Ahoy there! The day has come: May 17th! The day when we can cautiously start to explore the world again.
If you’re flying long-haul, check out our Virgin Atlantic blog, where we describe our travel partnership. Working together with Virgin, we will help you buy bundles of COVID tests to prepare for your travels.
If you’re travelling closer to home, here’s what you need to know:
- You’ll need to do a COVID Fit to Fly test before you go
- You’ll need to do a test while you’re away, 3 days before your return
- You’ll need to do further testing once you’re home
The amount of tests you need to do, and even the type of test (PCR or Lateral Flow), will depend on the country you’re visiting and whether it has been marked as green, amber or red.
Understanding the Traffic Light System for International Travel
The traffic light system marks countries as either green, amber or red.
Green list countries are attractive as you won’t need to quarantine when you get home. (Unless you test positive!) You’ll only need to do one PCR test once you’re in the UK on day 2 of returning to England.
Amber countries do require you to quarantine for 10 days when you get home. You’ll require two tests, on day 2 and day 8, once you’re back in the UK. You can shorten your quarantine with a Test to Release PCR Covid-19 test which you can take on day 5. Testing positive at any point will increase your quarantine.
Red countries require you to stay in a special quarantine hotel once you return to the UK. This is not a service available through Project Screen by Prenetics.
Before Leaving the UK
The government has a handy site that tells you about the entry requirements for your holiday destination. You can also refer to this government page with the various countries arranged by their traffic lights.
This blog will focus on Green and Amber countries.
Going Green! Here’s How To Travel to and From Green Countries
If you’re planning to travel to a green country, you’ll need a Fit to Fly test. Here’s where you can buy that with Project Screen—you’ll either do a home test or visit one of our testing pods—we have 20 sites across England.
When it’s time to come back to the UK, you’ll need to do a UK pre-return Lateral Flow antigen test in the green country, 3 days before your flight. Project Screen will shortly be selling these tests.
Once you’re back to Blighty, you’ll need to do one final PCR test on day 2 of your return. You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive, and you must follow these rules even if you have been vaccinated. You can buy a day 2 test here.
Going Amber! Here’s How To Travel to and From Amber Countries.
When it’s time to come back to the UK, you’ll need to do a Lateral Flow test in the amber country, 3 days before your flight. Project Screen will shortly be selling these tests.
When you’re back in the UK, you’ll need to take 2 further Covid-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 of your mandatory quarantine. Explore our Amber Day 2 and 8 package here. You can also buy a third PCR COVID test if you’d like to shorten your quarantine using the UK Test to Release scheme. More on that here.
Virgin Atlantic flies to several Amber countries—if that sounds like you, why not explore the entire end-to-end travel bundle on our Virgin partnership page.
We hope you found this information useful. We’ll keep this page as up to date as possible during these changeable times.