Travelling overseas no longer appears to present a significantly greater risk of contracting Covid-19, new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed.
The ONS’s most recent Covid infection survey data showed there to be only a negligible difference in rates of positive cases among those who had travelled abroad in the past 30 days compared with those who had not travelled.
This means the rate of infection among those who have travelled overseas in the past 30 days is broadly similar to that of those who remained in the UK.
Previously, the ONS found there to be a higher rates of Covid infection in those who had travelled abroad.
In the ONS’s most recent fortnightly data set (25 September to 8 October), 0.49% of those surveyed who had not travelled abroad in the past 30 days tested positive for Covid.
Among those who had travelled abroad in the past 30 days, the figure was 0.58%.
"In the most recent fortnight, we no longer see a difference in positivity depending on travel abroad," said the ONS.
Participants who reported travelling abroad travelled to Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the Canary Islands and Turkey.
By way of comparison, the rate of those testing positive having not travelled abroad in the past 30 days in the previous fortnight’s data (11 September to 24 September) was 0.20%.
It was 0.39% among those who had travelled abroad.
The ONS data goes back to 31 July and depicts, up until the latest survey, a higher rate of positive Covid cases among those who have travelled abroad in the past 30 days.
The survey primarily monitors infections reported in the community (private households) and exclude infections reported in hospitals, care homes and other institutional settings.