COVID-19 TRAVEL UPDATE (16 January 2022)


Please be aware that the information provided below is for guidance around how services may operate, and may vary by service provider, and may also be subject to further government guidance as it is updated. Due to the current exceptional circumstances, the operation and provision of services can change.

Should you need any assistance please contact your travel team or get in touch PRIORITY.

UK Travel Updates:
16/01: From 17 January in England, anyone testing positive can end self isolation early and has reduced from 7 days to 5 days, by testing negative using a lateral flow test for two consecutive days. Otherwise self isolation remains in place until day 10. For Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, ending self isolation early remains at 7 days
05/01: A positive lateral flow test will only be required as the basis for testing positive rather than needing to take a follow up PCR test, however this must be registered with test and trace to register a test result. This change applies from 05 January in Northern Ireland, from 06 January in Scotland and Wales, and from 11 January in England
23/12: From 27 December in Northern Ireland, all indoor events are no longer permitted maximum groups of 6 will be permitted in hospitality venues and venues such as cinemas and theatres
23/12: From 26 December in Wales, indoor events will be limited to 30. 2 metre distancing rules re-introduced, while maximum groups of 6 will be permitted in hospitality venues and venues such as cinemas and theatres
21/12: From 27 December in Scotland, hospitality venue selling alcohol may only provide table service
21/12: From 26 December in Scotland, indoor events will be limited to seated capacities of 200 and unseated capacities of 100. 1 metre distancing rules re-introduced
09/12: From 15 December in England, use of an NHS COVID pass or proof of a negative lateral flow test result will be required for entry into indoor venues with unseated capacities of 500, outdoor venues with unseated capacities of 4,000 or any venues with capacity of 1,000 people
09/12; From 10 December in England, social distancing rules require face coverings on public transport, shops, and public venues like theatres and cinemas, but are not mandatory in hospitality venues. However, some operators may require face coverings as a condition of service
29/11: From 30 November in England, social distancing rules require face coverings on public transport and shops, while other operators may require face coverings etc as a condition of service
26/11: From 29 November in Northern Ireland, hospitality venues will require customers to provide proof of vaccination or of a negative test result and comply to 1m distancing
17/11: Advice in England updated to recommending taking a test before going to crowded places
16/11: From 06 December in Scotland, proof of vaccination or a negative test will be required for entry into indoor venues with unseated capacities of 500, outdoor venues with unseated capacities of 4,000 or any venues with capacity of 1,000 people
10/11: From 15 November in Wales, an NHS Covid pass or proof of a negative test is required to enter venues like theatres, cinemas and concert halls and entry into indoor venues with unseated capacities of 500, outdoor venues with unseated capacities of 4,000 or any venues with capacity of 1,000 people
06/08: From 07 August in Wales social distancing rules require face coverings on public transport and shops
04/08: From 09 August in Scotland social distancing rules require face coverings on public transport and shops
12/07: From 19 July in England restrictions on meeting capacities withdrawn

UK Guidance:
Should you need any assistance please contact your travel team or get in touch PRIORITY

INTERNATIONAL Travel Updates:
05/01: From 09 January for travel to England anyone FULLY VACCINATED or 5 to 17 years old entering the UK from anywhere other than Ireland will be required to book a Lateral Flow Test instead of a PCR test, to be taken within 48hrs of arrival into the UK. Travellers will not be required to self-isolate while waiting for the result, but are required to isolate should they test positive
05/01: From 07 January for travel to England anyone FULLY VACCINATED or 5 to 17 years old entering the UK from anywhere other than Ireland will NOT be required to book a pre-departure PCR test before travel, but will be required to book a PCR test to be taken within 48hrs of arrival into the UK. Travellers will not be required to self-isolate while waiting for the result, but are required to isolate should they test positive
05/01: From 07 January for travel to England for anyone NOT VACCINATED 18 years or over entering the UK from anywhere other than Ireland will be required to book tests before travel - a Lateral Flow or PCR to be taken 2 days before departure to the UK, and a PCR to be then taken within 48hrs of arrival into the UK. Travellers must self-isolate until they have a negative result
05/11: From 07 December for travel to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, IRRESPECTIVE OF YOUR VACCINATION STATUS, anyone 12 years or over entering the UK from anywhere other than Ireland will be required to book tests before travel - a Lateral Flow or PCR to be taken 2 days before departure to the UK. Anyone aged 5 and over (11 and over in Scotland) must book a PCR Test to be then taken within 48hrs of arrival into the UK. Travellers must self-isolate until they have a negative result
05/11: From 07 December to 06 January for travel to England IRRESPECTIVE OF YOUR VACCINATION STATUS, anyone 12 years or over entering the UK from anywhere other than Ireland will be required to book two PCR tests before you travel – one to be taken 2 days before departure to the UK, and one to be then taken within 48hrs of arrival into the UK. Travellers must self-isolate until they have a negative result
27/09: From 04 October the traffic light system will be simplified to a red list for travellers in the UK
18/09: From 04 October the list of approved vaccination programmes has been expanded
24/08: Updated information on discounted testing options provided in the INTERNATIONAL Guidance, while Test to Release guidance has been removed
10/08: Further information on vaccination proof and Health Insurances Cards added to INTERNATIONAL Guidance
07/05: From 17 May International travel can now occur using the traffic light system of countries - fines apply for non-compliance. A passenger travel locator form must be completed. Evidence is required of a negative COVID test result taken up to 72hrs to be fit to fly before travel back to the UK

