Your Covid-19 Travel Questions, Answered
If you have a travel question which is not listed, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call your personal travel manager.
Coronavirus and travel restrictions
When do I have to quarantine in a Government-appointed hotel?
If you are returning to the UK from one of the 'red list' countries you will be required to self-isolate for 10-days in a Government-appointed hotel. This is to stop the spread of new and unidentified variants of COVID-19. The Business Travel Quarantine Exemption and Test to Release scheme are not compliant for those returning from a Red List country. Under no circumstances can you be exempt from the 10-day isolation period in a Government-approved facility.
The UK Hotel Quarantine for 'red list' countries comes into force from 15th February 2021.
The cost of the 10-day stay must be paid by the passenger and is estimated to be £1,750 per person.
On days 2 and 8 of your 10-day self-isolation, a further COVID-19 test is required.
Your two COVID-19 tests and the quarantine facility must be booked before you return back to the UK.
Click here to be redirected to the Government Portal where you can book your testing package and your quarantine hotel.
The Red List countries are:
Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores), Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
For more information on the Red List Countries, click here.
Do I need a COVID-19 Test to return to the UK from my holiday?Yes. From 04:00 GMT on Monday 18th January 2021, pre-departure COVID-19 testing will be required for all UK arrivals. People arriving by plane, train or boat, including UK Nationals, will be required to take a test up to 72-hours before leaving the country they are in and provide a negative test certificate.
If British Nationals test positive for COVID-19 while abroad, the Government states that you should not travel and should follow the local guidance on self-isolation.
The Government has stated that all forms of PCR test would be accepted, as will other forms of COVID-19 test “with a >97% specificity and >80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml”.
Exemptions apply for children under 11 as well as flight, ferry and rail crew.
Failure to comply with this new test measure will result in an immediate fine of £500.
All passengers returning from a destination not on the Travel Corridor list will still be required to self-isolate for 10-days, regardless of test result.
Please note, you also must complete the Passenger Locator Form.
Once home in the UK, passengers are also required to take two further COVID-19 tests. One on day 2 and one on day 8 of the mandatory 10-day self-isolation.
What countries are on the Travel Corridor List and what does this mean for my holiday?Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that from Monday 18th January all UK Travel Corridors will close to help "protect against the strain of unidentified new COVID strains."
This means that all passengers arriving in to the UK will be required to self-isolate for 10-days, regardless of which destination they are travelling from.
Monday 18th January is also the first day that all UK arrivals must present a negative COVID-19 test certificate before departure.
To discover more on the travel corridors, click here to visit the www.gov.uk website.
What is the Test to Release scheme?The ‘Test to Release for International Travel Scheme’ starts on 15th December. Under the scheme, passengers returning to England from a destination that is not on the travel corridor list can end the 10-day self-isolation early upon testing negative for COVID-19. The traveller can choose to pay for a private test from day five of self-isolation, no earlier, and if found to be negative, quarantine can end.
The Test to Release scheme is not available to anyone who has been in or through any country that is subject to a travel ban in the 10 days before arrival in England. If you arrive in England and have been somewhere that is subject to a travel ban during the last 10 days you must complete a passenger locator form and self-isolate along with members of your household.To read more on the scheme, click here.
How will the UK’s 10-day travel quarantine be implemented?Upon arrival to the UK, you will be asked to complete a Passenger Locator Form stating your contact information and address where you will be self-isolating for 10-days. If you do not have somewhere to stay, accommodation will be arranged by the Government. Health officials will perform spot checks to ensure compliance, and if you do not comply with these measures, fines of up to £1,000 and/or the threat of prosecution will be issued.
On days 2 and 8 of your 10-day isolation you are required to take a further COVID-19 test. Both of these tests must be booked prior to your arrival into the UK.
If your day 8 test is negative, you can end isolation on day 10. If either your day 2 or day 8 test comes back positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 10-days from the date the test was taken.
To book your testing package click here to be redirected to the Government Portal.
RETURNING FROM RED LIST COUNTRIES
As of Monday 15th February all passengers arriving into the UK from Red Listed countries will be required to quarantine in government-provided accommodation for 10-days. Anyone travelling into England from these countries will no longer be allowed to self-isolate in their own homes, but instead will be provided with accommodation near to arrival airports where their quarantine can be monitored more effectively by the government. The cost of this self-isolation is estimated to be £1,750 per person and is the responsibility of the passenger. Further COVID-19 tests are required on days 2 and 8 of the 10-day isolation.
