Today on Learn English Through Listening with Adept English we’re talking about travelling to and from the UK in 2021. Expect to hear about QR codes, visas, ID checks and the new language used to describe these processes. The podcast is perfect for learners of all levels but especially those at pre-intermediate level of English.
Plenty of people from many countries visit the UK every year. Let’s see how easy it is to get from point A to B in 2021 as you listen and learn English! You’ll be glad you were paying attention. Our English podcast helps over half a million English language learners who listen to us every month. You’ll learn vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation and key listening skills you need to understand English better.
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Restriction Prior Vaccinated Passenger Locate Form Visa
Hi there and welcome to this podcast from Adept English. Let’s talk today about ‘travel during the pandemic’ – and what you have to do, if you want to visit the UK. I’ll cover useful phrases and vocabulary for this and for any travel in fact, that you might want to do to other countries too.
So in this podcast, you’ll learn the English words that you need if you’re travelling and particularly for travelling to the UK. So very useful – and very ‘current’, I think!
As I mentioned in a previous podcast, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to travel to France recently – and I’m now preparing for a trip to the Netherlands in a couple of week’s time. I love foreign travel – to new places that I’ve not been to before and to places that are familiar, like the French village where my sister lives.
She’s been there a long time, so it’s pretty familiar there! But of course, the pandemic has made travel difficult, even impossible at times and we’ve all had to stay at home. I’m now conscious of what a luxury, what a real privilege, it feels to be able to travel again.
There are of course travel restrictions – and entry, coming into the UK is no exception. A ‘restriction’, RESTRICTION – it means a rule that ‘restricts’ you, it puts limitations on you – or it requires you to do certain things. But with restrictions, it is possible to travel now. So what I thought I would talk about in today’s podcast is what’s needed currently for entry into the UK. And this will give you some useful vocabulary for travelling in general.
It’s hard to know how long the current travel restrictions will be in place – but I don’t think they’ll be lifted until next year. We have to get through the winter and what’s called ‘flu season’ first I think!
So currently, it’s much easier to travel, if you are what is called ‘fully vaccinated’ – that’s VACCINATED. ‘To vaccinate’ means ‘to give the vaccination’, ‘to give the injection’. And therefore ‘fully vaccinated’ means that you’ve had two doses, two lots of a recognised vaccine – so that would be Astra Zeneca, or Pfizer or Moderna, something like that. And you must be able to show evidence, you must be able to show proof of this. In Europe, it’s shown by a 2D barcode – a code that you can have on your phone which can be read or scanned by a machine to show it’s genuine, it’s valid.
In the UK, you get this from your doctor, or by downloading an NHS app online or by letter. So you have the barcode with you at the airport and when you’re travelling, it might be needed to get into restaurants or bars. In the UK, for certain age groups, a third vaccination is being offered – but this seems to be available to people for their own health and safety, rather than it being made a condition of travel.
For travel, ‘fully vaccinated’ still means two vaccination doses, for most vaccines anyway. And even after Brexit, that 2D barcode – the code that you get to show that you’re ‘double-vaccinated’, another way of saying it – it seems to be recognised across mainland Europe.
So if you’re travelling to a foreign country, you have to check the restrictions, the rules for entry into that country you’re travelling to – and then the rules for re-entry, for coming back into your own country. Each country seems to have different rules and its own documentation – it’s own required documents or paperwork.
If you want to enter France it’s the ‘Sworn Statement’ or your ‘Déclaration Sur L’honneur’. If you’re travelling to the Netherlands, it’s the ‘Health Screening Form’ or the ‘Gezondheitsverklaring reizigers’. That’s me trying Dutch! I don’t know Dutch, but I had a go. For the UK, we have our ‘Passenger Locator Form’. So everyone has their own paperwork, it seems.
A photograph of new vaccination passport. Today’s English listening podcast is a review of the most important vocabulary you need for your upcoming trip to the UK.
So when we come back to the UK, we have to follow the same rules that everyone else wanting to enter the UK must follow. Currently, if you’re fully vaccinated – so two doses of a vaccine – to enter the UK, you have to complete this ‘Passenger Locator Form’. This means that you fill in your travel details, your flight number and the address where you’re going to be staying for the next 10 days.
The word ‘passenger’, PASSENGER just means ‘a person travelling’. So if you’re taking a flight on an aeroplane, you’re a ‘passenger’ on that plane. And the word ‘locator’ just means that the form is something through which you can ‘locate’ someone.
‘To locate’, LOCATE is a verb – from the more common word ‘location’ – and if you ‘locate’ someone or something, it means that you find them, you work out where it is. I might ‘locate’ my shoes under the bed, if I’ve lost them! (Though I’d be more likely to use the word ‘find’ there). And a ‘form’, FORM is just a document – whether it’s online or paper – where you enter your information. So the Passenger Locator Form just means that they can ‘get hold of you’, if you’ve sat next to someone who has the virus, on the plane.
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Back to our topic of travel. The other main requirement if you’re coming into the UK – you have to have what is known as a Day 2 test. So the day upon which you fly into the UK is Day 0 and the test must be taken before the end of Day 2. The restrictions were greater until October this year.
Prior to October, you had to do a Day 2 and a Day 8 test – and they both had to be the more sensitive PCR test. But the rules were relaxed this autumn – and now it’s only a Day 2 test which is needed. And it can be a Lateral Flow or antigen test. These tests cost less and there are many services in the UK, which allow the tests to be sent through the post.
You can then do the test yourself and take a photograph of the results to upload them. That’s much easier! But you have to book your Day 2 test, before you fly to the UK, before you travel because your Passenger Locator Form needs to have the number, the booking reference from the test, the Day 2 test, before you can complete the form. Needing this booking reference or booking number for your test to complete the Passenger Locator Form seems how you are made to follow the rules.
When we did it recently coming back from France, my Day 2 test arrived on time and I was able to do it and send the results back on Day 2. But my son’s and my daughter’s tests both arrived late – so theirs ended up being more like ‘Day 4 tests’! But this didn’t seem to be bother anyone or be checked by anyone. If you’re a visitor in the UK though, you might want to book early and be more certain that this test is Day 2 is completed for peace of mind.
The restrictions for entry to the UK were greater until recently. Countries seen as very high risk were ‘red’, high risk were ‘amber’ or orange and low risk were ‘green’. So the countries of the world were listed according to whether they were red, amber or green – like traffic lights and there were more or fewer restrictions depending upon where you were travelling from.
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But on 1st November this year, the UK government relaxed that system – and passengers from all countries in the world now are treated in the same way. They have the same rules. If you’re not double vaccinated, entry into the UK is slightly more difficult, unless you’re under 18 years old, where you just have to do the Day 2 test. But if you’re over 18 and not fully vaccinated, it’s likely you’ll be required to do a Day 2 and a 8 PCR test in order to come to the UK. And then of course, when you return home, you have to follow whatever is required for re-entry to your own country.
So travelling is a bit more complicated. A bit of hassle! A bit of a palaver! There’s another word. But I would rather have the possibility of travel, even if it is more work. And let’s hope that in 2022, we can go back to how it was before, how it was before the pandemic, where you just needed a passport and for certain countries perhaps a visa, that’s VISA in order to visit. At least now it feels like we’re getting closer to that.
So there we are – some lovely, useful vocabulary for travelling in 2021.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.