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Where will we be able to go Abroad restriction free from May 17th ?

TravelDream

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Bluster dear LAX, just bluster. Biden needs a distraction from the low numbers of vaccine take-up in some areas, so blame, ummm, the UK!!
Nice try, but Covid in the US has next to nothing to do with Biden.
Vaccine orders and Operation Warp-speed were under Trump administation and the Democrat controlled Congress.
Vaccine implementation and lockdowns/ mask mandates are the sole power of state (and in some states municipal) governments.

Literally the only real powers Biden has on the matter are over immigration restrictions and on things like mask mandates in Federal buildings.

I wasn’t planning on booking anything at all but the wife had other ideas. She assures me it is all fully refundable if unable to travel.
Most airlines are offering flexible conditions and many hotels are generally quite flexible even in normal times. You might want to check the exact conditions and deadlines though.
 
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Butts

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Both a long way off so it's impossible to tell. TBH, I wouldn't book anything that wasn't short notice given how much things change rapidly.
There's obviously going to be some sort of winter surge in cases. Respiratory viruses always do better in the winter when people spend a lot more time indoors with others with the windows shut instead of being outside. Who knows how that will affect policy? Nobody - not even the politicians and experts.

Testing is certainly coming down in price though for those in England. The Day 2 PCR test is now available for around £25 for people able to collect them in person from certain companies.
Those of us in Wales and Scotland are still forced to use the NHS tests - but pay £88 for the day 2 test alone.
When people self-administer, do they really do it as well as it should be? I think most people would stick it in as far as it's comfortable and no more.

If your final destination is Edinburgh but you enter the UK at LHR connecting to a domestic flight from there to Scotland which regimen applies- the English (hopefully) or Scottish ?
 

TravelDream

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If your final destination is Edinburgh but you enter the UK at LHR connecting to a domestic flight from there to Scotland which regimen applies- the English (hopefully) or Scottish ?

In that case, you need to take a Scottish test. It's the same if you land in Newcastle and cross the land border.
You will have put a Scottish address on the passenger locator form and Border Force will check your test booking based on Scottish rules.
There are some grey areas (e.g. if you spend day one in the UK at an address in England and then day 2 on in Scotland), but that isn't one of them.


The pricing disparity has grown really large and it's quite unfair. When these tests were first brought in, the cheapest were around £75 which meant they were fairly comparable, but now you can get them in England for £25...
 

Butts

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In that case, you need to take a Scottish test. It's the same if you land in Newcastle and cross the land border.
You will have put a Scottish address on the passenger locator form and Border Force will check your test booking based on Scottish rules.
There are some grey areas (e.g. if you spend day one in the UK at an address in England and then day 2 on in Scotland), but that isn't one of them.


The pricing disparity has grown really large and it's quite unfair. When these tests were first brought in, the cheapest were around £75 which meant they were fairly comparable, but now you can get them in England for £25...

Just as well my next two trips are to Ireland swerving any testing requirement.

High time some pressure was put on the Scottish/Welsh Governments to level the playing field.

If you have an English address as well could you bypass the Scottish "rip off" ?
 

TravelDream

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High time some pressure was put on the Scottish/Welsh Governments to level the playing field.

If you have an English address as well could you bypass the Scottish "rip off" ?
The tests are generally delivered to your home so you would need to put a real address to get them.
For tests you collect, I suppose you could, but it would mean a trip to England to get them.*
*I should point out I am pretty sure putting a false address on the passenger locator form is against the law.

I don't think there'll be a level playing field as the Welsh/Scottish governments are trying to deter travel as much as possible.
 

island

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I was thinking that too, but on the other hand, there must be a huge number of people who are currently put off from travelling just because of the cost, hassle, worry (in case of missing a flight because of a delay to a test), and the general unpleasantness of having something being stuck up your nose.
I am not especially bothered by any of the above but I am worried about testing positive (falsely or otherwise) whilst abroad and therefore needing to spend a couple of weeks of time, money, and annual leave self-isolating until I can get a new negative test to return to the UK.
 

Butts

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I am not especially bothered by any of the above but I am worried about testing positive (falsely or otherwise) whilst abroad and therefore needing to spend a couple of weeks of time, money, and annual leave self-isolating until I can get a new negative test to return to the UK.

Stick to Ireland, Gibraltar, Channel Islands, IOM till things settle down.
 

island

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Stick to Ireland, Gibraltar, Channel Islands, IOM till things settle down.
That is my current plan (except without Gibraltar, it’s not part of the CTA so a pre-return test is needed).
 

kingston_toon

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That is my current plan (except without Gibraltar, it’s not part of the CTA so a pre-return test is needed).

I visited Gibraltar a few weeks ago and the testing station at the airport is extremely efficient. £30 for a quick lateral flow, result texted and emailed within 30 minutes. I did mine the day before departure back to the UK but would have been comfortable doing it a couple of hours before the flight.