Find out more about red listed countries here.
Book your testing package and quarantine hotel here.
What job titles are listed under the Business Traveller Quarantine Exemption?The FCDO has recognised a list of job titles that are exempt from the 10-day travel quarantine upon return to the UK.
These exemptions are not valid for countries where travel to the UK is currently banned.
Upon return you must still obey National Lockdown restrictions in your country of residence.
To view the complete list of business travellers who qualify for the travel quarantine exemption, click here.
Where can I organise my COVID-19 test prior to travel?Winged Boots has an exclusive partnership with Randox Health and by using the code WINGED2021 you can save 20% on your PCR test. Tests cost approximately £120 per person, but by using this exclusive code it reduces the cost to £95 per person. This applies to testing in one of its three clinics (London Liverpool Street, Liverpool and Belfast) which offers results within 24 hours, and also on its home test kits that provide the test results within a maximum of 36-hours.
Randox Health was founded in 1982 and is a world leading manufacturer of diagnostic solutions. The company employs more than 450 scientists and engineers, and at present it performs 20% of all UK COVID tests as part of the national government programme. All Randox Health COVID-19 tests are approved to be used for international travel certificates.
Booking your COVID-19 test prior to travel is the responsibility of the passenger and Winged Boots will not take any responsibility for passengers who fail to do this. If a test result comes back positive before travel, Winged Boots will endeavour to protect the holiday and look into the best possible solutions such as change of travel dates, subject to availability. We recommend buying travel insurance that will cover any risks relating to COVID-19.
Amending holidays due to a positive COVID-19 test is bound by supplier terms and conditions and may incur additional fees and charges.
Click here to visit Randox Health’s website.
Do I need COVID specific travel insurance?Winged Boots recommends that all passengers travelling internationally have travel insurance with comprehensive medical cover.
We have partnered with Rush Insurance, a specialist travel insurance intermediary, to provide comprehensive travel insurance that includes COVID-19 cover through Battleface or Allianz.
The two trusted insurers have multiple policies available with options that include cancellation cover, medical cover and repatriation across worldwide destinations – even those the FCDO is advising against all but essential travel to.
To discover more click the links below:
What does Brexit mean for European travel?Click here to read our latest Brexit news and how it will affect your European holiday.
Border and International Travel Information
Can I travel to Dubai?Currently international travel from the UK is banned under the National Lockdown.
To be allowed entry into Dubai you must:
- take a PCR test up to 72-hours before travel and provide certification of this (NHS tests are not valid);
- have valid travel medical insurance;
- complete a Health Declaration Form
- and download the COVID-19 DXB app.
Can I travel to Abu Dhabi?Currently international travel from the UK is banned under the National Lockdown.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is now open for passengers flying to the UAE or traveling to other destinations with transfers at Abu Dhabi. All passengers must take a COVID-19 PCR test a maximum 72-hours prior to their departure time from the UK.
Upon arrival in Abu Dhabi you are currently required to self-isolate for 10 days and wear a Government-provided wristband.
Can I travel to the Seychelles?
Currently international travel is banned from the UK under the National Lockdown.The Government of Seychelles will allow entry to individuals who have received a complete dose of a vaccination against COVID-19 at least two weeks before travelling. If you have received a vaccine that requires two doses, then you must have received the final dose at least two weeks before travelling. Visitors must stay at approved accommodation, and provide both an authentic vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test result conducted within 48-hours of travel.
If you have not had a complete vaccination against COVID-19, then you must show a negative PCR test result taken within 48-hours of travel. Upon arrival, you are required to self-isolate for 10-days
To discover more travel information about our most popular destinations click here.
Can I travel to Maldives?Currently international travel is banned from the UK under the National Lockdown.
Maldives has introduced a new policy that means that all visitors must present a negative COVID-19 test certificate when entering the country. The test must be taken a maximum of 96-hours prior to arrival. Plus, you must complete the electronic health declaration form before travel. Click here to be redirected to the online form.
Can I travel to Mauritius?Currently, international travel is banned from the UK under the National Lockdown.
