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Travelling to Europe in the wake of Omicron

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

An overseas trip vacation in a world of mutated viruses takes so much planning yet there are so many uncertainties right up to the last moment!

First and foremost Covid-19 insurance cover plan is pertinent for peace of mind. It was almost unheard of until a friend shared AXA pandemic cover with an extra charge provided you are hospitalized in the country of visit! (which in my opinion is remote unless you spend more than 2 weeks there) However, it bears the cost of the complications involved should you be diagnosed positive in a foreign country! #travellingduringomicron

Mask is required for the whole duration of your flight!

Portals and groups with first-hand information.

if you are travelling from Malaysia this portal is absolutely necessary to keep in touch with the travel updates

if you are planning to go to Europe, every country is practising some form of border control requirements! Please check before purchasing your ticket!

if you are heading to France, they have recently imposed some strict measures to cope with the exponential increase in Omicron cases.

Governments react at lightning speed these days and are very fast at closing borders with no prior notice! It is important you keep in touch with the embassy of the countries you will be heading to!

Apply for Home Quarantine

If you are planning on a holiday, you would definitely want to return to the comfort of your home rather than spending 7 or 10 days stuck in a hotel room! You can apply for home quarantine 4-10 days before your departure. Each applicant will have a separate approval letter!

Mask-up be it land, air or ship!

PCR test

Now, PCR test is like hitting the lottery! As we all know the transmissibility of Omicron is about 4 times higher than Delta. The chances of one contracting the virus are high!

Especially when you have let your guard down wining and dining with mask off!

Every country and place has a place and method to book/arrange for a PCR test. From my experience, please have your passport and credit card at hand!

My queue for a PCR- no social distancing what so ever!
The anguish starts as you wait 24 hours for your result. With heart racing, blood pumping, it feels worse than collecting my child's IGCSE results!

It is worth noting that the PCR test validity is different and depends on which country you fly to! (48 or 72 hours before departure)

If the results are positive, you will be a refugee, not being able to return to your country! Even when you receive a Covid-19 recovered letter from the health department of the respective country, you will NOT be free to travel. (depending on countries, but not to Malaysia)

The airlines are very strict on a NEGATIVE PCR test! Even when recovered from Covid-19, the virus will linger up to 12-18 days. (unique to individuals, some say as long as 90 days)

* on 13/1/2022 there were some updates made on infected travellers (11 to 60 days prior to departure) into Malaysia, need not be quarantined.This is provided PCR test proven negative or have a letter from a doctor. (click here for information)

In the meantime, while we wait for our PCR results, I shall plan another itinerary for another 2 weeks or maybe more! And this itinerary would be mostly in 'ISOLATION'! With so many uncertainties, it is best to get a grip with some wine! The 24 hours will feel like 24 days!


After almost 28 hours of anxious waiting, we got our results, at all different timings!

The rule of travelling in pandemic times is to reach the airport at least 3 hours before your departure, as the queue is exceptionally long.

Just when I thought I had everything prepared, airline staff can be notorious for asking some 'made-up' forms like Health travel pass, or travel letters! If you are returning to MALAYSIA, state your ground and make sure you have all these in place:

  1. NEGATIVE PCR test (48 or 72 hours before departure time depending on the country)

  2. APPROVAL LETTER for HOME Quarantine


  4. sometimes they may want to see your vaccination cert

Inevitable queue at borders


  • the moment you reach the airport, scan your MY SEJATHERA! Your status will change to HOME SURVEILLANCE!

  • take the train and head to the immigration, take the HOME QUARANTINE LANE. Show your newly upgraded MY SEJAHTERA PROFILE!

  • queue in the HOME QUARANTINE LINE and wait for the officer to key in all your information and present you with your pink band (it is a digital band if you come from France, UK, Demark and a few other African countries) Prepare your passports as they will check your last stamp of departure!

  • PCR test (they are free for Malaysians)



the process was really swift, took about 45 minutes from touch-down. Although many steps could have been automated, I believe the process will be improved in the long run!

45 minutes from touch down, PCR test, immigration, bag collection

* you could arrange for someone to pick you up or you are actually free to travel on public transport to your quarantine address!

Is it worth it

Thinking it over, a vacation is worth it! But not without a Plan B in place! An insurance package is necessary as the amount of money involved can escalate! It is also important to check with your airlines on the rules and regulations as it changes up to the very last minute!

Will you risk it for this!

At the moment of writing, we are in isolation waiting for our PCR test results.

On day 4 of our touchdown, we received our airport PCR test results. It was updated in our MY SEJAHTERA profile. On day 5, we did another PCR test at the district Health clinic (which is FREE) or you can opt to pay and do it at the local lab. Note that most PCR appointments are made online, so book your appointment a few days in advance to avoid disappointment! (click here for local district appointments)

If NO Omicron is detected, by the 8th day we will have our bands cut. And hopefully FREEDOM!

If you are wondering if I will do it again, I will say YES!

I hope this may help you decide on your next holiday!



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