British sunseekers have been given fresh hope of catching some rays abroad this summer.
The government has announced Brits who have been fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine for 10 days on their return from 'amber list' countries.
It opens up travel to popular holiday destinations such as mainland Spain, Greece and Italy, and scores of other countries, which attract millions of visitors each summer.
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But there are still many variables involved, so what should travellers do before they travel to ensure they're in the best place for any last-minute Covid changes?
Here is your eight-point holiday checklist:
1. Is it safe to travel?
Always check current Foreign Office travel advice. Travelling to countries against Foreign Office advice is likely to invalidate your travel insurance. The green, amber and red list of countries is being updated regularly.
2. Get the right travel insurance
Ministers and health professionals are quick to emphasise the Covid pandemic is not over. That means while a country may be on the green list one week, it may not necessarily stay on the green list (as we witnessed with Portugal in June). Similarly, countries on the UK's amber list could well be placed on the red do-not-travel list at short notice.
Most travel companies are now offering Covid-specific insurance policies that cover such changes, plus cover if you fall ill while abroad with Covid - so make sure you check the fine print of what exactly your policy covers before you head off. Be warned - according to the Association of British Insurers, most policies are unlikely to cover holiday cancellations owing to Covid, as it was a known risk before taking out the policy.
3. Quarantine requirements at your destination
While the UK has announced an easing of requirements for Brits returning from certain countries, destinations you're planning on visiting may not be as happy to accept Britons. Some - such as Malta and Portugal - will only accept UK visitors who have been fully vaccinated. Others will have their own rules about proof of negative PCR tests in the days before travel, or insist on you providing a negative test on arrival.
Be aware also of quarantine rules that remain in place on your return to the UK - travel insurance will not cover the costs associated with staying for 10 days in Government provided hotels - about £1,750 per person.
4. Book a Covid test
As summer holidays are likely to pick up after July 19, so will demand for getting a negative test 72 hours before travelling. So it's best to make sure in advance you can get one. Consumer champions Which? have a list of cheap tests available from airlines and holiday firms here. Be wary of using some private firms for testing - as ITV News reported, consumers have been charged way over the odds for a substandard service.
5. Proof of vaccination
Many countries will require proof visitors from the UK have been fully vaccinated. There are various ways you can prove you've been doubled-jabbed, including getting a letter from the NHS here, calling 119 and getting one sent to you, or by using the NHS Covid app.
You'll need to have proof of your vaccination status to show at border checks before boarding the aircraft - and again, be aware that some countries will still insist you also have a negative test even if you have been jabbed.
6. Locator forms
Current rules mean people coming into the UK are required to fill in a passenger locator form. You’ll need to show your form when you check in to travel or board your plane, train or ferry to the UK. Check with your travel company or airline before travelling which forms you'll need to fill in before you go.
7. Medical insurance
Following Brexit, unless you have a valid, in date EHIC card, you will need to get a new Global Health Insurance Card. It allows free or reduced medical cover to most European destinations. This should not be instead of holiday insurance but in addition to.8. Is your passport valid?
It sounds such an obvious thing but with all the chasing around checking your vaccination status, booking Covid tests and reading through the fine print on insurance, it would be easy to overlook the fundamental issue: Is my passport current? To travel to Schengen Area countries (most of Europe) you need to have at least six months left on your passport - but Schengen Area countries also require passports to be less than 10 years old on the day of travel.
Useful sites with the latest holiday travel details:
The Association of British Insurers has details of what paperwork you'll need here.
Consumer website Which? has lots of information about the latest travel rules here.
The government website for the latest information on travel here.