Latest government travel tips for long-haul vacation destinations including Barbados, Dubai, Thailand and South Africa


Many UK holidaymakers will be heading to popular long-haul destinations this semester thanks to relaxed travel rules and redlist changes.

Testing rules have loosened considerably for holidaymakers, especially when returning to the UK, with the need for the pre-departure test already removed and the PCR test on Day 2 to be replaced with a lateral flow from the October 24.

The UK’s red list has been drastically reduced – to just seven countries – making it easier to travel to favorite holiday destinations such as South Africa and Thailand.

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It’s also worth knowing the covid rules and restrictions in place at your destination.

This is the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) on travel to these popular long-haul destinations at the time of publication.


Bridgetown, Barbados

Britons arriving in Barbados must show a negative PCR test taken no more than three days before the flight arrives – if you don’t, you could be refused entry into the country.

All passengers must present a boarding / disembarking pass 24 hours before travel. Arrivals to Barbados are also subject to health screening.

Barbados accepts the NHS Covid pass.

If you are not vaccinated, you will need to quarantine yourself at an approved facility and undergo a second PCR test five days after arrival.

Tourists who test positive for Covid-19 at any time during their stay should self-isolate, which can be done at a government quarantine facility or you can request to do so at your hotel, apartment or villa.

In Barbados, masks must be worn in all public spaces, including outdoors, except when exercising. Some locals may take your temperature and ask for your contact details before entering.

United Arab Emirates

Burj Al Arab, Dubai
Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Tourists arriving from the UK to Dubai and Abu Dhabi must have a negative PCR test prior to departure no later than 72 hours prior to departure for Dubai, and 48 hours for Abu Dhabi.

Holidaymakers arriving in Abu Dhabi will also need to take a Covid-19 PCR test upon arrival.

Visitors to Abu Dhabi must register through the ICA smart travel service prior to travel, and will be required to pass a PCR test upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport, without the need to quarantine, and pass further tests on days four and eight.

The UK is currently on the Abu Dhabi Green List, which means travelers will not be required to self-isolate regardless of their vaccination status.

Unvaccinated Britons arriving in Abu Dhabi must take a PCR test on arrival, without the need to quarantine, and take PCR tests on days six and nine.

Visitors to Dubai will need to register their details on the Covid-19 DXB app and must complete a health declaration form and quarantine form.

Although most shops, restaurants, tourist attractions and religious establishments in the UAE are open, some restrictions are still in place. Social distancing and the wearing of face masks are mandatory in most places.

You don’t have to wear a mask when exercising in public places and being on an open beach and in swimming pools.

It is mandatory for tourists aged 16 and over to have a “green pass” on the AlHosn app in order to access public places – this is the official app of the United Arab Emirates.


The Maldives
The Maldives

Arrivals to the Maldives must present a negative PCR test, which has not been performed more than 96 hours before departure. Tourists must complete a traveler declaration form 24 hours prior to departure and return from the Maldives.

Tourists can expect temperature checks and screening procedures upon arrival in the Maldives, and any traveler with symptoms of Covid-19 will be subjected to a PCR test.

The NHS Covid application is accepted in the Maldives.

Double-bitten tourists who test negative for PCR can travel between unmonitored islands without having to self-quarantine. Face masks should be worn when traveling by air and sea.

Travel between islands can depend on the number of cases, and for those who are not vaccinated, it depends on the vaccination rate of each island.

Social distancing measures are in place and a three-foot distance should be maintained and masks are required on all inhabited islands when out in public except during exercise.


Phuket, thailand
Phuket, thailand

Tourists wishing to enter Thailand must apply for travel permission through the Royal Thai Government’s online platform. Further details on flight bookings, quarantine accommodation and testing will also need to be provided once the request is approved.

Britons arriving in Thailand are required to self-quarantine for 14 days at a state quarantine or alternative state quarantine (ASQ) facility, although in some areas of Thailand, such as Phuket, it will not be necessary. to spend the entire limited quarantine period at an ASQ Installation.

Travelers may be required to download the Thai Chana Covid-19 tracking app upon arrival in Thailand.

Face masks should be worn when using public transport in Thailand, and in all indoor and outdoor public spaces – you can be fined if you don’t.

South Africa

Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa

Tourists arriving in South Africa must provide a hard copy of a negative PCR test to border officials upon arrival; the test must have taken place no more than 72 hours before departure.

The FCDO specifically advises British holidaymakers to bring several copies of the test result.

Screening processes are in place at airports which may include temperature checks and, if you have symptoms of Covid-19, you will need to be tested at your expense.

If you do not provide a negative test upon arrival, you will be required to self-isolate according to government guidelines at your own expense for 10 days.

South Africa is currently subject to Level 1 lockdown restrictions, which means there is a curfew between 12:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. and all non-essential activities must close by 11:00 p.m.

Face masks are needed on public transport and in public places.

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