United Kingdom

Covid vaccine travel rules explained

Can you travel without being vaccinated against Covid-19? (Picture: Getty)

As we dream of our next holiday, it’s natural to wonder what that will look like given Covid-19.

As the UK’s coronavirus vaccine programme is well underway, with over 15 million Brits full-vaccinated, there’s been lots of talk about what the rules will be for those who abstain from getting a jab.

Vaccine passports’ are on everyone’s minds, and there are even rumours of countries refusing entry to visitors who can’t prove they’ve had at least one dose of the vaccine.

May 17 is a key date for holidaymakers, as England’s traffic light system and ‘green countries’ list is expected to be operating by then.

Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have not said when they might ease their travel rules.

Here’s what we know about travelling without a vaccine.

Will 2021 summer holidays be possible if you’re unvaccinated?

Yes, it should be possible to travel if you haven’t had your jab yet.

Can you visit Greece if you’re unvaccinated? (Picture: Getty)

Vaccines won’t be mandatory everywhere – though each country will still have its own rules, including quarantining on arrival, Covid-19 testing, and wearing masks.

Some countries have said you’ll need to be fully-vaccinated before arrival, such as Spain and France.

But Greece, for example, has said it will require proof of vaccination or proof of a recent negative test.

Turkey, Croatia, Portugal, and the Maldives will also be possible destinations for those still waiting for the jab, reports The Mirror.

Looks like a 2021 summer holiday is on the cards (Picture: Getty)

Of course, whether you can visit these countries without quarantining on return will depend on whether the country is classed as green, amber, or red by the government.

Whenever you start to plan your next summer holiday – diligently check the country’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice for details on what the entry requirements will be.

If you’re booking through a company or tour operator, ask your travel agent. And make sure you have some form of travel insurance.

How will countries be able to tell if you’re vaccinated?

The NHS app will be used as a vaccine certificate, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed.

An NHS app will serve as a vaccine passport in future (Picture: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Speaking in Downing Street on May 7, Mr Shapps said: ‘It’s our responsibility to show global leadership, to work with other countries, to create safe standards for international travel.

‘The government is working to develop these standards, global standards for digital travel certification. So from May 17, English residents will be able to use their existing NHS health app to gain access to their vaccine records.’

People without access to a smartphone can call the NHS helpline on 119 to get a vaccine certificate posted to them.

It’s hoped that most of the eligible UK population will have had both doses of the vaccine.

Which countries are expected to be on the travel green list? All we know about Spain, Greece, Croatia and more

MORE : The Maldives plans to offer Covid vaccines to tourists as a travel incentive

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