Do I need a Fit to Fly PCR Test to Travel Abroad if I am Fully Vaccinated?

One of life’s greatest pleasures, foreign holidays have sadly become all too complicated since the pandemic started. We have all had to become aware of booster shots, PCR tests, lateral flow tests, and Fit to Fly, among others! So, how do you safely plan a trip abroad? This article answers whether you will need a Fit to Fly certificate when you are travelling, even if you are fully vaccinated.

A COVID-19 vaccination in progress
A COVID-19 vaccination in progress

Being fully vaccinated helps!

Being fully vaccinated is certainly recommended for your own safety and the safety of those around you. However, it is unlikely to be enough to exempt you from all Covid entry requirements in the case of many countries. Nonetheless, various popular travel destinations make major testing and quarantine exceptions for fully vaccinated travellers.

What does being ‘fully vaccinated’ mean?

In the UK, to qualify as fully vaccinated, you must have the first and second dose of any of the government-recognized vaccines (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, etc.) or a single dose if using one-shot injection vaccines like Janssen.

For further information, visit the NHS website.

However, the definition of being ‘fully vaccinated’ varies around the world. In order to be considered fully vaccinated, many countries now require people to take a booster dose after 180 days have passed since the second dose. The number of days before the second dose expires may be different depending on the country.

You will find the most up-to-date information regarding what being fully vaccinated means around the globe on the government’s website.

COVID-19 has caused a number of barriers to international travel
COVID-19 has caused a number of barriers to international travel

Introducing the VIVO Clinic international travel portal

Before you plan a holiday abroad, it is important to research the entry requirements of your chosen country. We have incorporated an international travel portal into our website to make this initial step easy for our clients. You will find individual pages for 200+ countries (for example, Egypt) detailing relevant Covid and travel information.

The country pages will inform you whether a fully vaccinated status is enough to exempt you from taking Covid tests when travelling; if not, then what types of tests are accepted.

Like the UK, the majority of countries have frequently changed rules, laws, and entry requirements throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. VIVO Clinic advises all travellers to use the international travel portal alongside the government’s foreign travel portal for updates, especially in the days leading up to a trip abroad.

About the Fit to Fly PCR test process

Many countries still require a Fit to Fly PCR test from fully vaccinated travellers. When travelling to these countries as a fully vaccinated passenger, you may be exempt from having to enter self-isolation on arrival.

Depending on how long before your departure/arrival you need to take your PCR test, there are a few options to pick from:

  • Postal PCR tests – These tests are only suitable if your pre-travel PCR test may be taken more than 72 hours before the flight.
  • Next-day Results PCR tests – This is one of the in-clinic test options we offer. This is a good option if your destination country requires you to take the pre-travel no more than 72 hours before travelling.
  • Same-day Results PCR tests – This is the other in-clinic test option. As the name suggests, it is the fastest PCR test available. The same-day results service is suitable for all pre-travel testing time windows. However, this service may be the only option for the especially tight testing time windows (like 24 hours before flight).

Get in touch with us

Whether it is to discuss our range of travel PCR tests or other services, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our products meet all UK standards and laws relating to COVID-19 tests and can be purchased online in just a few clicks. You may get in touch via the following methods:


Image Credits: Wikipedia and Alexandra Koch



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