We have put together some information in response to Covid-19 Travel FAQs regularly raised by our customers. Together with advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), we aim to guide you through the latest announcements and proposed re-opening of travel.
What does the Government framework for the safe return to international travel look like?
The Global Travel Taskforce has published a roadmap for the safe return to international travel. This is a traffic light system which will see countries categorised into Green, Amber or Red depending on the Covid risk of the destination.
With positive news coming out of the EU this weekend, confidence is growing. Rather than aiming for 17th May however, we believe that realistically, 1st July is a more likely start date for a mainland Europe re-start.
What is the latest FCDO advice?
The FCDO is currently advising against “all but essential” travel. As restrictions start to ease, it is important to check the advice for the country you are visiting. Please bear in mind that you will need to comply with coronavirus requirements in the country you’re travelling to. What might these include?
- Covid-19 lateral flow test before departure
- Confirmation of vaccinations
- Temperature arrival & departure
- Potential self-isolation
- Provision of personal details to local authorities
- Completion of a passenger locator form
Returning to the UK from your Holiday:
If you’re arriving from a Green country, you will need to take a pre-departure test in that country. On or before the second day of arrival in the UK, you will need to take a PCR test which costs IRO £60. No quarantine required. Test packages must be booked and paid for before travelling from a list of Government approved providers.
If you’re arriving from an Amber country, you will need to quarantine at home for 10 days. A pre-departure test is required followed by a PCR test on Days 2 & 8. There will be an option for “test to release” in which you can end self-isolation early if you test negative on Day 5. You will need to purchase an extra PCR test.
Please note that different rules apply for international travel if you are departing from Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales. For non-UK passport holders, do check the latest travel advice issued by the authorities in the country your passport was issued.
As you can imagine, guidance can change quickly. It is therefore worth talking to your family and/or employer about the opportunities you may have in order to meet any revised measures should the advice change when you are in resort.
What can I expect from the holiday experience?
Your next holiday may feel a little different to the trips you’ve made in the past. The good news is that the destinations and travel & accommodation suppliers are continually assessing their H&S measures. This ensures that the highest hygiene standards are maintained throughout your journey and your stay.
The wearing of face coverings will depend on local rules in force at the time of travel. It is possible that facemasks will be required on ski lifts, on public transport and in some restaurants and hotels when moving round. We do however expect this to ease in time for the 2021/22 ski season.
What happens if restrictions mean I can’t travel on my holiday?
In the unfortunate circumstance that you’re unable to travel due to restrictions, we will work closely with you to rearrange or refund your holiday plans. If you wish to cancel your trip before the suppliers state they are forced to cancel, you must be aware that you risk losing your deposit and are likely to incur cancellation fees. Unfortunately you are unlikely to be able to claim this on your insurance as it will be deemed as a “disinclination to travel.”
Where a property is closed due to local government advice, you should be entitled to a refund or a deferral from the provider. If however it is open for business but you can’t travel, unfortunately the supplier is not obligated to issue a refund. Please note though that all our partners have altered their booking conditions with Covid-19 and our UK customers in mind. We recommend speaking to us for advice on all the options available at the time of booking.
What should I do about travel insurance?
It is really important to take out travel insurance as soon as you have booked your trip.
If you are buying an annual policy, the start date needs to be the date you book the holiday in order to cover claims made before the trip begins. NB. If your annual policy is up for renewal, please read the T&Cs in case they have changed to exclude Coronavirus related claims.
If you’re taking out a single trip policy, when you provide the holiday’s start date you will be covered from the day you take out the insurance to the day you return home from holiday.
Contact your insurance provider for the latest information on the conditions of your policy, and in particular, any provisions made for Coronavirus-related claims in the lead up to and during your holiday. Whilst not all travel insurance will cover for Covid-19 claims, the policy should still cover for a range of other issues.
Please note that if the FCDO remove a country from its list of exceptions to the ban on all but essential travel, and you continue to travel as planned, your insurance may no longer be valid.
My passport is nearly six months away from its renewal deadline, should I renew it?
The FCDO has advised that its taking longer than usual to process applications. Many destinations require at least six months validity on your passport, so its worth submitting your renewal for an adult or child passport sooner rather than later.
As we all know, things are changing all the time so we will keep you updated with more Covid-19 Travel FAQs. It really does feel however that we truly are on our way of these travel restrictions and we will once again be able to dream of returning to the ski slopes next season.
Remember that availability is getting tight, especially on peak weeks. And with a notable increase in demand following the positive news this weekend, we recommend booking up as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Call one of our ski specialists today on 020 8877 8888 and we’ll get you on your way!