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Travel tips if you’re going overseas this Christmas

Written by: Emma Lunn
The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has issued travel advice for people thinking of going abroad for Christmas.

The advice comes as lockdown is lifted and England starts a new tiered system of coronavirus restrictions.

In England people are now permitted to travel abroad, subject to any restrictions in place at their destination. However, those in tier 3 should avoid leaving the area other than for reasons such as work, education or caring responsibilities.

Nigel Adams, minister responsible for FCDO travel advice, said: “Coronavirus has fundamentally changed the way we travel, meaning it’s more important than ever to consider the need for a trip abroad and to be prepared. Our staff will do all they can to help British people in difficulty, but travellers must take responsibility as well.

“Different destinations may introduce new rules and restrictions with little notice as they respond to the pandemic, so it’s vital that people plan their travel and understand that disruption is possible.”

Inbound international travel will continue to be governed by the travel corridor approach. People will need to self-isolate for 14 days if arriving from or having travelled through a non-travel corridor country or territory.

From 15 December 2020, passengers arriving into England from countries not featured on the government’s travel corridor list will have the option to take a private Covid test after five days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing them from the need to isolate.

The FCDO advice is as follows:

Know the rules

The FCDO is urging people to read up on local rules – which are different depending on whether you live in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland – and the possible disruption they may face if they choose to go on holiday.

Read about your destination

You should keep up-to-date with the latest developments for your destination before your trip. You can sign up for UK government travel advice email alerts and visit the TravelHealthPro website for travel health guidance.

You’ll also need to find out about any entry restrictions, screening or quarantine requirements on arrival that might affect you.

Get tested if necessary

If you need to take a COVID-19 test to facilitate travelling to another country, you should not use the NHS testing service. Instead, you should arrange to take a private test.

Buy travel insurance

Get a travel insurance policy and make sure you are happy with the level of cover it provides.

A handful of policies, including, include cancellation cover if a traveller tests positive for coronavirus.

You should also read up on your refund rights if the travel situation changes.

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