. On a case-by-case basis, and in every instance, travellers will be provided with full and accurate guidance on what is needed to travel overseas.
We will also be providing further updates as well as running a Return to Travel event in the coming weeks.