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Preparing to travel abroad after the coronavirus lockdown

Posted on March 22, 2022 by Jason Davis
Airplane flies over airport departure sign

From carrying your EHIC or GHIC card to proof of vaccination status, don’t get caught out when travelling after lockdown.

Here’s our handy checklist to help you prepare for your next holiday abroad.

1. Can you travel?

Check the FCDO’s travel advice of your destination before you book, and then again before you travel. The FCDO will tell you if a destination is safe to travel to, or if they advise against ‘all’, or ‘all but essential’ travel.

2. Check for destination entry requirements

Your holiday destination may have specific COVID-19 entry requirements. Some of these may include:

  • Proof of full vaccination
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test before entry
  • Additional documentation, such as health declaration forms 
  • Self-isolation or quarantine at your destination while awaiting a negative COVID test result

To find out if any of these (or others) will apply to you, keep an eye on the FCDO’s travel advice page for up-to-date guidance.

We go into more detail about where you can travel in our travel guide chapter, ‘Where can I go on holiday?’.

3. Do you need an EHIC/GHIC?

When travelling in Europe, you will need an EHIC or GHIC card to cover you for emergency medical treatment. Carrying a valid card is a condition of your travel insurance policy with us.

The Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) has been announced as the replacement for the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) post-Brexit. Find out more about the GHIC replacing the EHIC.

It’s worth noting the GHIC does not provide you with medical cover when travelling in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, like the EHIC used to.

If you are visiting those countries then the government recommends taking out travel insurance with health cover, just as you would when travelling outside of the EU.

Family wearing face masks in an airport

4. Travel insurance

Cover your next holiday or trip by arranging travel insurance that includes cover for COVID-19.

To be covered by your travel insurance policy, you must not be travelling to a place that the FCDO have advised against travel to. Your policy will only be valid if it’s safe for you to go.

Find out more about buying a travel insurance policy that can cover coronavirus for coronavirus related cancellations, medical emergencies and repatriation.

When you take out a travel insurance policy with us, you can also get a discount of 10% on COVID-19 tests* with Randox Health.

5. Planning your return to the UK

As of 4am, 18 March 2022, you are no longer required to take any COVID-19 tests, self-isolate at home or in a quarantine hotel, or complete a passenger locator form (PLF) when returning to the UK.

This applies to all travellers entering the UK regardless of their vaccine status, or where they’ve been on holiday.

We go into more detail about the Covid travel rules for the UK here.

6. NHS Covid Pass and vaccine passports

Destinations around the world have opened up to both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers. Some nations may ask to see proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status or a negative test before entry.

If your destination country needs proof of your vaccination or a negative test result, the NHS app can be used to share this information.

Adults in England can show proof of vaccination via the NHS app, or with a paper version by going online or by calling 119. Digital and paper versions are also available for residents of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The NHS Covid Pass used in England shows proof of vaccination, any negative PCR or lateral flow tests in the past 48 hours, along with any recovery from COVID-19.

In Europe, a Digital Covid Certificate is being rolled out across the EU’s 27 member nations, including Switzerland, Ireland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

Be sure to check entry requirements of the country you’re visiting before travelling.

Go to previous – Chapter 3: What to expect when travelling
Go to next – Chapter 5: Does travel insurance cover me for COVID?
Explore – Go back to guide contents

*Please note, offers can be changed and/or retracted at Randox’s discretion. Discount applies to home delivered COVID-19 tests only. This offer excludes tests bought for click and collect.

Information is correct at the time of publishing.

Jason Davis

by Jason Davis

Jason Davis is Staysure's Senior Content Executive. As a specialist travel insurance provider, we aim to keep up-to-date with travel trends, all while offering tips on how to make the most of your holiday.