Travelling with children under 18 

Whilst the pandemic continues to have an effect on international travel, many people are now travelling or planning on taking overseas trips, this includes families, and school and youth groups. 

Covid and travel requirements

If you are travelling with children and young people under the age of 18, or your child is going on an overseas trip as part of a group, make sure you do your research so you have all the information you need, and are clear on requirements. Remember your ABTA travel provider will be able to help you.

Before any overseas trip, you will need to:

What you need to check

The vaccination programmes in the UK and abroad have really helped to get people travelling again and many countries require adults to show they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as part of their entry requirements. For children, the requirement to show proof of vaccination for entry often depends on the country’s own vaccination policy for younger age groups. 

So, when reading through the FCDO travel advice, you will need to check:

  • Are children allowed to enter the country when travelling with a fully vaccinated adult or can they only enter the country with a fully vaccinated parent?
  • Are children required to take PCR or lateral flow tests before travel or are they exempt from pre-departure tests?
  • Are children required to take PCR or lateral flow tests on arrival in the destination or are they exempt from tests?
  • What COVID tests do you need to book – based on the ages of children within your party?
  • If you are a teacher or group leader, do you and other group leaders need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated?
  • Do children over the age of 12 need to provide proof of being part or fully vaccinated?
  • Will proof of recovery from COVID be accepted for entry?

How you show proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated for travel (e.g. via an app, digital pass or letter) will depend on where you live in the UK. As the UK’s vaccination programme progresses into younger age groups, these services are being updated so that children can also prove their vaccination status. For example, in England, children aged 5 and over can use the digital NHS COVID Pass to show the vaccinations they’ve received and if they have recently recovered from COVID-19. To find out more, please visit the Government websites for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, read “How do I show proof that I’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel abroad?” on our webpage: COVID-19: your holiday questions answered or read TravelHealthPro’s advice on how to demonstrate your COVID-19 status for travel

Once you have booked your travel arrangements, keep up to date and read all the literature provided to you by your travel provider. Revisit the FCDO travel advice page before you travel as the requirements may have changed.

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Teachers and group leaders

If you are planning a school or youth group trip, you can find out more information from School Travel Forum. The School Travel Forum has specific information for teachers and group leaders, as well as important information for parents.