Although a large number of foreign travel destinations are now accessible, without tests, regardless of vaccination status, there are still a number of destinations that require tests and others that ask for tests if your vaccination was completed after a certain date. Some of our patients report being anxious or confused about the possibility of not having the correct test in place if a certain number of days have elapsed since their last vaccination dose, or travelling if they've not received a 'booster dose of their vaccination.
In this blog from the Covid-19 Testing Experts at Private Harley Street Clinic, we answer some of your questions about travelling and vaccinations.
Which Countries Still Ask for a PCR for Travel?
Not many but there are some so you should check carefully before travelling. We've compiled a handy blog detailing the latest countries to still require PCR Tests to travel from the UK, however, these rules change daily, so we encourage you to click through on the relevant country to name to double check that the rules have not changed, or that your particular circumstances apply. You can book a Fit to Fly PCR Test here.
Which Countries Still Ask for a Rapid Antigen Test for Travel?
There are some foreign travel destination that require a Rapid Antigen (Lateral Flow) Test to travel. You can check these in our blog detailing the latest countries to still require Rapid Antigen Tests to travel from the UK, however, these rules change daily, so we encourage you to click through on the relevant country to name to double check that the rules have not changed, or that your particular circumstances apply. You can book a Fit to Fly Rapid Antigen Test here.
Can My Vaccination Status 'Expire'?
Yes, in a sense. Foreign travel destinations can have different rules about what qualifies as being 'fully vaccinated'. While most destinations have always had rules concerning the minimum number of days that must have passed since your second vaccination dose (normally you must have received a second dose 14 days or more before travelling), many countries now also have rules concerning the maximum number of days (usually 270) that can have elapsed since your last jab.
Do I Need to Have Had My Booster to Travel?
Not necessarily but whether or not you've had you booster or not may affect whether or not you're required to do a test before entry. For example, at time of writing, to qualify as 'fully vaccinated' to enter Portugal, you're required to show either:
evidence of full course of a vaccine at least 14 days and no more than 270 days before you arrive, or
a full course of a vaccine, plus a booster at least 14 days before you arrive
In many cases, having had a booster shot eliminates the risk of your second dose of vaccine having 'expired', as boosters are generally not subject to the same time windows.
I Had My Second Dose More Than 270 Days Ago; Can I Still Travel?
You may not count as fully vaccinated if you received your second dose of vaccine more than 270 days ago and you have not had a booster shot. In this case, you may be required to show a negitive test result before being allowed to enter your destination. This varies country by country so please check carefully on the Gov.uk website before travelling.
Can I Travel if I Can Prove I've Recovered From Covid?
Yes, some foreign travel destinations will accept proof of previous infection (within a certain time window), in lieu of meeting their requirements for vaccination. These vary hugely country by country so check carefully on the Gov.uk website before travelling. 'Proof' of previous infection does not mean a picture of a positive test or a self-reported test results. Your NHS Covid Pass will show proof of recovery from prior COVID-19 infection if you have tested positive on an NHS PCR test in the last 180 days and this may be acceptable for some destinations. If your positive test was performed privately, you should obtain a results certificate from your provider.
Private Harley Street Clinic a leading private Covid-19 Testing Clinic in Marylebone, London. In the blog you can find out the answer to important questions like, "Can I Travel Without a Booster?" or "Can I Travel If My Vaccination Was More Than 270 Days Ago?". Private Harley Street Clinic offers Ultra Fast Covid PCR Tests and Home and In Clinic, in 90 minutes and In clinic and at home remote testing Rapid Antigen (Lateral Flow Tests) for Travel.