How to travel safely in Europe this winter amid COVID-19

Over the course of the year we've somewhat adjusted to the changes brought about by the pandemic. From strict lockdowns to slow reopenings, many workforce travellers have needed to continue to travel. As winter approaches, lets dive into the current state of traveling in Europe, the future of rapid testing, and how to keep safe while you're on the road. 

E.U. introduces a coordinated 'Traffic Light System' to indicate travel restrictions consistently

The below map is as of 24 Nov 2020, and is updated more frequently here. It's goal is to help plan travel in Europe while staying safe. Information below taken from Reopen Europa

weekly-map

  • Red | The 14-day cumulative coronavirus case notification rate is 50 or more per 100,000 people and the test positivity rate of tests for coronavirus infection is 4% or more OR the 14-day cumulative coronavirus case notification rate is more than 150 per 100,000 people,
  • Amber | the 14-day cumulative coronavirus case notification rate is less than 50 per 100,000 people, and the test positivity rate of tests for coronavirus infection is 4% or more OR the 14-day cumulative coronavirus case notification rate ranges from 25 to 150, but the test positivity rate of tests for coronavirus infection is less than 4%.
  • Green | The 14-day cumulative coronavirus case notification rate is less than 25 per 100,000 people, and the test positivity rate of tests for coronavirus infection is less than 4%.
  • Grey | Not enough information available, or the testing rate is 300 or less. 

If you're looking to travel outside of the U.K. to a country that is Red or Amber please revisit this map to get complete details on what is required upon arrival. You can select individual countries to see their full guidelines.  Depending on the state, travellers could have to quarantine and/or take a COVID-19 test. 

Also, it's important to note -  travellers with an essential function or need will not be required to quarantine. This includes transport workers or transport service providers. 

Will quarantine free air travel happen in the next 6 months? 

Possibly. Transport Secratary of the U.K., Grant Shapps said that the U.L. is making progress in developing a strong testing strategy to reduce the quarantine period for international arrivals. 

The U.K. is testing out a mass testing programme in Liverpool - the first time they are testing an entire city. Rapid tests could cut down on this isolation period and increase the ability for travelers from other countries. 

How to keep safe while travelling this winter

We're all experts in wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing our hands at this stage, but what else do you need to know about travelling this winter?

  1. Air travel was ruled safe. Fear not when flying to a new location, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a global airline trade group representing 290 carriers in 120 countries, affirmed that there is a 'low incidence of COVID-19 transmission when masks are worn on flights.' 
  2. Stay up to date on the city or country you're visiting as rules change rapidly 
  3. Book accommodation that have stepped up their cleaning protocols. In Roomex, you'll find these clearly marked in your platform beside the hotel as well as a filter for 'COVID-19 cleaning protocols'. See our most updated list of properties that are certified RoomexClean here

  4. Secure plan for dining prior to travelling. In some countries (like here in the U.K.) restaurants are closed. Ensure the hotel you're staying at offers room service (check out our updated list here on popular U.K. hotels dining options) if you're company prefers you eat at the hotel. If you're venturing out to pick up takeaway it's advised to use a contactless option like RoomexPay rather than cash. 

As always, reach out to our team of travel experts if you have any questions or concerns prior to travelling.