When Can You Travel After Having Covid?
Information correct as of 03-08-2022
You may be able to travel abroad one week after testing positive for COVID-19, so long as you have been symptom-free for two days.
If you qualify – with the right testing at the right time – you can get a Proof of Recovery certificate, also known as a COVID-19 Recovery Certificate.
Many countries accept the COVID-19 Recovery Certificate at the border, but not all of them. Remember to check the entry requirements before you travel.
How to travel abroad if you recently had COVID-19
After recovering from COVID-19 you may test positive because the virus is still lingering in your body. This can hamper your chances of going abroad because many countries want to see a negative COVID-19 test before letting you in.
Fortunately, more and more international border patrols are recognising this issue and will accept a COVID-19 Recovery Certificate from an official provider.
You can get a COVID-19 Recovery Certificate after seven days since your last positive COVID-19 test result and 48 hours since you last had symptoms. Professional medical providers such as Local PCR can provide certificates as quickly as three hours’ time by email.
Your Recovery Certificate must be verified by a doctor, who can only approve it if you provide the right kind of COVID-19 test evidence. So ensure that you have checked your destination’s requirement for COVID-19 test recovery proof.
Usually a PCR test is sufficient evidence for your Proof of Recovery Certificate. Again, this varies by country.
When to get a Proof of Recovery Certificate
You should only apply for a COVID-19 Proof of Recovery Certificate when you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours. If you are still coughing and your body aches, wait until you feel better.
If it has been at least seven days since you tested positive for COVID-19 and the above applies, then feel free to apply for a Recovery Certificate.
Once issued, your Proof of Recovery Certificate is valid for 180 days (six months) which is good news for those planning holidays in the near future. The reason is natural immunity from COVID-19 seems to last about six months after infection.
How does the Proof of Recovery Certificate relate to vaccinations?
In many cases, the COVID-19 Recovery Certificate can replace the need to prove vaccination status. This is particularly relevant to travelers whose vaccination was a long time ago and those who were never vaccinated.
But if you want to go belt and braces, you could always show up to the airport with vaccination evidence and Proof of Recovery. This could work out well for someone whose vaccination type is not recognised by their destination country.
Can I get free COVID-19 travel documents on the NHS?
If you were able to get an NHS PCR test, this will show on your records in the NHS App on your NHS COVID Pass. This counts as proof of recovery and can be accepted by international border agencies, valid for six months.
If you need COVID-19 travel documents at a time convenient to you, then Local PCR can issue a Proof of Recovery Certificate for just £39. The certificate will be sent to you as a PDF by email within 24 hours of approval.
Why would I need a Proof of Recovery Certificate?
It can be worrying to think that a simple positive COVID-19 antigen test could scupper your holiday plans just a day or two before going abroad. But in these uncertain times that could well be the case.
Fortunately, a Proof of Recovery certificate could be your golden ticket to making it across that border. In any case, those who are not fully vaccinated should try to get a Proof of Recovery Certificate if possible.
Here are some countries that accept the Proof of Recovery Certificate:
Entry to Spain:
- At least 11 days must have passed since the positive COVID-19 test
- You need to show documentary proof of the diagnostic test from which the Recovery Certificate is derived
Check Spain’s entry requirements before travel.
Entry to the United Arab Emirates:
- COVID-19 Recovery Certificate should have a QR code and be dated within 30 days of departure
Check the UAE’s entry requirements before travel.
Entry to The Netherlands:
- Proof of Recovery issued more than 11 days ago is valid
- You will also need to carry a Recovery Declaration document with you
Check The Netherlands’ entry requirements before travel.
Entry to Luxembourg:
- Accepted if you are not fully vaccinated
- You will not need to show Proof of Recovery if traveling by land
Check Luxembourg’s entry requirements before travel.
Entry to Monaco:
- Accepted if you are not fully vaccinated
- Positive COVID-19 test must be at least 11 days before arrival
- Testing from the NHS is not advised
Check Monaco’s entry requirements before travel.