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Coronavirus FAQs

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What to expect when travelling to and from green list countries

14 July 2021 16:23

Young backpacker enjoying the sights abroad.

Young backpacker enjoying the sights abroad.

To make sure your trip to a green-listed country goes without a hitch we've provided a handy guide to walk you through the process and keep you safe.

Before you depart

Although our government has deemed green listed countries as safe to travel to, the countries themselves may not agree. Before you book a flight or make any hotel reservations you should check your destination's rules on welcoming visitors from the UK. Gov.uk's 'foreign travel advice' will keep you updated on any entry restrictions, testing or quarantine requirements.

The Department for Transport also suggests that you read about your rights and responsibilities in the passenger COVID-19 Charter. It's recommended you:

  • Ask your accommodation provider about their COIVD-19 safety measures
  • Check your cancellation rights
  • Read the 'Travel abroad: step by step' guidance

You should also get appropriate travel insurance. All First World policies now include our coronavirus travel insurance extension.

Will I need to book a PCR test?

You may have to book a PCR test up to three times to travel to and from a green list country - depending on whether you are returning to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland:

  • Before travelling from the UK - as part of your destination's entry requirements.
  • While abroad - three days before travelling home.
  • After you arrive in the UK - within two days of arrival.

Tests may be booked through an airport and the final test must be booked before your return journey.

During the flight

During commercial flights leaving England, Scotland and Wales you'll need to wear a face covering. Masks aren't mandatory for flights leaving Northern Ireland but are recommended.

Can I show proof of vaccination?

Some countries may accept proof of vaccination as part of their entry requirements. It might mean that you don't need to take a PCR test - but make sure you check this in advance. If you're travelling abroad from England you can provide proof using the NHS App, NHS website or a letter.

In Wales, travellers can request a vaccination certificate by calling 0300 303 5667 (fees apply). Waiting times take up to 10 working days.

In Scotland, travellers can use the NHS Inform patient portal or a freephone helpline. However, you should only access your record of vaccination if it's a requirement of your destination.

It's unclear how residents of Northern Ireland can currently prove their vaccination status.

What if advice changes when I'm out there?

Government travel advice and green list status can change quickly. If you're abroad in a destination that becomes amber or red listed you should follow local advice before you attempt to return to the UK.

If you cut your trip short because of a change in advice you should contact your airline or tour operator to learn about your options and follow the steps to prepare to return to the UK.

Before you return

Before you travel back the UK you'll need to complete a passenger locator form within 48 hours before your arrival.

You'll also need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken three days before travelling and need to have booked a COVID-19 test to be taken within two days of arrival.

If return journeys stop at amber and red listed destinations you should check travel advice for your country to minimise the risk of transmission.

Give your green list holiday the green light

At World First we provide worldwide travel insurance with added coronavirus cover to make your trip completely stress free.