Mauritius to reopen to tourists
Mauritius is currently on the UK’s amber list, but hopefully not forever. The island is starting to reopen for tourism with a phased approach from 15 July.
From the first phase until September, vaccinated travellers can use the facilities within their resort premises, including the swimming pool and beach. If you stay longer than 14 days you then can explore further after negative PCR tests. If not you are confined to the hotel for the duration of your stay.
At the moment they will only accept travellers to Mauritius (applies to those aged 18 years or over) that fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
To be honest I can’t see anyone wanting to travel there with the restrictions as you will also need to have a PCR test between five and seven days before departure and a PCR test on arrival at the airport in Mauritius. Then you will need more PCR tests on day seven and 14 as well as not being able to leave the resort.
For October, phase two will mean vaccinated travellers will be allowed entry without restrictions with a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure. This is timed to coincidence with the majority of the island being vaccinated.
UK transit rules
I previously wrote about the change in wording on the travel legislation that seemed to suggest that transit overnight did not exempt you from having to buy a day 2 Covid test even if you have left the country. We now have some recent real-life evidence that the previously understood definition of in transit of less than 48 hours is being accepted by Border officers. It is not exactly specified on the government website but says a short period, usually less than 24 hours. However, given the infrequency of flights to certain destinations, it could be up to the day 2 test deadline potentially. The traveller was able to follow the instructions below and an overnight stay landside before their flight the following day was not questioned.
Here is what the UK government website says:
Transiting through the UK
Before travel to the UK
If you will be transiting through the UK, you need to do the following before you travel to the UK:
If you will be transiting landside through the UK, you need to do the following when you complete your passenger locator form.
- select ‘Stay in the UK’ under the Your travel plans section
- reply ‘No’ to any questions about whether you are required to complete COVID-19 tests on arrival
- reply ‘No’ to the question ‘Have you visited a Red List country within the past 10 days and/or are required by law to quarantine in a government approved facility?’
When you transit through the UK
You do not need to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test on arrival or on day 2 and day 8.
This applies if you are transiting ‘airside’ or ‘landside’.
There are different rules for Scotland.
If you are transiting landside (entering the UK from outside the Common Travel Area), you must be entering the UK for the sole purposes of continuing a journey to a country outside of the Common Travel Area. You must either:
- remain within your port of entry until your departure from England, or
- travel directly from your port of entry to another port of departure in England
Red list countries
If you are transiting within the CTA, and you have been in a red list country in the previous 10 days, then you are required to enter into managed quarantine at your port of entry. This applies whether transiting airside or landside.
Jersey changes rules again
Jersey has changed their entry rules so many times, it’s hard to keep up. They had just switched to treating the UK as a whole. Now they are going back to the previous system of dividing the UK into areas by local authority areas. I would guess this is due to the Delta variant. The categories will be reviewed twice a week with 48 hours notice given of any change. Note that the classification relates to any area where you have stayed overnight in the last 14 days. You can check your local authority here.
The rules of entry are still the same for green: Visitors to Jersey can opt to provide evidence of a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test conducted by an approved UKAS organisation, replacing the need for a Day 0 test and removing the need for isolation for Green arrivals. Note that pre-departure tests require them to be UKAS approved – which many companies are not. You can read more here.
Alternatively for green arrivals, you can get tested free on arrival. This can take between 12-24 hours to come back and you must isolate until then. At quieter times it can take around 6 hours. If you come from amber or red and are unvaccinated then you will have to quarantine which would not be worth it for a holiday.
The good news is that if you are fully vaccinated within the UK, Republic of Ireland, Guernsey or Isle of Man, and only have a Green or Amber travel history classification, you will only need the free test on arrival but not need to isolate for the results.
- you must have received 2 doses of an MHRA approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Moderna)
- the second dose must have been administered at least 2 weeks prior to arrival in Jersey
From Tuesday 15 June, if you have a Red travel history and are fully vaccinated, you’ll need a test on arrival and only need to isolate until your first negative test result. You’ll also be tested on day 8.
Jersey accepts most forms of UK vaccine documents including the NHS app. You can find the details here.