Three destinations that are lifting or easing their travel ban for UK travellers

In recent days there have been many changes to covid travel rules around the world. Here in Scotland, the Scottish Government have just announced that all pre-departure testing will be scrapped. In a statement by the Scottish Government, it was confirmed that as of today (January 7) people who are fully vaccinated – or under the age of 18 – will no longer need to take the test before arriving in the country from an overseas destination.

Despite the pre-departure tests being scrapped, anyone entering the country must take a test on or before day two after arriving home. This can be a lateral flow device rather than a PCR test and the latter rule comes into force on Sunday (January 9). In addition, anyone who tests positive on a lateral flow test will need to isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test.

So with the travel sector now easing again, what destinations are reopening and relaxing their rules?

Israel

Anyone wanting to travel to Israel can now do so after its restrictions were eased. This means that from Sunday (January 9), visitors will be allowed to enter Israel only if they can show a negative PCR test. They will also need to self-isolate until they receive their PCR result which must have been taken in Israel at the individuals own expense.

If the result is positive, the individual will be required to remain in isolation for a minimum of 14 days. To find out more about Israel’s travel rules, visit the Gov.uk website here.

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France

France is said to be relaxing their strict rules for UK arrivals within the coming days with some French newspapers reporting of another announcement next week where we will see holidaymakers being included in the list of reasons to travel. At present, the Gov.uk website states that “all those wishing to travel from the UK to France, regardless of vaccination status, can only do so for essential reasons, as defined by the French authorities.

“French nationals, as well as residents in France, are considered to have an essential reason for travel. On January 6 2022, the French government introduced additional categories to the list of essential reasons for travel, including for some business travel and for UK nationals who are resident in other EU Member states or assimilated countries who intend to transit France to return to their country of residence.” Travellers wanting to visit France should be aware of the following requirements:

  • If travelling for work, you must provide proof from your employer.
  • All travellers aged 12 years and over must present a negative PCR or antigen test result taken within 24 hours pre-departure.
  • Before travel, anyone coming from the UK must provide contact details, including the address they will be staying at, to the French authorities via an online form.
  • All travellers must present a completed international travel form to prove the reason for essential travel.

    This can be found on the French government’s website. In exceptional circumstances, the French Consulate in London may be able to assist with travel for a compelling reason not listed as an ‘essential reason for travel’.

  • All travellers must provide a completed ‘sworn statement’ (declaration sur l’honneur) form self-certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight. This can be found on the French government’s website.
  • Upon arrival in France, all travellers must self-isolate for 48 hours, after which time a negative PCR or antigen test is required to exit self-isolation.

    Without a negative test result, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days. Please note that these cannot be self-administered tests. Only those taken by a professional at a testing site or pharmacy are valid for leaving self-isolation.

“You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country.

You should arrange to take a private test from a private coronavirus testing provider. Test results must be certified by a laboratory to be accepted.” “Adults travelling from the UK to France by Eurostar who are not fully vaccinated will be asked to take an additional covid test upon arrival at Gare du Nord (vaccination status will be checked ahead of departure at St Pancras).

Anyone testing positive for covid will be subject to mandatory self-isolation for 10 days.” “HGV or van drivers arriving in France from the UK are able to continue doing so without providing a negative COVID-19 test to enter France.”

Germany

Germany ended their travel ban to UK holidaymakers this week (January 4) allowing those who are fully vaccinated to cross the border. This means that passengers must have had two out of the three covid vaccines in order to be classed as fully vaccinated.

Individuals can still enter the country if they don’t meet the criteria however they must have an important reason for travelling.

In their announcement, the German embassy also stated that those who are double-jabbed will not need a negative covid test or be required to quarantine for 14 days..