Travel Documentation: An Updated List For Travelling During COVID

The blend of fewer travel restrictions, widespread vaccine rollout, and a large population of fully vaccinated adults has been touted as the catalyst of the travel industry’s recent rebound.

With the most restrictive travel list, the UK’s red list, being one of the last countries to remove dozens of territories from the list earlier in October 2021, the revival of business and tourism travel is set to improve.

Of course, other significant announcements – such as the launch of vaccine passports – have also played an integral role in encouraging business and corporate travel.

Given these changes, it’s become necessary to publish an updated list of travel documentation.

Maintaining Pertinent Travel Documents

Considering that many business travellers have not travelled for some time, basic travel documents are likely either no longer up-to-date or have expired. Changing landscapes also means that updating and renewing these documents isn’t the same straightforward process it was pre-pandemic. Now, travellers will need to plan well in advance to ensure that their travel plans aren’t interrupted by unexpected documentation delays.

Passport

Now is the time to check that your passport is still valid. Even if your passport will only expire in 2022, renewing it ahead of schedule means you won’t be subject to delays caused by fluctuating lockdown levels, or demand for passport renewals putting strain on processing times and causing further delays.

VISAs

Prioritizing visa applications is pivotal if you intend to travel without difficulty. The reason: most consulates are experiencing visa processing delays that are forecast to continue well into 2022. Some of these delays are upwards of several months, with visa appointment availability extending to mid-2022. For that reason, business travellers should make any visa applications as soon as they become aware of travel plans, as workarounds are extremely unreliable.

Additional Documentation Requirements

Although business travellers remained the most active travellers throughout the pandemic, a considerable portion had foregone travel to reduce the strain on the company – or personal – finances. Now, these reemerging travellers have more to contend with than applying for a visa and renewing passports. Another requirement of travelling during the pandemic is having a working knowledge of all the documentation that didn’t exist before COVID.

Negative Test Results or Proof of Recovery

Although countries are changing their entry requirements to encourage travel, the resurgence of the Delta variant means most travel destinations still require a negative test result to enter, even if passengers are fully vaccinated.

In most instances, these test results should not be taken more than 72 hours prior and should be issued by a valid authority.

It’s also important to note that although testing is mandatory, it’s not free. Therefore, you should budget for testing, calculating the cost of testing on departure and arrival.

Proof of Vaccination

Commonly referred to as a vaccine passport, proof of vaccination is the most basic documentation travellers need to provide when entering a country. Having proof of vaccination enables travellers to bypass any mandatory quarantine or simply enter a country.

Vaccine passports are issued in the form of an electronic certificate or a hard copy document that includes a QR code. For the vaccination proof to be valid, personal information on the certificate should correspond with the information on your passport and must be issued by a recognised authority.

Health Declaration Form or Similar Documentation

Most countries will require travellers to present a statement or form on entry. These forms – also referred to as health disclosures or statements – detail that you aren’t displaying any COVID symptoms and have not been in contact with any confirmed COVID-19 cases. Many of these statements will also include sections detailing your agreement to submit to applicable tests and quarantine, if necessary.

While this is a comprehensive guide on travel documentation, the most definitive source of information will be issued by your travel destination’s government. To make sense of all the requirements and documentation, you can rely on your travel manager to relay any additional documentation requirements and submit forms and statements on your behalf to expedite the process.