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Understand the difference between standard Fit-to-Fly Certificates and COVID-19 Fit-for-Travel Certificates

AllClear Team
Last updated 24 March 2021
What You Need To Know About Fit To Fly Certificates: Mature man pushing daughter on trolley through airport

COVID-19 Travel Regulations

If you’re planning a holiday this year, it’s important to keep up-to-date with the latest travel advice from The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). It’s also important to know when you will require a Standard Fit-to-Fly Certificate and when will require a COVID-19 Fit-for-Travel Certificate. This guide will help you understand the difference between the two. It will also provide you with resources to help answer any COVID-19 travel related questions you may have.

Travel regulations continue to change to adapt to the constantly evolving COVID-19 pandemic. So, here are some useful guides to help you travel with confidence:

What are COVID-19 Fit-for-Travel certificates and when are they necessary?

Several airlines require passengers to produce evidence of a recent negative COVID-19 test before flying. COVID-19 Fit-for-Travel Certificates are proof that you have tested negative for Covid-19. It is not related to your risk of flying due to your pre-existing medical conditions. You can get a free NHS test for coronavirus at a test site near you if you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus. However, COVID-19 tests are not available on the NHS for the purpose of international travel. In this instance private tests must be carried out.

What are standard Fit-to-Fly certificates and when are they necessary?

Standard Fit-to-Fly certificates are proof that a GP has deemed it safe for you to fly. It means a GP assessed your pre-existing medical conditions believes your pre-existing medical conditions will not be adversely affected by flying.

Airlines may require a standard Fit-to-Fly Certificate if you are:

  • recently discharged from a hospital
  • recovering from an operation
  • more than 28 weeks pregnant
  • travelling for medical reasons

Certificates may be necessary for travellers with a wide range of conditions – from broken bones to infectious diseases. So, you may want to consult the airline as far in advance as possible.
Pregnant women will need a certificate to travel with most airlines after the 28th week of pregnancy. Either your GP or midwife will need to confirm that:

  • you are healthy
  • your pregnancy is normal
  • the expected date of delivery

Some airlines may also require you and/or your GP to complete a more in-depth form about your condition. British Airways are one of those airlines, and often seek clarification on whether you travel with medical devices or need additional oxygen. So be sure to start this process far in advance of departure for peace of mind.

The cost of a COVID-19 Fit-for-Travel Certificate

The cost of COVID-19 Fit-for-Travel Certificates vary. Private GP services such as DocTap charges £129 per person for Covid-19 PCR test and fitness to fly assessment from a doctor.

The cost of a Standard Fit-to-Fly Certificate

The cost of a Fit-to-Fly Certificate is determined by your GP surgery. The price can differ significantly depending on your region.

These fees may be available on your surgery’s website but typically range from around £20-40.

The British Medical Association (BMA) publishes a list of suggested fees which doctors can use to price their services.

How long is your COVID-19 Fit-for-Travel Certificate valid for?

Your COVID-19 Fit-for-Travel Certificate is only valid for a short time, your airline and destination will have their own requirements. It’s therefore important to check the requirements and take your test within the required time frame. For more information, click here.

How long is your Standard Fit-to-Fly Certificate valid for?

Your certificate must indicate that you are Fit-to-Fly at the time of your trip. So a letter from six months ago may not be suitable.

If you suffer from a long-term complaint then this certificate will probably need to be updated each time you travel. As your condition may have changed, the airline could refuse to allow you to board.

Hopefully, we’ve cleared up any questions that you might have!

Whether you have an existing policy or are looking to buy new travel insurance with enhanced cover for Coronavirus, we can help.

How to travel with confidence during the pandemic

Find the answers to the most common questions that AllClear policyholders have asked about their travel insurance cover.

Article sources:

The information in this blog post is not intended to replace professional medical advice. It is a general overview of a broad medical care topic. Blog posts are not tailored to one person’s specific medical requirements, diagnosis or treatment. If you do notice symptoms or you require medical advice, you should always consult your doctor or healthcare provider to obtain professional medical help. Read through your disclaimer for more information.

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