Off to Spain this weekend for a couple of nights using a slightly delayed day 8 test for my return to the UK which I posted off today, with the results expected tomorrow night. I took a lateral flow test before taking the PCR so I'm 99.9999% certain I'm negative, and no need for hassle finding / paying for a test in Spain, and no risk of dinging positive while abroad :)
 

Butts

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I visited Gibraltar a few weeks ago and the testing station at the airport is extremely efficient. £30 for a quick lateral flow, result texted and emailed within 30 minutes. I did mine the day before departure back to the UK but would have been comfortable doing it a couple of hours before the flight.

Off to Spain this weekend for a couple of nights using a slightly delayed day 8 test for my return to the UK which I posted off today, with the results expected tomorrow night. I took a lateral flow test before taking the PCR so I'm 99.9999% certain I'm negative, and no need for hassle finding / paying for a test in Spain, and no risk of dinging positive while abroad :)

That's interesting to know - just an LF required for those returning from GIB or did you mean on entry ?

Strikes me there is a great deal of profiteering going on with testing in the UK, some countries offer free tests as well.
 

kingston_toon

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That's interesting to know - just an LF required for those returning from GIB or did you mean on entry ?

Strikes me there is a great deal of profiteering going on with testing in the UK, some countries offer free tests as well.

You need one after arriving into Gibraltar by air - this one is free - but as I walked in this wasn't necessary. A lateral flow test which meets certain requirements is all you need to travel back to the UK (well, England at least, I don't know the rules for the other nations) and this applies from anywhere. Most Spanish airports seem to do them for around Euro30, and I believe they are even cheaper in German pharmacies (will try this one in a few weeks). The key thing is getting a certificate with your passport number on it.

From gov.uk:

Type of test​


You must make sure that the test provider you choose can meet the standards for pre-departure testing.

The test must meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.

This could include tests such as:

  • a nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) tests
  • an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device
It’s your responsibility to ensure the test meets the minimum standards for sensitivity, specificity and viral load details. You must check with your test provider that it meets those standards.

You may not be able to travel if the test does not meet these standards. It’s your responsibility to ensure you get the right test that meets the above requirements.
 

Butts

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You need one after arriving into Gibraltar by air - this one is free - but as I walked in this wasn't necessary. A lateral flow test which meets certain requirements is all you need to travel back to the UK (well, England at least, I don't know the rules for the other nations) and this applies from anywhere. Most Spanish airports seem to do them for around Euro30, and I believe they are even cheaper in German pharmacies (will try this one in a few weeks). The key thing is getting a certificate with your passport number on it.

From gov.uk:

Type of test​


You must make sure that the test provider you choose can meet the standards for pre-departure testing.

The test must meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.

This could include tests such as:

  • a nucleic acid test, including a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test or derivative technologies, including loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) tests
  • an antigen test, such as a test from a lateral flow device
It’s your responsibility to ensure the test meets the minimum standards for sensitivity, specificity and viral load details. You must check with your test provider that it meets those standards.

You may not be able to travel if the test does not meet these standards. It’s your responsibility to ensure you get the right test that meets the above requirements.

When I went to Italy last October the tests on arrival were free but we swerved it as Verona had no facilities at the Airport.

Jersey is or was free and I believe a host of others offer this facility on entry.

Why is this not reciprocated in the UK ?

Basically it's all bull**** is it not ?
 

kevin_roche

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You "only" need a lateral flow test to enter the UK, which you can do by videocall whilst abroad. Book a pack of tests before you go, if necessary one for when you enter the foreign country and another for the return. Breathe Assured seem to be amongst the cheapest providers for that; with an airline discount code it's £68 for two tests.
I just heard that a friend of a friend is about to try and fly home from Lanzarote having taken one of the free NHS tests with him. Do you think they will let him on the plane?
 

londonteacher

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Because it is government policy to insist on testing even for people fully vaccinated.
So? If you can afford to travel on holiday you can afford a test.

I just heard that a friend of a friend is about to try and fly home from Lanzarote having taken one of the free NHS tests with him. Do you think they will let him on the plane?
I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure not because the proof would be from the NHS website.

Although they should do so. If they are good enough for domestic use they are good enough for travel.
 

Watershed

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I just heard that a friend of a friend is about to try and fly home from Lanzarote having taken one of the free NHS tests with him. Do you think they will let him on the plane?
If they do any reasonable level of checking then no.

The issue isn't with the tests themselves, it's the fact that your proof of a testing negative (by way of a text or email) won't be accepted. You will need some form of certificate, which taking an NHS test won't give you.

It's an absolute shambles given how NHS home tests are given out ten a penny at pharmacies, testing centres and vaccination centres. But the whole thing is a political game, and international travel is on the 'naughty' list at the moment so the government isn't going to make it any easier or cheaper than they have to.
 

