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UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport

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UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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Hi

My partner and I are volunteering in the South America for a few months, starting at the beginning of April.

From what we understand, we are still allowed to travel for this reason. But we are unsure of what proof we need. We have documentation from the organisation we will be working with and can print this out.

Has anyone flown out recently and what documentation did they take as evidence they fit the criteria to travel? We'll be flying from Heathrow.

Thanks for any info.

13 replies to this topic
Greater Manchester...
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1. Re: UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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Welcome to the forums.

On exactly what date of you flying from Heathrow ?

That's a key factor as new laws/regulations apply on and from 29 March. The link below is relevant, and the link included in the initial post is very relevant.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g186216-i15-k13508840-New_regulations_for_leaving_england_march_2021-United_Kingdom.html

Edited: March 23, 2021, 9:28 pm
England, United...
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2. Re: UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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"Legally-permitted reasons for foreign travel currently include work, volunteering, education, medical needs, and to attend weddings or funerals. "

Seems you are still OK to go.

"People from those countries are currently not allowed to travel to the UK, with the exception of British nationals and people who are normally resident in the UK - but those two groups must pay to quarantine in a hotel if they do choose to come at the moment."

You haven't said which country/countries . Many of the countries in SA are on the red list so you will have to quarantine on your return. Have you got that organised?

As for what documentation you need for proof of travel out that doesn't seem to have been published generally. Probably so people can't falsify documents.

I'd go for the information from the charity showing your destination, accommodation and expected work. Also if you've booked the isolation hotel and tests for return the docs for that.

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3. Re: UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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The new rules which should start next week still allow volunteering. Main problem will be finding flights. Note Toopaz's warning - it is likely that you will need to go into expensive hotel quarantine on return, make sure money is available for that. But there is a bigger problem that return flights may not be possible if things get worse, if you go you could be stranded for months.

England, United...
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4. Re: UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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Ahah!

"See the jobs with testing travel exemptions to find out whether your job qualifies for an exemption and what that exemption covers. You may need to show evidence of the work you will be doing at the border."

"What you must do before you travel

Everyone must:

take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before you travel

book and pay for a travel test package, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your quarantine

complete a passenger locator form with details of where you will home quarantine when you arrive and the travel test package booking reference number"

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-england#what-you-must-do-before-you-travel

I;ve done numerous searches though and can't find any info on travel for volunteering abroad although it says Volunteering is allowed on the link. I'm beginning to think maybe that's organisers only.

London, United...
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5. Re: UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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toopaz that advice is relevant for travelling to the UK not from

volunteering is a specific reasonable excuse is sched 5

3. Where it is reasonably necessary for P to leave the United Kingdom to provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not reasonably possible for those services to be provided from a location within the United Kingdom.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/364/made

i would think a letter from the organisation with your names and some dates and what you will be doing would be more than enough evidence

London, United...
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6. Re: UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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"From what we understand, we are still allowed to travel for this reason” From what source did you gain this understanding?

Your need to be very careful that the organisation you are working with is both legitimate AND recognised by the UK government.

Some years ago we worked for one NGO in Peru that was legit and authorised by the Peruvian government but many were not. Most were “voluntourism” outfits posing as legitimate NGOs and charging “volunteers” for the privilege of working there. If that is the case, it is highly unlikely that your trip would be acceptable under the current UK law.

We also did some work with Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) which is sponsored by the UK government. If you are working with them (or a similar organisation ) then they will take care of all permissions and provide the necessary documentation. We were in Africa, but I am not sure that VSO operate in South America.

My guess is that you will have to be volunteering with a recognised international organisation or you run a very real risk of being turned away at the airport.

In any event. as things stand, you would be required to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days upon your return at a cost of £1750 pp and I cant see that changing anytime soon. The only question would be who is going to pay the £1750.

as for documentation, my guess is that you will need to complete the new forms and provide a formal letter of appointment by the sponsoring organisation.

London, United...
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7. Re: UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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Surely the organisation you are volunteering with has this information? Bit dodgy if they don't

Netanya, Israel
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8. Re: UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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Will you and your partner be fully vaccinated before your trip?

Without knowing exactly where you’re heading. The map looks very red!

While fully appreciating your volunteering spirit. What’s you’re planning is exact scenario of new variants import into UK. No wonder British authorities will do everything they can in order to avoid it.

Try to reconsider. You’ll go volunteering once crisis will be gone and over with. I’m certain you’ll do wonderful job then.

Yuri.

England, United...
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9. Re: UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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Thanks Majordom. Having a bit of a rubbish day today generally but thought I'd found it.

There's so much to wade through yet surprisingly so many variables to cover.

But this 'what proof do I need' for various things seems to be difficult to find. Probably for the reasons I stated in 2.

I still think that the volunteering would be aplicable to those who run the organisations looking at the type of work that is covered in other areas, otherwise there would be a plethora of people going abroad and with the varients in SA being the ones we are so keen to keep out and how rife it is it doesn't seem a great idea.

With the departure being before we've even got out of lockdown as such it's a long shot.

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10. Re: UK travel restrictions - exemptions and proof for airport
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Are you volunteering with an organisation called The Leap by any chance?

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