INTERNATIONAL Guidance:
  • TRAVEL TO OTHER COUNTRIES: please refer to the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) guidance for every trip as countries may restrict travel without notice (FCO foreign travel advice), and the UK traffic light status may change (Government travel traffic light advice). Most countries will require proof of vaccination on entry
  • From 09 January for travel to England anyone FULLY VACCINATED or 5 to 17 years old entering the UK from anywhere other than Ireland will be required to book a Lateral Flow Test instead of a PCR test, to be taken within 48hrs of arrival into the UK. Travellers will not be required to self-isolate while waiting for the result, but are required to isolate should they test positive
  • From 07 January for travel to England anyone FULLY VACCINATED or 5 to 17 years old entering the UK from anywhere other than Ireland will NOT be required to book a pre-departure PCR test before travel, but will be required to book a PCR test to be taken within 48hrs of arrival into the UK. Travellers will not be required to self-isolate while waiting for the result, but are required to isolate should they test positive
  • From 07 January for travel to England for anyone NOT VACCINATED 18 years or over entering the UK from anywhere other than Ireland will be required to book tests before travel - a Lateral Flow or PCR to be taken 2 days before departure to the UK, and a PCR to be then taken within 48hrs of arrival into the UK. Travellers must self-isolate until they have a negative result
  • From 07 December for travel to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, IRRESPECTIVE OF YOUR VACCINATION STATUS, anyone 12 years or over entering the UK from anywhere other than Ireland will be required to book tests before travel - a Lateral Flow or PCR to be taken 2 days before departure to the UK. Anyone aged 5 and over (11 and over in Scotland) must book a PCR Test to be then taken within 48hrs of arrival into the UK. Travellers must self-isolate until they have a negative result
  • From 07 December to 06 January for travel to England IRRESPECTIVE OF YOUR VACCINATION STATUS, anyone 12 years or over entering the UK from anywhere other than Ireland will be required to book two PCR tests before you travel – one to be taken 2 days before departure to the UK, and one to be then taken within 48hrs of arrival into the UK. Travellers must self-isolate until they have a negative result
  • From 04 October the approved Vaccination Programme for the UK has been expanded (Link to Government guideance)
  • RED LIST COUNTRIES: irrespective of your vaccination status, returning travellers must book and self-isolate for 10 days at a government nominated quarantine hotel at their own expense. Book and pay for a test to be taken on days two and eight, and remain isolated at the nominated hotel for a further 10 days should they test positive
  • FORMS - In addition to your destination country's entry forms etc., a UK passenger locator form must be completed (Government passenger locator form advice) before return to the UK
  • TESTING - PRE-DEPARTURE AND POST ARRIVAL: As NHS testing cannot be used for this purpose, we have discounted testing available as noted below
  • TESTING - OVERSEAS TESTING: Before returning to the UK, you can seek testing while Overseas, however we also have discounted testing available as noted below
  • TESTING - MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: a test while still overseas, and at least one Post Arrival Test when returning to the UK, will be required for all International Travel. Some countries only require proof of full vaccination however some may require a Pre-departure Test so please check each country’s guidance on the FCDO website
  • TESTING DISCOUNT - C19 are generally most cost effective and provides the full range of tests required using discount code ADVANTAGE15 (link to C19 testing). They also offer overseas testing that does not require a video conference using discount code ADVANTAGE15 (link to C19 rapid testing)
  • TESTING DISCOUNT - Qured are a little more expensive and provides the full range of tests required using discount code ADVANTAGE10 (link to Qured) and a video conference confirmed lateral flow test using code ADVANTAGE10 (link to Qured rapid testing)
  • TESTING DISCOUNT - Randox Health provides pre-departure and post-arrival testing using discount code ADVANTAGE43 (link to Randox Health) however drop boxes for testing may not be nearby so please check
  • PROOF OF VACCINATION: With the NHS App you can demonstrate your vaccination status, or you can request evidence of your vaccination status at (link to NHS Pass letter)
  • HEALTH INSURANCE CARD: Six months before your existing European Health Insurance Card expires you can apply for a European healthcare cover while aboard (link to NHS Insurance card advice)
  • INSURANCE: We recommend that you review your travel insurance in consideration of your travel
Should you need any assistance please contact your travel team or get in touch PRIORITY

