Travelling In The New Norm

Air travel to Europe in July 2021

14 July 2021
It was great to see more countries were added to the governments green list in June, luckily for me I had a trip booked in to one of those countries and at the beginning of July I flew over to Ibiza. This was my first time abroad since 2019 and I was a little apprehensive, however following PRIORITY’s guidance and making use of the Travel abroad and coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK ( website certainly made the experience a lot easier.

Apart from the distancing and mask wearing Heathrow didn’t feel any different. Check-in took a little longer due to the extra documents having to be checked but apart from that it was just how it’s always been, children running riot, people dashing around having left getting to their gate till the last minute and all the shops and cafes were open.

The main differences were the tests and unbeknown to me a couple of forms. One form was needed to get into The Balearics (Spain) - most countries will have their own form to complete and these can be found at Foreign travel advice - GOV.UK ( and one that needs completing to re-enter the UK Fill in your passenger locator form - GOV.UK (

My advice if you’re about to start travelling again would be to split the new requirements into two, otherwise as I found out it can get confusing.

First I’d suggest finding out what tests and documents are needed to get into the country your visiting, complete the forms if there are any Foreign travel advice - GOV.UK ( and book a test, either at a drive through (although they might start getting busier now as more people are venturing out) or and this would be my suggestion, book a home test. PRIORITY’s partner offers a discounted test for all our clients so if you are booking a trip with us just ask for the details and save yourself up to £60 per test.

Whichever way you decide to test, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to organise a delivery or a drive through slot as results from both will normally take at least 24 to 48hrs.

Once you’ve sorted the outbound section of your trip have a look at what you need to re-enter the UK, based on the Green, Amber and Red traffic light system in place - Travel abroad and coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (

For me it was straightforward as I was travelling from a country on the green list, so I only needed to take a COVID test before I entered the UK, book a day 2 test for when I returned and complete the passenger locator form.

My advice would be to book your COVID test as soon as you get to your destination, you then don’t have to think about it or worry about getting a slot booked at a later date.

Use the hotel concierge or reception staff to see if they have in-house testing facilities, I was lucky enough to be staying at a hotel who had a local test centre representative at the hotel every evening. If they don’t offer this service ask the concierge or reception for their suggestion, they should be able to direct you to the most convenient test centre.

I didn’t do the following but wish I had, I was unaware that it’s possible to pre-order your day 2 COVID test, for when you’re back home in the UK (again this can be done through PRIORITY’s partner company, they’ll post the test to your house and this can be done before you’ve left the UK so it’s ready for you when you return) Also complete the majority of the UK passenger locator form before you leave, ready to submit within 48hrs of arriving in the UK. If I’d have done this before I travelled, I’d have had less to do and think about whilst away, having only my COVID test to organise when I was abroad.

Even with all the extra faff I’d deem my trip as a success as it went without a hitch. I think preparation is key here and my trip could have been simpler if I’d known some of the above information.

Finally create a new email file to hold all your documents on your phone, it saves time and hassle at both ends to have everything in one place and remember your mask! It looks like the UK will be leaving it up to us from Monday, but you’ll certainly need them abroad and take plenty.

I hope this has helped, I understand that all trips are different and for amber and red countries more rules are in place, so make use of PRIORITY's COVID-19 Travel Update and the overall guidance section.

If you are thinking of restarting your companies international travel programme then get in touch with the PRIORITY team [email protected] they’ll be able to discuss your companies new requirements, you’ll save up to 50% off COVID-19 tests and have the support needed for all your future travel.
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