When it comes to business travel management, it’s important to stay up to date on all of the latest travel information to ensure a seamless work trip experience. Not least of all because of COVID-19.
Whilst vaccine rollouts across the globe are proving successful, we’re not out of the woods yet. There are still ongoing flight restrictions to certain countries, which are in continuous review to ensure the safety and well-being of staff and travellers, and to prevent the spread of COVID. So, before you arrange your trip, it’s worth finding out what sort of travel regulations you’ll need to adhere to.
To make your life easier, we have listed all the top travel updates here in this guide for you. So you can check out any new restrictions, explore changes to pre-existing travel rules and discover what you need to do to prepare for your business trip.
Take a look!
The Foreign Office announced that, as of the 4th of October, the COVID traffic-light system has been scrapped. This is brilliant news for businesses looking to get back to in-person meetings with overseas clients, international conferences and global employee training programmes.
Instead, we can say hello to a simpler two-tier system that sorts countries out into either a red list or a ‘rest of the world’ category. If you are arriving back in the UK after visiting a red list country, you will still need to enter hotel quarantine upon return.
However, if you’ve come back from a destination listed under the ‘rest of the world’ category, travel is now much easier. For example, fully vaccinated travellers won’t need to worry about a pre-departure test before arrival in England from a non-red country. All that’s required is a day-two test and a passenger locator form. And by the end of October, fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from non-red list countries will be able to swap the costly day-two PCR tests with cheaper lateral flow tests.
Whilst those that have had both jabs will find travel a much simpler process, those that are unvaccinated will actually see travel restrictions become stricter. In addition to taking the pre-departure test and tests on day two and day eight once back in the UK, these travellers will also need to quarantine at home for 10 days when returning from all countries, including destinations that were originally on the green list!
Essentially, any country that doesn’t feature on the red list. And there are now more popular destinations that have been removed from this red category and moved to the newly appointed ‘rest of the world list’, meaning more options for businesses and holidaymakers.
On Wednesday 22nd September the Foreign Office announced that Turkey, Pakistan, The Maldives, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh and Kenya were all removed from the UK red list. This means that they no longer have high-risk COVID-19 status and have been added to the ‘rest of the world’ list.
For double-jabbed UK travellers, heading to Turkey and Oman couldn’t be any easier. But, when it comes to entering Kenya, you’ll need to consider a few extra rules upon arrival, including possession of a PCR based COVID-19 negative certificate that is digitally accessible and you’ll also be required to fill out the mandatory Ministry of Health Travellers Health Surveillance online form prior to travel.
On the other hand, if you are planning a work trip to the Maldives, Egypt or Sri Lanka, the Foreign Office advises against visiting these places unless it is considered essential travel.
To enter Sri Lanka you will need to show your vaccination certificate in English, submit a health declaration form and take a COVID-19 test on arrival. You’ll also have to stay at a certified quarantine hotel until your PCR test result comes back negative. Unvaccinated travellers heading to Sri Lanka will need to complete a 14-day quarantine.
To enter the Maldives, the travel rules become more complex. When arriving, all visitors must show a negative PCR test for COVID-19. The certificate must be issued no more than 96 hours prior to departure. You will also need to complete a traveller health declaration form 24 hours before departure to and from the Maldives. There will be temperature checks and screening upon arrival, and if you are presenting any COVID-19 symptoms, there are quarantine facilities set up for you to self-isolate.
Of course, you should still check government guidance on which countries are safe to travel to in general and what other sort of restrictions apply. You can find all that information here.
We hope our travel updates guide has helped to answer all of your questions. If you’d like to start planning your business flights ahead of your next work trip, ACE Travel are here to help. Our world-class corporate flight booking reservation systems let you explore an array of travel options to suit all needs. Whatever your company’s requirements, our dedicated experts are always on-hand to advise you on the lowest airfares to ensure you get the best deal.
Get in touch with our experts to arrange your business flights today!