Mauritius is open for international tourism. However you must take a covid-19 test no more than 7-days before your departure and will be required to quarantine for two-weeks in your hotel upon arrival.
Can I travel to Barbados?Currently international travel is banned from the UK under the National Lockdown.
The UK is considered a high risk country. To visit Barbados, UK citizens must take a PCR test within 72-hours of travel. You must then self-isolate within a Government-approved hotel or villa and take another COVID-19 test five days after your first test certificate was accepted.
To learn more travel requirements for other top travel destinations click here.
Can I travel to Spain?Currently international travel is banned from the UK under the National Lockdown.
Currently, you can only travel to Spain if you are a returning Spanish National. This ban is due to end at 6pm on 2nd February however this has not yet been confirmed by the Spanish authorities.
This ban extends to all Spanish islands including the Canaries and Balearics.
Can I travel to the USA?Currently international travel is banned from the UK under the National Lockdown.
The USA has closed its borders and travel to the United States is currently banned.
The following travellers are not subject to the ban, but may be required to undergo screening and other measures upon arrival:
- U.S. citizens and nationals;
- U.S. lawful permanent residents;
- Spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents;
- A foreign national who is the parent or legal guardian of an unmarried U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident under the age of 21;
- A foreign national who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided they are both under 21;
- A foreign national who is the child, foster child or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa;
- A foreign national traveling at the invitation of the U.S. government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the COVID-19 virus;
- A foreign air or sea crewmember;
- Certain A, C, E-1 (TECRO or TECO employees), G, and NATO nonimmigrants;
- A foreign national whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives;
- A foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest; and
- Members of the U.S. armed forces and their spouses and children.
Can I travel to Greece?Currently international travel is banned from the UK under the National Lockdown.
If you travel to Greece you must show a negative COVID-19 test certificate taken within 72-hours of travel and complete a passenger locator form 24-hours prior to travel. Click here to be redirected to the form.
Anyone entering Greece from the UK will also be asked to undergo a rapid test for COVID-19 on arrival. Arrivals from the UK are currently required to self-isolate for 7 days in the event of a negative test result. In the event of a positive test result, travellers will have to isolate for at least 14 days. In either case, travellers will need to undertake a further PCR test at the end of their period of self-isolation.
When are Middle Eastern hotels opening for international guests?For more information on a particular hotel or resort’s opening plans, please contact your personal travel manager at time of enquiry/booking. Updates are being announced almost daily and our expert team are up to date with all the information you will need.
To be allowed entry into Dubai you must:
- take a PCR test up to 72-hours before travel and provide certification of this (NHS tests are not valid);
- have valid travel medical insurance;
- complete a Health Declaration Form;
- and download the COVID-19 DXB app.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is now also open for passengers flying to the UAE or traveling to other destinations, with transfers at Abu Dhabi. All passengers must take a Covid-19 PCR test a maximum 72-hours prior to their departure time from the UK. Our personal travel managers can help with organising this for you, however upon arrival you are currently required to quarantine for 10 days.
When are Caribbean hotels opening for international guests?Many Caribbean islands are already open for tourism.
Barbados is open for tourism and all visitors must provide evidence of a negative COVID test that has been taken within 72-hours prior to arrival to be able to enter the island. The UK is considered a 'high risk' country to Barbados, therefore the authorities will monitor any UK visitors, and you will be required to take a second test while on the island. You can also only stay at a pre-approved hotel and must use a pre-approved transport provider to take you to/from the airport to your accommodation.
You must also complete the following ED Travel form prior to arrival. Click here to be redicrected to the ED Travel form.
To stay up to date with the lates Barbados entry requirements, please click here.
Do I have to wear PPE at the airport?Yes, all guests and staff at airports are expected to wear appropriate face coverings. This includes children aged six years and up.
How long do I have to get to the airport prior to my departure flight?Passengers are being asked to stick to the normal guidelines and turning up at airports two-hours before European flights, and three-hours for long haul flights.
Are airport lounges open?This is dependent of the airport. London Gatwick and London Heathrow have temporarily closed all lounges.
