Should You Go On Holiday With Covid? Here's What To Consider If You've Tested Positive

Without any travel rules it's a personal choice.

The remaining UK travel rules have been scrapped, meaning technically, you can board a plane in England even if you’ve got Covid – especially if you’re heading to a country that with no entry requirements.

Elsewhere in the UK, self-isolation remains mandatory after a positive test and you’d need to stay home. But if you’ve tested positive in England and have a holiday booked, should you still go?

“Personally and professionally, I would say no – and this really applies to any infectious disease spread via aerosols,” says Dr Julian Tang, a clinical virologist from the University of Leicester.

“If you absolutely need to travel, at least wear a mask whenever others are around you – as you don’t know if any are vulnerable, who may develop more severe disease if they are infected by you.”

Christl Donnelly, a professor of statistical epidemiology at the University of Oxford, also says it’s a hard no.

“I don’t think people should get on a plane if they have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. If I test positive, I will definitely try to avoid infecting other people, so no planes, trains, or shared automobiles for me,” she tells HuffPost UK. “I would act the same way for influenza, norovirus, or pneumonia.”

If you’re debating whether to travel or not, it may be useful to consider when you first tested positive for the virus. If you’re still testing positive several weeks after your initial infection, you’re unlikely to be contagious.

But travelling with a recent infection could have implications for others on your flight, as well as the global trajectory of the pandemic.

“In the case of SARS-CoV-2, everything that facilitates transmission increases the chances of new variants arising,” Professor Donnelly says.

If you’ve got a holiday booked and no longer want to travel due to Covid, contact your travel provider as soon as possible.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, says: “All legal barriers introduced since the start of the pandemic have now been removed, but Covid still has the potential to disrupt your plans if you fall ill before you are due to travel.

“The best way to safeguard your money is by booking a package holiday, as these come with stronger financial protections, and using accommodation providers or airlines with flexible booking policies. A good travel insurance policy will continue to be essential, and it’s also advisable to book with a credit card to give yourself further financial protection.”

Ultimately, the government rules (or lack of them) mean it’s personal choice whether you travel with Covid or not, but Dr Tang and Professor Donnelly are both against it.

“‘Just because you can doesn’t mean you should’ comes to mind,” Professor Donnelly says. “For me it’s about acting responsibly to protect myself, my loved ones and my community.”