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LFD v PCR, Travel "Corridors" & Quarantine-Free Travel; Just What is The Latest?

Every week brings a raft of new information to digest and everything other than Queensland's vaccination figures changes.

This week I have heard that America doesn’t recognise the Oxford Astrazeneca Vaccine…it does recognise it, you can fly to Aus from the UK but not go from NSW to Queensland, PCRs will no longer be needed, vaccines will be needed, vaccines won't be needed – WHAT IS GOING ON?!


First up, a bit of anecdotal information. My OH and I went to Portugal and in order to travel we had PCRs at home, purchased in June when it had to be a PCR. Travelling on a Tuesday night so with a 72-hour window we test Sunday Morning and post from a Royal Mail Priority Postbox with Sunday delivery and are assured we’ll get our result Tuesday morning at the very latest. No result Monday but we go to sleep hoping to wake up to results. Nada. Zip. Not a thing. I check the tracking – still located just 8 miles from where we posted in Cornwall, with the testing lab about 350 miles away in Liverpool.

The look of a man that has been driving around the M5 almost defeated by PCR shithousery

The testing company, Biograd Diagnostics, decide after a lot of phone calls, being on hold and back and forth that they can do nothing for us. Holiday ruined, thanks, nice one, obrigado. A full refund and an apology. But no solution.

We need to book an LFD and we need to do it quickly, with a 30-minute turnaround time for a result we have hope. No slots at our departure location of Bristol Airport. What do we do? A brainwave leads to the idea of Exeter Airport. We make calls and we’re in. It’s Bristol Airport via Exeter Airport!

That quick-thinking from my better half and the ease of an LFD got us to Faro.

The stress was insane. If an LFD is accepted as a part of your travel plans – always choose that above a postal PCR.

The travel “corridors” of uncertainty

We’ve had a brief one with NZ and Aus, and now there is talk of travel corridors linking Australia to Singapore, Japan, Canada, USA and the UK. When? The plan would appear to be that when Australia is 80% double vaccinated there will be a “gradual reopening of inward and outward international travel with safe countries.” Qantas are taking bookings from the above countries from December onwards and there are projections that the 80% figure will be hit in December. Let’s hope it’s not blind hope. Victoria and NSW are actually set to hit 80% within weeks so we could potentially see segregated rules; with international travel in some states but not others. If there's one thing this pandemic and travel has ever been, it's not straight forward.

I am only speculating however I have absolutely no doubt Australia will require PCR tests & double vaccinated proof from all inward travellers.

As is currently planned – travel between states in Australia will involve a seven day “home” quarantine, perhaps something like this could be stretched to international arrivals too, with many wanting to visit and see loved ones for what would be the first time in almost two years.

The Atlantic Super Highway

We’ve talked corridors, now let’s talk doors. From November, people that are double vaccinated will be able to walk right into the USA, providing they complete contact-tracing forms and provide negative Covid-19 tests taken within 72 hours of their flight. All talk of USA not accepting of Oxford Astrazeneca vaccination appears to have been premature.

USA are also relaxing restrictions that were in place with Canada and Mexico.

And there we are. To summarise:

  • Always LFD above PCR if you can!

  • Australia to gradually open come December.

  • 80% is the magic (vaccination) number

  • US opening up to UK & EU

  • Aussie states vaccination programs could be a problem

Tune in next week, when everything will be different!

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