The Travel Column with Katie Butler, Total Travel

Back in the shop after a lovely, sunny and relaxing week on the Greek Island of Kos.

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 2:30 pm
KOS: Greece is an amber list destination. Photo: Getty Images

I have to say it was well worth the extra paperwork and tests to get away on a long awaited holiday; here is a run-down on what we needed to do and our first-hand experience.

What were the requirements to travel out to Greece?

As my husband and I are both fully vaccinated we were simply required to show proof of vaccine and complete a Greek passenger locater form. However, our daughter, who is not vaccinated, was required to provide a negative Covid-19 test prior to departure, which we obtained from a local pharmacy. Check-in at Manchester Airport was quicker than expected, we had everything printed out as hard copies which made the process much quicker, and we were asked to show our Greek passenger locater form, proof of double vaccine and proof of our daughter’s negative test. We then handed over our baggage and were on our way through to security at the brand new Terminal 2 at Manchester.

On arrival IN GREECE: We were asked to present our passenger locater form and proof of vaccine or negative test result. Then it was simply through to claim our baggage and onto our transfer coach. Masks are required to be worn in the airports and on public transport.

AT THE HOTEL AND IN RESORT: We checked into our accommodation and masks were expected to be worn when indoors, when going to the shop and supermarket and walking into a bar. Walking around the resort, on the beach or in the pool this was not required. Staff in restaurants and bars were all wearing masks and we felt safe.

COMING HOME: Greece is an amber destination. However, because the adults in our party were double-vaccinated we were able to follow the green requirements for coming back to the UK. Two days prior to coming home we were required to take a certified lateral flow test and complete a passenger locater form. Adults are required to do a separate locater form but I was able to add our daughter to mine, which made it a bit quicker. We were also required to pre-book PCR tests to take on day two of arriving home, which we booked before we left the UK, as the booking reference is required on the passenger locater form.

At Kos Airport we were required to show our UK locater form, proof of vaccine again and finally proof of our test taken in resort.

ON ARRIVAL IN THE UK: It took us approximately 35 minutes to get through border control at Manchester (which would have been less had our daughter not needed a toilet stop, allowing the rest of the plane to get in the queue before us). We handed over our passports but nothing else was required as the details from the passenger locater form are stored electronically on your passport. We still had the other documents to hand just in case.

It sounds more complicated than it actually was but once you get your head round the paperwork it is pretty straightforward.

In a nutshell: to travel out - complete a form and provide vaccine proof/negative test; to travel back - complete a form, proof of tests and vaccine.

■ If you have a specific travel question you would like Katie to answer in her column, please email: [email protected]