The travel and tourism sector is slowly re-opening, with popular sunny tourist destinations such as France, Spain and Portugal relaxing their covid rules for travellers.
In addition to some tests being scrapped, those who are not fully vaccinated are also having more opportunities to travel.
The news comes as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that Scotland is over the worst when it comes to omicron – despite over 100 cases of the omicron sub-variant.
So with people now looking to book their holidays after two years of tight laws and restrictions, what are the rules for America, the Bahamas and Cyprus?
Covid rules when travelling from the UK to America
According to the Gov.uk website, all travellers will need to get a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) visa waiver to enter or transit the USA as a visitor.
You should consult the US State Department website to determine which you will need.
They warn that travellers should be aware that if you have travelled to or have been in Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen on or after March 1 2011, you are normally not eligible for an ESTA visa waiver and will need to apply for a US visa.
If you’re fully vaccinated
Most fully vaccinated travellers can enter the USA with the authorities accepting any covid vaccine approved for emergency use by the World Health Organisation or approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
These include the AstraZeneca, BIBP/Sinopharm, Covishield, Janssen, Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac vaccines.
Before boarding a flight to America, passengers – regardless of vaccination status – are required to show a negative covid test taken no more than 24 hours before travel however children under two do not need to take a test and those 17 and under are exempt from the vaccination requirement.
All air passengers are also required to provide contact information to their airlines before boarding. Full requirements for pre-travel testing can be found on the CDC website.
Upon arrival, fully vaccinated travellers will also need to take a “viral test” within three to five days upon arrival.
However you will not need to quarantine.
Recovered from covid recently?
If you have recovered from a documented case of covid within the past 90 days – regardless of vaccination status – you will not need to take a test three to five days after your arrival in America.
The Gov.uk website also states: “All current visa holders based in the USA who leave the country and then re-enter will need to follow the vaccine entry requirements unless they have an exception. This includes students on F-1 and M-1 visas and those previously issued with an existing National Interest Exception. Further information is on the US Embassy website.
“If you are travelling domestically within the USA, individual states and territories may have their own quarantine requirements. A full list of local quarantine requirements is available on the CDC website. You should check the list frequently as it is likely to change, sometimes daily, as rates of COVID-19 transmission increase or decrease.”
If you’re not fully vaccinated but have tested positive in the last year, you still can’t enter the USA unless you meet one of the exceptions detailed on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Embassy websites.
If you do have an exception to enter the US, you must present a negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months to the airline before boarding the flight.
If you’re not fully vaccinated
Only those with an exception or US Citizens, US Nationals, and US Lawful Permanent Residents will be able to enter the US unvaccinated.
More details are on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and US Embassy websites, which includes a list of exceptions from the vaccination requirements for certain categories of non-citizens and non-immigrants.
Covid rules when travelling from the UK to Bahamas
An email response will be provided once the application is completed, followed by an approval or denial of the health visa.
This confirmation must be presented upon arrival in The Bahamas and it is recommended that you should allow 48 hours to process.
In addition, a new requirement was also introduced meaning that travellers must take a rapid antigen test if staying than 48 hours – or two nights – regardless of vaccination status.
If you’re fully vaccinated
From December 27, fully vaccinated travellers and children between the ages of two and 11 will require a negative covid test (either a Rapid Antigen Test or PCR) taken no more than three days (72 hours) prior to the date of arrival.
If you’re unvaccinated
Unvaccinated travellers, aged 12 and over, must present a negative covid PCR test taken no more than three days (72 hours) prior to the date of arrival.
The Gov.uk website also stated that on January 4, The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism announced the suspension of measures which came into force on January 7 stating that all travellers aged two and above must present a negative covid PCR or rapid antigen test taken no more than three days (72 hours) prior to the date of arrival to The Bahamas.
You should not use the NHS testing service to get a test in order to facilitate your travel to another country. You should arrange to take a private test.
In addition to the health visa requirements, health screening and social distancing measures are in effect at all international and domestic airports. You should expect longer waiting times on arrival.
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Covid rules when travelling from the UK to Cyrpus
The Government of Cyprus has announced that until the end of February 2022 there will be additional changes to testing requirements for passengers entering Cyprus with the UK currently on their red list.
All travellers will be required to:
- Show proof of a negative pre-departure test
- Take an additional PCR test at the airport after arrival
- Complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before travelling.
if you are taking a PCR before travel you must take it within 72 hours upon arrival.
If you are taking an antigen test you must take it within 24 hours before departure.
The post-arrival PCR test requirement applies to all customers with no exemptions and must be paid for by the travellers themselves.
The Gov.uk website states that if your test result is positive, “you will need to wait 10 days before travel-ling to Cyprus. Upon arrival, all travellers aged 12 and above must also take a PCR test at the airport . The cost of the airport test (€15 – €19) is borne by the passenger. Test results should be available within three hours through the online platform. You must self-isolate in your accommodation until the result is available. If your result is positive, you must remain self-isolated and await instructions from the Ministry of Health.”
It adds: “72 hours after arrival in Cyprus, travellers may be required to undergo a rapid test at a mobile unit of the Ministry of Health and send the result to the email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This is free of charge to those presenting a boarding pass at the testing site. You are exempt from this requirement if have received the 3rd dose of a two-dose vaccine or the 2nd dose of a single-dose vaccine.”
You can enter Cyprus if you are not fully vaccinated but must follow the requirements for coronavirus testing before and after your arrival in Cyprus and completion of the Cyprus flight pass.
They will not accept proof of recovery.
Children aged 11 and under are exempted from the testing requirement. Children aged 12 and over who have not completed a full vaccination programme need to follow the guidance for unvaccinated adults.