Planning Your Vacation? Here Are The Travel Requirements You Should Know About
As borders tentatively begin to reopen and countries welcome tourists for their beleaguered tourism industries, many prospective tourists are still scratching their heads as to what they need to provide vis a vis Covid. Fortunately, this post will give you some answers regarding the entry requirements for the US, UK, and various European countries.
How Has Covid Affected The Tourism Industry?
It is no secret that the pandemic has decimated the industry, with many businesses barely able to hold on. It has also affected certain countries that rely heavily on tourism as a large part of their economy. This is especially true in Europe where countries like Spain, Portugal, and to a lesser extent, France have all had their lively tourist sectors badly damaged. Nonetheless, the good news is that updated travel testing requirements have thrown a lifeline to the industry. It now looks as though travelers can now travel with relative ease with proper testing and a full round of vaccination. How does each country differ in its requirements?
What Is A PCR Test?
PCR stands for a polymerase chain reaction. It is a technique that enables individual cells or small amounts of tissue to be amplified, and the amplified DNA is then used to detect the presence of specific DNA sequences in a specimen. It is the most commonly used and accepted test to screen for Covid. It has the added benefit that it is relatively affordable (although there have been issues with this in the UK the past year) and fast.
How Does Each Country Differ In Its Implementation Of Covid Regulations?
On the face of it, most countries have similar rules regarding what is required to enter the country. These tend to be an entire course of vaccinations (usually minus a booster shot) and a PCR test no more than 48 hours before your flight. However, every country will have its own variation on these standards, such as requiring passengers to remain isolated for 48 hours following the test.
Anyone looking to enter the UK for any purpose will have to pay for a two-day PCR test two days before their intended travel date. While they are waiting, they must remain in isolation. In addition to this, they must have a total dose of an approved vaccine.
The USA has slightly stricter regulations than some other locations and has recently increased restrictions slightly. Before the 6th of December, passengers could take a PCR test three days before travel. However, the US government has since changed the rules to only one day, which must be carried out under telehealth observation.
If you are a British citizen looking to enter France, it seems you are out of luck, at least as the current regulations stand. As for everyone else, they will need to take a PCR test no more than 24 hours before travel. In addition, you must be fully vaccinated.
In addition to France, Germany has also banned all non-essential travel from the UK in a bid to reduce the chances of the Omicron variant proliferating. Their rules also remain on par with Frances regarding tests and vaccines, except they only require the test to be taken 48 hours before travel rather than 24 hours before.
Hopefully, this article has shed some light on what requirements some countries require and what you need to do. Nonetheless, since the rules are likely to change as the pandemic unfolds, you should do your research before traveling abroad.