How are airlines ensuring planes are safe for travel?Airlines have multiple measures in place to ensure the safety of passengers and crew on board aircrafts including:
Disinfecting all hard surfaces within the cabin, as well as toilets and aircraft seats and carpets between flights;
Regularly cleaning high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) filters as well as circulating air in the cabin so it is completely replaced every three to five minutes;
Airlines have begun providing masks, gloves and liquid hand sanitizer to be used by the flight crew onboard. For additional passenger comfort, many airlines are encouraging passengers to bring their own cleaning products, such as disinfecting wipes, to be used at their seats to help passengers feel more at ease;
Food services for short-haul flights has been suspended on many airlines and on some aircrafts, only canned or bottled beverages are being served;
Food services on long-haul flights have been reduced and meals are pre-packaged. Passengers are also being encouraged to provide their own snacks on flights as long as they adhere to airport guidelines.
Are there new guidelines surrounding health and safety measures at the airport?Airports around the world have been affected by COVID-19 and have implemented new policies and procedures to help protect travellers and employees. Many airports continue to add notices to their websites outlining how they’re handling the ever-evolving situation. Methods include: increased cleaning of seating, handrails, restrooms, people movers and elevators during the day; nightly deep cleaning of entire terminals; guidelines to encourage safety and social distancing and installation of hand sanitizing stations.
To find out more about particular London airport’s and FAQs surrounding coronavirus policies, click below.
Do airlines have specific policies in regard to social distancing, health and safety?We are sharing airline policies directly with passengers alongside their tickets, once we receive the official documents from the airline. For more information on what specific airlines are doing to ensure passenger and crew safety, click the links below:
Some airlines also have baggage restrictions. Emirates, for example has issued this statement:
Similarly, to reduce risk of spreading the virus by touch, magazines and other print reading material are temporarily unavailable. Cabin baggage are currently not accepted on flights. Carry-on items allowed in the cabin are limited to laptop, handbag, briefcase or baby items. All other items have to be checked in, and Emirates will add the cabin baggage allowance to customers’ check-in baggage allowance. Customers have to wear their masks and gloves throughout their journey from check-in until they disembark.
To read more, click here.
Please check with your personal travel manager regarding any restrictions on baggage and other airline policies prior to travel.
Hotel and Leisure Information
Are all the facilities open at hotels such as kids’ clubs, babysitting facilities, restaurants, pools and spas?This is dependent on the hotel you are staying in. For the most up to date information for any particular hotel or resort, please ask your personal travel manager at time of enquiry/booking.
Are the theme parks in Orlando, Florida open and what are the social distancing measures?From 5th June 2020, Universal Orlando Resort opened all three of its theme parks - Universal Studios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay - with additional safety measures in place.
To discover more on these measures, click here to view a short video.
SeaWorld, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove Parks as well as Busch Gardens and Adventure Island in Tampa reopen on 11th June 2020. To gain entry, you must book your ticket online in advance. You can no longer purchase tickets at the gate. Overall, all attractions will be fully open however some parades and meet & greets will be cancelled. Everyone over two-years must wear a face mask in order to gain entry and there will be temperature screenings on all gates. Physical distancing must be respected, and you can only use contactless payments while inside the parks.
For more information on safety measures at the individual parks, click below:
Walt Disney World Resort’s Orlando theme parks will begin a phased reopening from 11th July however you cannot purchase tickets for 2020. Only those with pre-booked tickets will be able to enjoy the park this year. Some attractions will remain closed.
To discover more, click here.
Does Dubai have any COVID restrictions in place?
The following measures are effective from 2nd February and are expected to last until 28th February.
Pubs and bars are to temporarily close.
Hotels are operating at 70% occupancy.
Pools and beaches to be limited to 70% capacity.
Restaurants are to close at 1am. Last orders to be taken at 12pm.
Music being played at the beach, around pools and in restaurants has been suspended.
Do we have to wear a mask when eating in a restaurant?This is dependent on the restaurant and country you are visiting. All restaurants will have spaced tables at least 2m apart and you are not expected to wear a mask while eating. To understand the complete social distancing rule per restaurant, we recommend calling ahead when making your reservation.
Are hotel buffets open?The majority of hotel buffets have been changed to á la carte restaurants to adhere to social distancing rules.
For any further information on booking holidays, please feel free to call our personal travel managers on 0203 816 0985.
Lauren Godfrey is a Marketing Manager