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

  • 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 part or fully vaccinated status?

The vaccination programme in the UK has really helped to get people travelling again and most countries have clear entry requirements for vaccinated and non-vaccinated adults, which you’ll find in the FCDO travel advice. For children, entry requirements are often based on the country’s own vaccination policy and whether children are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult or parent. 

When travelling overseas, therefore, it is important to know how to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status, which varies across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. As the UK’s vaccination programme progresses, showing proof of vaccination for travel is becoming increasingly available for children. To find out more, please 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.

Remember to check the current rules for returning to the UK for children – based on the ages of the children within your party. When returning to the UK, each nation has its own advice – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

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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 ABTA Member School Travel Forum. The School Travel Forum has specific information for teachers and group leaders, as well as important information for parents.