For updates on the situation in Ukraine and its impact on travel, see our dedicated Ukraine page

Need a holiday? Of course you do. After the last two years we all do. Now travel is pretty much back to normal you shouldn't let a misapprehension stop you getting your week in the sun.

But even with everything opening back up, our most recent survey found that 90% of UK holidaymakers still thought that at least some of the old Covid travel restrictions were still in place. Some people thought they still needed a pre-departure test, some that the old red list was still in place, some that they needed to isolate when they got home. Since all of those rules are long gone, to help you navigate the increasingly normal new normal when flying overseas, here are some of the biggest travel myths we still hear, and the reality.

Myth 1: You need tests, paperwork and quarantine to fly back to the UK

Reality: For most of the last two years it certainly was more complicated to fly back to the UK. Much of the time it was straight-up illegal to fly anywhere. Until February 11th you still needed a test when you came back, and until March 18th you needed a Passenger Locator Form. Now? You don't need anything different at all. All the UK's travel restrictions are gone.

How travel got it's wings back - infographic explaining the last 2 years of travel restrictions

Myth 2: My holiday destination has complicated rules for getting in

Reality: For our top 20 holiday destinations, only three (USA, Netherlands and Poland) still require vaccinated UK visitors to take a test. Two (Cyprus and Malta) demand tests from anyone over 12 without the jab. Two (Mexico and Ireland) have no restrictions of any sort at all. The others just want you to prove you've had your jabs. The list of requirements for the top ten destinations is below.

Make sure you've got your jabs (and the paperwork to prove it) and by our count there are only 27 countries in the world still actually closed, with more opening up every day.

"...for our top 20 holiday destinations, only three (USA, Netherlands and Poland) still require vaccinated UK visitors to take a test"

Rules for the top ten holiday destinations


  • Unvaccinated adults not admitted
  • Children aged 12-17 need a PCR test


  • Unvaccinated adults quarantine for 5 days


  • Unvaccinated 12+ require negative test


  • Unvaccinated adults not admitted
  • Negative test for all visitors 2+


  • Unvaccinated 5+ require negative test


  • Unvaccinated 12+ only admitted for essential reasons


  • Unvaccinated 12+ require negative test


  • Unvaccinated adults not admitted


  • Unvaccinated 12+ quarantine for 7 days


  • No restrictions

Myth 3: Lots of countries are still closed

Reality: Once New Zealand reopens to UK visitors in May, 26 countries will still be closed to UK visitors due to Covid restrictions, and the only one that's a major holiday destination is Japan. That leaves approximately 170 countries open for a visit, which between them make up 98% of pre-pandemic holidays. You can fly almost anywhere for a holiday now.

"...approximately 170 countries (are) open for a visit, which between them make up 98% of pre-pandemic holidays"

The 27 countries that are still closed to British tourists

  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • China
  • Eritrea
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Laos
  • Madagascar
  • Malaysia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • Suriname
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan

Our top picks for the easiest holidays of all

If you just want to know where's the absolutely easiest place to go for a holiday now, we've got three recommendations.

Mexico never implemented any travel restrictions apart from closing its US land border, and you can still fly in and out of Mexico without any tests or paperwork at all. That's attracted a relaxed crowd to the beaches around Cancun, so if you want a super-chill break, try Cancun.

Ireland is in the Common Travel Area, a free movement agreement with the UK that predates Brexit (or even the EU). They've dropped all their restrictions too, so if you want a short city break fly to Dublin, or for something more peaceful try the south-west coast around Killarney.

Iceland has also dropped all Covid restrictions. You don't need to prove you're vaccinated, let alone take a test – fly in, fly out and while you're there don't miss the whales, waterfalls, geysers, Northern Lights or the Blue Lagoon!

Myth 4: It's a hassle getting through the airport

Reality: Heathrow recently dropped its mask requirement, and you don't even need to mask up on some planes any more unless the laws of the destination country demand it. You might have a bit longer to queue if you're coming back from Europe through the "other countries" rather than "EU" lane, and you should leave a bit more time if you're going somewhere that wants to see your vaccine paperwork. But apart from that, flying is pretty much as it was - drive to the airport, park overnight, check into your airport hotel next to the terminal and then roll out of bed and onto your plane in the morning for a proper, hassle-free start to your holiday.

The easiest destinations on Earth

It's easy to fly almost everywhere, but here are six places with no travel restrictions at all

Myth 5: Russia's invasion of Ukraine makes it dangerous to travel now

Reality: The war in Ukraine is primarily a humanitarian tragedy, and it is not to diminish its seriousness that we comment here on its impact on British holiday plans. You can read more about the impact of the war on travel on our dedicated Ukraine page.

The FCDO advises against travelling to Ukraine itself, and against travelling to Russia or Belarus, or crossing the land border from any of the countries that border Ukraine. Russian, Ukranian and Moldovan airspace are closed. The neighbouring countries - Poland, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Romania - do not have an FCDO warning against them, so travel continues there as normal. Further afield, the war should not affect most travel plans.

Myth 6: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have different travel rules

Reality: Throughout much of the past two years this has been true, but on Friday 18th March all four nations have agreed to drop their remaining travel restrictions, so no matter where you're flying from it's as easy as it ever was.