fit to fly

The world seems to be opening back up to the idea of international travel, yet, there is still an air of confusion as to where we are allowed to travel and how we qualify. It’s clear that the rules and regulations around travelling are constantly changing day-to-day, and of course, it’s not just our laws we have to contend with but those of countries all around the world.

So, here are a few tips and tricks to get you fit to fly.

Currently, (28th of April 2021) it is illegal to travel abroad for holidays, and regulations regarding travelling abroad for recreational purposes will be reviewed again on the 13th of May. Anyone wanting to travel overseas sooner will have to fill in a “Declaration to Travel” form, stating a valid reason for leaving the country.

Reasons for travel abroad include – 

  • Work
  • Volunteering
  • Education 
  • Medical reasons including the care of another individual 
  • Weddings
  • Funerals
  • Temporary visitors to the UK who are non-UK residents
  • Children and dependents, including to exercise custody rights
  • Elite sports
  • Travel related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property
  • To fulfil legal obligations 
  • To present oneself to a judicial or administrative authority

All applications will need submitting with the relevant evidence and all appropriate documentation. Currently, travelling outside the UK without a valid reason as listed above attracts a £5,000 fine in England.

Although travel is still restricted, travel companies are taking bookings hoping that all travel restrictions will be eased fully on the 17th of May. 

What you need to know when you book your holiday 

Current talks about a travel traffic light system being introduced in early May will help those looking at travelling abroad have a better understanding of what is expected of them before travel.

The traffic light system, as far as we know to date, will consist of – 

Green light countries – Travellers will not need to quarantine when returning home but will need to take two tests, one before travelling and one on arriving back in the UK.

Amber light countries – Travellers will need to quarantine for ten days on return and take two tests, one before travelling and one on arriving back in the UK.

Red light countriesTravellers will have to stay in a managed quarantine hotel for ten days before returning home to the UK. Travellers will have to pay for the 10-day quarantine as this will not be covered by travel companies.

Currently, there are over 40 countries placed on the red light list, including – 

  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • The Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ecuador
  • Eswatini
  • Ethiopia
  • French Guiana
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Seychelles
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe


Travelling to these counties could increase your holiday budget by £2000. The list is changing daily, so be sure to check the current status at least one month before travel to ensure you have the relevant vaccinations and testing in place.

Will I have to pay for my Covid tests before travelling?

Currently, all travellers must pay for a PCR test before travel. 

There are talks for anyone travelling to a green light country only needing to produce a negative lateral flow test which would be significantly cheaper. However, this is yet to be confirmed.

Here at the surgery, we are a UK Government accredited testing provider for – 

For more information on what you will need before travelling, please contact us today, and one of our advisors will help you. 

It is important to consider any extra expense or indeed time which may affect your holiday this year. Plan ahead, obtain all the relevant information and make sure you are fit to fly.