Travelling abroad after the pandemic: What you need to know.
For most of us, the corona virus pandemic has been the single most unsettling event of our lifetime. And lockdown for single parents has, no doubt, been an extremely stressful time, physically, emotionally and financially. With all the rules and restrictions in place right now, it’s hard to imagine how life, including travel abroad, will ever go back to the way it was before COVID-19. The next few months are crucial in getting the pandemic under control world-wide and determining how restrictions can be eased.
One of the many questions on everyone’s mind right now is, what will happen to travel in the future? When can we travel abroad again to holiday or to see friends and family overseas? Will travel still be affected at a time when the pandemic is under better control but far from removed from our lives? What we do know is that if you plan a trip abroad in the foreseeable future, you will need to be aware of the rules and regulations around travel and any possible consequences for your holiday.
If you are planning to travel abroad soon, make sure that you know the regulations in place in your destination country. Rules and restrictions will likely differ from those in the UK and will also vary from country to country and can, in fact, differ from region to region. So, ensure you are up to date before you book your travel abroad.
Before you do anything, you need to check the UK’s Foreign Travel Advice page to see if you are allowed to travel abroad at all and to see if the destination of your choice allows visitors from the UK into the country. Some countries, for instance, ask for a negative COVID-19 test, whilst others have imposed a 2-week quarantine upon arrival. Others again will let you move around freely providing you arrive from a country that has the pandemic under good control. There will be exemptions from travel restrictions, for example for certain professionals, so it is vital that you check both the UK foreign advice and the travel regulations of your destination country carefully before you book a stay abroad.
Higher cost of travel
As you might have guessed, travel abroad will most likely be more expensive than before the coronavirus outbreak. From flights and hotels to travel insurance and much more, the cost of travelling abroad after the pandemic will be more expensive. The entire travel industry has suffered hefty losses during the pandemic, and airlines and hotels, to name but a few, are facing lower than usual numbers of travellers in the short and medium term. This means, that, by necessity, the cost of any holiday is likely to be higher than before.
As a result, taking out adequate travel insurance to cover you in case of illness, travel disruptions and cancellations, is even more vital than before. There are many different types of insurance companies out there, offering different forms of cover, so, if you are looking for cheap travel insurance, you should spend some time evaluating the best options. You should also be aware that many insurers will exempt cover for the corona pandemic, meaning if you choose to travel in the near future, cancellations as a result of a second outbreak, will most likely not be covered. In fact, most insurers are planning to exclude pandemics, in the future to avoid further financial losses.
Longer queues at airports
One of the things many single parents dread when they travel abroad with kids are the queues at the airport. Queuing isn’t much fun, least of all with only one pair of hands for luggage and children. You may find that post-pandemic queues will be a lot longer than before, especially upon departure. There will be new safety measures in place at airports, and you will be required to keep a distance from other passengers upon going through security and boarding the plane, meaning that you will have to arrive at the airport in very good time before your departure time. Online check-in will be the new normal and baggage drop off will be even more automated than before and no longer handled by airport staff.
Every country and airline will implement slightly different safety precautions, but expect that you need to sanitise your hands before you get on the plane, have your temperature taken, keep a safe distance from other passengers in the airport building and wear a mask during your flight.
Quarantine rules for travel abroad and air bridges
There are no universal quarantine rules in place at the moment, and every country imposes different regulations for travellers and tourists. Some countries, including the UK, have strict quarantine rules in place at present. They will ask travellers from abroad to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival, while other countries only open their borders to travellers from countries with a low virus spread but let those move freely straight upon your arrival. As a 2-week quarantine upon arrival and return is not an option for most parents and professionals, you may need to look for a destination that the UK has an air corridor agreement with:
The UK are currently negotiating air bridges with countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Germany and Greece, whereby quarantine rules upon arrival in the destination country and back in the UK are waived. This will have a significant impact on travel and the number of passengers able to holiday abroad. We will find out within the next few days when we can travel abroad again, and which countries will be exempt from quarantine rules.
COVID-19 testing upon arrival abroad
Many countries do not allow entry for citizens arriving from countries that are still in the middle of the pandemic, such as the US and Brazil. The only way to be granted entry if you arrive from one of the worst affected countries, is by showing a negative COVID-19 test result. These regulations change literally weekly as some countries listed as hotspots at present may have the spread of the virus under control by the time you travel, while other countries or even regions within a country could be experiencing an increased R-factor, and stronger travel restrictions may be imposed as a result. Make sure that you keep up with the latest news at all times to ensure that you can adjust your travel plans if necessary.
We are living in an ever-changing world where many of us have long taken free travel abroad for granted. Yet, as long as a vaccine for COVID-19 has not been found, tested and been made available to the general public, the coronavirus pandemic will continue to impact if, where and how far we can travel abroad. Second waves are possible and local outbreaks are expected. Even if we can travel abroad again freely soon, which is highly likely, we need to remain flexible as travel regulations can change again. But for now, many of us are looking forward to travelling abroad again very shortly and are happy to put up with some short- and medium-term impact on travel due to the pandemic!
Are you desperate to find out when we can travel abroad again? Let us know in the comments section below what your travel plans are, or if you are worried about travel abroad after the pandemic.
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