 ACCOMMODATION Guidance:
  • OVERVIEW: Travellers can stay away from home, while properties need to be COVID Secure, and may require participation in test and trace
  • CAPACITY: Most UK properties have re-opened although some remain closed – as previously PRIORITY is in contact with the supply chain to secure availability
  • CATERING: Some properties offer very limited breakfast and dinner services, room service or collection only. Alcohol may be unavailable subject to local rules
  • CLEANING: Advanced cleaning procedures are being adopted in all areas. Guest rooms will not be cleaned during a guest’s stay, with towels and linen being on a request only basis
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING: Legal restrictions may apply in some locations and otherwise some operators may require some social distancing measures to be followed
  • OTHER ON-SITE SERVICES: Services within leisure facilities and other public areas may continue to be unavailable
  • REFUNDS: Many hoteliers are being flexible on cancellations and refunds
  • TIMINGS: Please allow more time for arriving, departing and accessing services, and note that operators may still look to limit touch where possible
  • VAT: VAT on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks has been reduced with most corporate hotels passing the saving on to travellers. Reduced VAT remains at 5% until 30 September, increasing to 12.5% from 01 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, after which it is expected to return to 20%
MEETING Guidance:
  • OVERVIEW: Business Meetings for work, training or education can take place in properties that are COVID Secure, and may require participation in test and trace
  • CAPACITY: Proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow test result will be required for entry into indoor venues with varying capacities depending on the country
  • CLEANING: Advanced cleaning procedures are being adopted in all areas
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING: Legal restrictions may apply in some locations and otherwise some operators may require some social distancing measures to be followed
  • REFUNDS: Many hoteliers are being flexible on cancellations and refunds
  • TIMINGS: Social distancing measures may lead to delays on check in and departure, with a strong emphasis on limiting contact wherever possible
  • VAT: VAT on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks has been reduced with most corporate hotels passing the saving on to travellers. Reduced VAT remains at 5% until 30 September, increasing to 12.5% from 01 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, after which it is expected to return to 20%
RAIL Guidance:
  • OVERVIEW: Travel permitted
  • CAPACITY: Some Train Operating Companies have reduced capacity on train services which may result in some services not being available
  • CATERING: Limited food and drink provision available on flights may continue with some operators
  • CLEANING: Train Operating Companies are undertaking advanced cleaning protocols on trains
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING: Face coverings required, and some operators may require other social distancing measures to be followed
  • FLEXIBLE TICKETS: Where you book a flexible train ticket, your seat reservation may only apply to the service time and route you selected
  • SEAT RESERVATIONS: Some Train Operating Companies mandate seat reservations where seats can be booked
  • TICKET COLLECTION: Where possible please use E-Tickets rather than collecting tickets from stations
  • TICKET REFUNDS: Rail tickets are being refunded with some greater flexibility provided, however there are delays on refunds being processed
  • TIMINGS: Please allow more time for your overall journey
FLIGHT Guidance:
  • OVERVIEW: Travel permitted in line with traffic light system
  • CAPACITY: Many airlines have reduced capacity on flights which may result in some services not being available
  • CATERING: Limited food and drink provision available on flights may continue with some operators
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING: Some operators may require social distancing measures to be followed
  • CLEANING: Airlines are undertaking advanced cleaning protocols on planes
  • OTHER IN-FLIGHT SERVICES: To reduce touch points some airlines have removed pillows, blankets and in-flight sales
  • TICKET REFUNDS: Airlines are taking differing positions on refunds, so while some airlines are refunding fares, others are providing vouchers
  • TIMINGS: Please allow more time for your overall journey, minimise luggage and delays to check in and check out
Should you have any queries around your travel requirements please get in touch with a member of the team who will readily provide assistance, or get in touch PRIORITY.
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