Travel news: ‘Dramatic’ surge in bookings as more of the world opens up
The eight new additions to the quarantine-free list, effective from November 14 (yesterday), are: Bahrain, Chile, Iceland, Cambodia, Laos, UAE, Qatar and Turks & Caicos. Among the eight, these are the destinations that are – or soon will be – most feasible for a holiday:
Dubai: after December 2, you can visit. Here’s the FCO advice: Travellers coming from the UK to Dubai have the option to either present a negative Covid-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test before departure, which is valid for 96 hours from the date of the test, or to take a PCR test on arrival at Dubai airport. Travellers to the rest of the UAE must have carried out a test within 96 hours and received a negative result prior to their departure. Depending on your port of entry, you may also need to undertake a second test on arrival, to wear a government-provided wristband and to complete a period of self-isolation or quarantine.
Chile: Not quite yet, but on Thursday Chilean authorities announced that Santiago International Airport (not land borders) would be opened for international visitors from November 23, subject to a range of protocols (including a negative Covid test certificate) – but without a quarantine period. The timing is perfect.
Iceland: All passengers can choose to either self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival or take two Covid-19 tests, one on arrival and another 5-6 days later. In the meantime you must self-isolate, making trips rather difficult. The test fee is ISK 11,000, or ISK 9,000 if booked in advance, and the second test is free. Children born in 2005 or later will be exempt from both testing and self-isolation.
Cambodia: There are numerous hoops to jump, and you need to be careful where you change planes (Kuala Lumpur is fine; Singapore is not). If you wish to enter Cambodia you will need to:
- Get a visa before arrival — the visa exemption policy, visa on arrival and e-visa arrangements are suspended indefinitely
- Get a medical certificate, no longer than 72 hours prior to the date of travel, from a competent health authority stating you do not have Covid-19. 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.
- Have proof of insurance that includes a minimum of US$50,000 for medical cover
Turks & Caicos: If you’re visiting the Turks and Caicos Islands, you must get pre-travel authorisation via the Turks and Caicos Islands Assured Portal. This requires evidence of a negative Covid-19 test from a reputable facility taken within 5 days prior to arrival in the Turks and Caicos Islands, proof of health/travel insurance with Covid-19 cover and a completed health screening questionnaire. However, the only flights to the islands go via the US, which is not on the travel corridor list. Today’s news could inspire airlines to launch direct flights, of course, so watch this space.
Bahrain: Bahrain International Airport remains open, including for transit and transfer passengers, and visas on arrival have been reintroduced for 68 nationalities including the UK. All arrivals into Bahrain will be required to undergo and pay for the enhanced arrivals testing procedure for Covid-19 and need to self-quarantine until test results have been received. Any person staying in Bahrain for 10 days or more must repeat the testing procedure on the 10th day following their arrival in the Kingdom. You will be required to download the “BeAware” app in advance of testing. You should check Bahrain’s visa portal for the most up to date information.
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