Holidays: Mike Gooley gives advice on booking travel in 2021
Holidays that start or end with a period of quarantine are far from ideal. With so many the nation’s favourite holiday destinations absent from England’s travel corridor list it can be hard to know where to jet off to. Incredibly there are now only 10 countries and territories you can head to and avoid having to quarantine at all at either end. Talk about a small world.
These are the dozen destinations you need to know about, plus the latest travel advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
Quarantine-free holiday destinations
Aruba is in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela and is Dutch-owned.
Travellers need to get approval to travel to Aruba through the Embarkation/Disembarkation card online before arrival.
They will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of departure for Aruba or on arrival in Aruba (but the latter requires a mandatory 24-hour quarantine).
Botswana, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, requires proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test performed no more than 72 hours prior to arrival.
“After arrival, you will have to remain in contact with the local health authority for a period of 14 days for self-monitoring,” explained the FCDO.
“You will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon entry. If you show symptoms you will need to undertake mandatory testing and possible isolation or quarantine at your own cost.”
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South American nation Chile requires a negative PCR Sars-Covid2 test (rapid tests are not acceptable), taken not more than 72 hours before boarding the final flight into Santiago Airport.
Travellers will also need a declaration form Pasaporte Sanitario, completed before entry.
“This will generate a QR-code by a separate email, which must be shown at entry,” said the FCDO. “Health authorities at Santiago Airport may require completion of a follow-up email form for 14 days from the arrival date#.
Arrivals also need health or travel insurance that covers COVID-related medical care up to a minimum of US$ 30,000 for the duration of your visit.
Cuba, in the Caribbean, is making everyone who arrives into the country have a covid test on arrival.
“Tourists arriving on holiday charter flights will have a PCR test on arrival will be transferred to their holiday resort,” said the FCDO.
Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory and headland, on Spain’s south coast, is a destination which is relatively easy to visit.
The only requirement for visitors from the UK is to fill in a passenger locator form online before you can pass through customs.
Greece is a bit more complicated. Only certain islands are on the travel corridor list while quarantine requirements apply to the mainland and remaining islands.
The FCDO is not advising against travel to the islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Crete.
The authority states: “All arrivals need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before your time of arrival into Greece.
Furthermore, it continues: “Anyone entering Greece after December 18, will be asked to undergo a rapid test for COVID-19 on arrival, and will be required to self-isolate for three days in the event of a negative test result.”
You will also need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before travel.
All tourists must present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 on arrival to the Maldives, located in the Indian Ocean.
“The test and negative PCR certificate must be issued no more than 96 hours prior to departure,” details the FCDO.
“Screening procedures are in place for passengers on arrival, with quarantine facilities set up to isolate any suspected cases of COVID-19.”
The French Caribbean island of St Barthelemy requires arrivals to undertake a test for COVID-19 within 72 hours before departure.
“Travellers must also provide a self-certified document affirming that they have no covid symptoms and that to their knowledge they have not been in contact with any person confirmed positive within the last 14 days.”
Turks and Caicos
For this British-owned Caribbean island, the FCDO advises: “If you’re visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands, you must get pre-travel authorisation via the Turks and Caicos Islands Assured Portal.
“This requires comprehensive evidence of a negative COVID-19 test from a reputable facility taken within five days prior to arrival in the Turks and Caicos Islands, proof of health/travel insurance with COVID-19 cover and a completed health screening questionnaire.
“All visitors will be required to wear masks on arrival to the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
United Arab Emirates
“Visit and tourist visas are currently being issued by the Dubai authorities only,” said the FCDO of this Middle Eastern country. “Tourists and visitors cannot travel to Abu Dhabi by air.”
“Travellers coming from the UK to Dubai have the option to either present a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test before departure, which is valid for 96 hours from the date of the test or to take a PCR test on arrival at Dubai airport
“Travellers to the rest of the UAE must have carried out a COVID-19 PCR test within 96 hours and received a negative result prior to their departure (there are exemptions for Emirati citizens).”
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