Things are beginning to open up for the summer holidays. However, don’t get caught out as a number of common destinations still require Covid tests or have restrictions in place and whilst being unvaccinated can be a barrier to travelling to a wide range of countries it can be achieved with those who fall under certain exemption schemes or are travelling to particular destinations.
In the UK all 12- to 17-year-olds are eligible for 2 doses of the COVID vaccine and all adults aged 18 or over are eligible for 3 doses. Generally speaking, all countries require visitors to be vaccinated with a minimum of two doses and provide evidence of this by showing the NHS COVID pass.
Covid Test Exceptions
There are, however, exceptions where unvaccinated travellers can still gain entry to their chosen destination by providing Fit to Fly Certificates. The Fit to Fly PCR test certificate is a document provided by a medical doctor that records evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test or antigen test taken shortly prior to departure
The good news is some popular Mediterranean holiday destinations do not require you to show evidence of having been vaccinated. Turkey and Greece do not require you to show evidence of COVID vaccination status, nor request any pre departure Covid tests. However, to enter France or Spain you will still need to show evidence of vaccination status.
But for those who are not vaccinated you can still enter France by providing a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours or an antigen test result taken within 48 hours pre-departure – the Fit to Fly certificate. Similarly, you can still travel to Spain unvaccinated, but you will need provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test: either a PCR taken within 72 hours prior to departure, or an antigen test taken within 24 hours prior to departure.
Alternatively, if you can produce a Covid 19 Recovery Certificate (also known as a Covid Recovery Letter, Proof of Natural Immunity or Proof of Covid Recovery) you can gain entry to Spain. The Covid 19 Recovery Certificate is a document that proves to relevant authorities that you have recently had Covid 19 and have recovered. Having had Covid 19 and recovered it is felt that you will have generated natural immunity to the disease and as a consequence you do not pose a risk to others.
For destinations further afield restrictions are stricter as countries such as the USA, Canada and Brazil will not allow entry to those who are unvaccinated. However, if you are unvaccinated through having a specific medical reason you can still travel to your country of choice but individual destinations have specific regulations relating to your entry. In Canada and the USA you will need to produce a letter from a medical doctor describing your specific medical exemption.
However, when travelling to Canada under a medical exemption you will need to complete pre-entry, arrival and day 8 COVID tests. Whilst for the USA, when travelling under an exemption certificate you will need to be tested 3-5 days after arrival unless you have documentation (a COVID 19 Recovery Certificate) indicating your recovery from the virus in the past 90 days. Further afield in Brazil those who are unvaccinated for specific medical reasons will need to provide documentary evidence of this exemption and provide a negative pre-departure COVID 19 PCR or antigen test (Fit to Fly certificate)
The picture is complicated but with the right planning and obtaining the correct testing and documentation (Fit to Fly certificate, COVID 19 PCR or antigen test results, Covid 19 Recovery Certificate) you can enjoy your holiday stress free.
Getting tested has never been easier. With convenient locations in both Basildon and Dartford, depending where you're travelling from, you could literally stop off on your way to the airport.