If you’re anything like me, you’ll be wearily watching Europe’s coronavirus stats as the numbers grow exponentially. You’ll refresh news websites incessantly, in the hopes that those very same graphs you’ve been staring at for hours will suddenly become flat lines. You’ll then come to the painful realisation that this isn’t happening anytime soon, and you’ll anxiously curse under your breath everytime a new country gets added to the UK’s travel ban list.
Trust me, I get it.
As the pandemic hits it’s second wave, Europe is slowly retracting right back into lockdown, with several countries imposing strict measures not unlike those implemented back in March. These measures come hand in hand with travel restrictions, 14-day isolation periods and mandatory PCR testing.
It’s fair to say that travelling in 2020 is a whole different level of complicated.
Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a tick-list of sorts to ensure you’re well prepared and aware of what countries you can easily visit from the UK and what requirements you need to enter them. Since these are ever changing, make sure you double check before boarding a flight, and always ensure you’re covid-free before departing!
Know the UK Travel List like the back of your hand (or better)
This one’s the place to start.
Any of the countries mentioned on the list are “safe” to travel to at the moment, which as of today include only a scarce few in Europe (notably Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden).
To you, these may look like quite a few countries to potentially visit, but you have to remember that some of these countries have entry requirements themselves, so keep on reading to find out about how these vary.
Don’t book without making sure you’re welcome in the country
Some countries do not want people from the UK visiting them – which makes a fair bit of sense when you see how badly the country is doing compared to other places. For the countries mentioned above, these are the entry requirements (as of 20/10/20):
- Cyprus: You must provide a negative PCR test upon arrival, obtained 72 hours prior. You must also complete a travel form which you can find here.
- Estonia: You need to isolate for 14 days upon arrival, but you may take a test to reduce your isolation period.
- Finland: You cannot enter unless you are a Finnish citizen, and even so you may be required to isolate!
- Germany: 14 day isolation and a coronavirus test are required. Depending on the state, you may leave your quarantine if your test comes back negative.
- Latvia: You must complete an electronic form found here and quarantine for 10 days if you are asymptomatic.
- Lithuania: Fill out this form here and you most likely need to isolate for 14 days upon arrival depending on what country you’re arriving from.
- Norway: From the UK, you’re required to quarantine for 14 days.
- Sweden: For the time being, you’re in the clear. There are no isolation requirements if travelling to Sweden.
For a quick fool-proof method of finding out what countries you can visit (especially if you’re not flying from the UK), fun and user friendly websites have been popping up everywhere to lend you a helping hand. Some of our favorites here at Hynt are the following: Google Travel, Covid Entry Check.
Get a test prior to your arrival if you can
You cannot use the free NHS provided tests unless you exhibit any coronavirus symptoms. That being said, there’s plenty of options out there to get tested via the private system.
Make sure you’re prepared if something does happen
If you do take the risk of travelling abroad, it’s always useful to be made aware of the healthcare system in the country you’re visiting. For Europeans, making sure you have an active European Health Card which you can apply for for free via the NHS website, provides an extra layer of safety.
Remember Hynters, travelling during these crazy times is not impossible, but it has to be done so wisely and cautiously. The reason behind the rapid spread of the virus can be pointed back at recklessness, and it really is in our hands to stop this virus from spreading further. As much as we crave a change of scenery these days, we need to raise collective awareness and be wise on how we go about it!