5 Important Travel Rules You Need to Know

A paper airplane held up to an airplane window

Travel rules are confusing. No-one wants to be turned away at check-in. Nobody wants their holiday plans scuppered because they’re not allowed to board the plane. And, no-one wants to face last-minute quarantine and the expenses that comes with it.

Unfortunately, this is what is happening in airports around the world. Passengers don’t have correct travel information. Many don’t know that new travel rules are in place and so don’t have the necessary documents. We break down 5 important travel rules you need to know before booking your trip.

Testing to Travel

PCR testing – that rather uncomfortable poke up the nose – is ubiquitous by now. Most countries require a negative test result to cross their borders, especially for non-vaccinated travellers. But, the timeframes in which you can take the test are different depending on your destination (although 72 hours is the most common). Some travellers will find that the testing time will also change according to their origin – the testing time is often shorter for higher risk countries.

Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) are accepted by some countries, but not by all. Travellers should double check in advance whether they can present a RAT result, as they will be denied entry if they come unprepared.

Where you get tested, and what language your certificate is in matters – the most widely accepted language is English.

If your journey to your final destination is a long one, and you’re stopping along the way, then you need to ensure that your test result is still valid. For example, to enter the United Kingdom, your PCR test can’t be older than 72 hours. So, if you’ve stopped on route, you might need a second test in order to fit in this timeframe. In this scenario, it’s advised to check that your midway destination’s entry requirements to see whether you can transit and test through its borders.

Travel Rules and Forms

If you missed our recent article on Passenger Locator Forms, we recommend checking it before travelling.

Exit and entry forms are a strict travel rule for a lot of countries, but, not easy to find. Again, document requirements vary per country. Some, such as France, have different forms depending on whether you’re leaving or entering the country, and where you’re coming from.

In many cases, these forms need to be completed before your trip. You don’t want to miss your holiday in Barcelona because you don’t have the QR code didn’t submit your Health Control Form on time. Or be turned away at Turkey’s border because of an incomplete Entry Form.

Don’t be caught out by dodgy WiFi, or broken phone chargers – print out all your documents before you travel.

Travel rules can easily disrupt holiday plans, come prepared
Travel rules don’t have to ruin your holiday


Vaccine manufacturers matter.

By now, many travellers look forward to skipping travel restrictions because they have received their full vaccination. But, not all vaccines are accepted everywhere, and they often have different waiting periods before you can travel.

To make your life easier, we have compiled a list of destinations and their accepted vaccines.

If you are outside of the EU and don’t have an EU Green pass, then your vaccine certificate must be from a certified laboratory and clearly specify your personal details and the date of your second dose(if a double).

There are still a lot of countries open to travellers who cannot be vaccinated and the restrictions you’ll face when entering these will normally depend on where you’re travelling from. Travellers from ‘low risk’ countries in particular rarely face strict quarantine regulations.

Recovery Certificates

Recovery certificates can be provided in place of PCR tests or proof of vaccines in some countries. However, these rules vary widely, so every traveller must ensure they meet the specific criteria for their destination.

The recovery certificate must be issued by an authorised medical body, and be in an accepted language (as with PCR testing). The validity of the recovery certificate isn’t infinite, and normally extends to around 180 days.

Contact your local government to see how you can get a recovery certificate – it often isn’t just an old positive PCR test. In Ireland, for example, if you have tested positive in the last 6 months, complete a form on the government’s website and your certificate will be emailed to you.

Mandatory Travel Insurance

The world is in the midst of a pandemic so its no surprise that travel insurance has become a requirement for many destinations. Present your proof of insurance on arrival, along with the rest of your documents.

To enter the Seychelles, for example, travellers must have valid insurance that can cover all Covid-19 related costs, including quarantine. For travel to Aruba, visitors must purchase the country’s travel insurance, even if they already have their own. At a flat rate per day, the insurance covers travellers for any expenses in the event that they test positive for Covid-19 during their trip.

Before leaving on any trip, we advise that you double check what your destination’s requirements are – even if they didn’t require insurance before the pandemic, they might now!

And You’re Off!

In the current climate, it’s key to keep on top of the details, and be prepared. But, travel doesn’t have to be daunting – we’re here to sift through the details and make it easier for you.

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