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Giving travel advice in the uncertain age of COVID-19

02 November 2021
9 min read
Volume 32 · Issue 11


As restrictions ease and more people holiday overseas, the importance of providing accurate travel health advice increases. Jacqueline Spinks and colleagues provide an overview of current guidance

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic drop in people travelling to other countries for pleasure; however, now that restrictions across the UK are easing, more people are seeking a break and a long-awaited holiday overseas. Practice nurses are uniquely placed to provide travel advice not just in relation to COVID-19 requirements and restrictions, but also to remind travellers of the importance of being prepared for all other communicable diseases and travel-related hazards. This article aims to provide a summary of the latest and up to date information in England (links to guidance covering the Devolved Administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are found in Box 1) and covers a summary of COVID-19, current guidance on travel during the pandemic, information about pre-planning for overseas travel, return from travel and information about being identified as a contact during travel, general travel advice; and ends with links to the most relevant guidance and information available.

Box 1.COVID-19 guidance in the UKLinks to recent and upcoming changes in guidance for all 4 areas of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) -


Northern Ireland


The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis with countries across the world facing diverse epidemiological situations with varying response capacities and access to life saving tools (World Health Organization (WHO), 2021). It is well documented that the travel of populations within and between countries is a contributory factor in the spread of infectious disease (Abdullah et al, 2020), causing governments worldwide to impose restrictions on international travel as a mitigation policy. In addition to formal restrictions, it has also been observed that fear of infection and perceived risk also have a significant influence on individual travel behaviour (Abdullah et al, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic drop in people travelling to other countries for pleasure (Ugur and Akbiyik, 2020); however, now that restrictions across the UK are easing more people are seeking a break and a long-awaited holiday overseas.

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