HST274

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Just wondering what the certificate actually has on it? Is it an electronic thing and what details does it have on it that prevents it being forged?
 

TravelDream

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Many countries test people from abroad for free. Jersey, Ireland etc. are just some nearby examples.
Should they be free? I think both yes and no are right depending on your perspective.

I personally think no, but that's not an excuse for people being ripped off by providers.

I just heard that a friend of a friend is about to try and fly home from Lanzarote having taken one of the free NHS tests with him. Do you think they will let him on the plane?
The airlines have specifically been told by the government not to accept NHS tests. This has caused a lot of scenes at airports when airlines refuse to allow passengers to check in. Why do the airlines check? Well, if you get to the UK and Border Force see their NHS test, the airline will also have to pay a hefty fine.
Also, for the free NHS lateral flow tests, there is no proof/ certificate provided for them to use at the airport or back in the UK so what would they show?

A seperate question is how the UK/ airlines check for authenticity with fake tests. The correct answer is often they find it very difficult to do so. People have been caught though.
 

londonteacher

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A strange logic, and completely missing the point.
Not really. If you have a holiday booked for this year then you will have had plenty of time to sort out the money for the tests. We have known about them for ages.

I would however like to get back to a time where no one has to test.
 

Bantamzen

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Not really. If you have a holiday booked for this year then you will have had plenty of time to sort out the money for the tests. We have known about them for ages.

I would however like to get back to a time where no one has to test.
You're still missing the point. Its not about having the money (although a large family would be looking at potentially hundreds more poumds), but the fact that fully vaccinated people still have to test to return to the UK where other countries simply accept proof of vaccination. So on that basis alone the government should either cover the cost or drop the requirements altogether.

This country's obsession with testing is costing the NHS and public vast sums of money, and doing very little else save line somebody's pocket. I've said this in other threads but I'll say it again, it is time to let the vaccines do the heavy lifting and stop with the never ending cycle of tests to give the illusion of doing something.
 

Watershed

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But who is to say other countries are doing the right thing?

I think other countries are for what it's worth.
Well ultimately I think the question is this - what are we ultimately trying to achieve? Are we going to be testing ourselves until kingdom come?

The current international travel policy is consistent in only one regard - being totally inconsistent and illogical! :lol:
 

londonteacher

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Well ultimately I think the question is this - what are we ultimately trying to achieve? Are we going to be testing ourselves until kingdom come?

The current international travel policy is consistent in only one regard - being totally inconsistent and illogical! :lol:
I agree. And in an ideal world all of the governments of the world would get together and reach a consensus to end all of this nonsense.
 

johncrossley

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I wonder if some people are trying to get around the rules by flying via Dublin? Especially on the way home, you can avoid paying for tests and potentially quarantine. Of course, once you enter England having been somewhere in mainland Europe in the last 10 days, the rules still apply even if you've been through Dublin. But who would ever know?
 

island

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Up until last week Ireland required a PCR test for entry as well as a requirement to declare your address or that you were in transit. These matters and the need to connect landside might well have discouraged people.
 

Bikeman78

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It is certainly the testing stuff and vaccine passports that are putting me off from even thinking about looking at breaks over the Winter / Early 2022.

Holidays are meant to be relaxing - having to get stuff poked up your nose / down your throat or worrying about whether or not you have the right app to enter a Cafe really doesn't strike as being my idea of a fun time.
A few years ago we went to San Francisco. Our daughter caught chicken pox about three weeks before we flew out. She was fine to travel but for the whole trip we were slightly nervous that our son would come out in spots whilst we were out there. As it turned out, the spots appeared the day after we got back. Perfect timing!
 

brad465

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When we have "beaten" Covid - i.e. never.

Until Joe Public starts truly accepting that Covid is something that must be lived with, not vainly fought against, nothing will change.

I think it will take it quite a significant event for people to change their opinion, and for that to eventually filter through to government policy.

Something along the lines of, I don't know, taxes rates going up by 10 percentage points, with the government (likely a different one) specifically linking this to the (over)reaction to Covid.
Something else that might force an opinion change is if the environmental pollution that comes with all these tests and masks in particular is exposed, maybe possible if David Attenborough does so in the same way his Blue Planet 2 helped change attitudes on single use plastics pre-covid.


It's just hit me thanks to this news that a possible reason France is staying in its special "List", despite the rest of the EU being cleared for quarantine free travel for 2x jabbed, is because our border controls are likely unable to cope with the influx of travellers by road across the channel thanks to you know what, and scenes of long tailbacks on the M20 and further food shortages will be politically damaging. It would explain why this category was made just before the summer holidays started, what would give this away more is if this rule is suddenly lifted just as the holidays end.
 
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