As the unprecedented pandemic continues to affect how & where we travel, the following Q&A will help you answer all your travel questions. Here are all the questions and answers you should know if you’re looking to book a holiday anytime soon.
Last week, the long-followed traffic light system crossed the finish line and turned the crown over to a new, much simpler system – red list & the rest of the world. This system consists of cheaper rules for vaccinated travellers coming from non-red list countries.
From the end of October, eligible fully vaccinated passengers and those with an approved vaccine from a select group of non-red countries will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test, reducing the cost of tests on arrival into England. The government wants to introduce this by the end of October, aiming to have it in place for when people return from half-term breaks.
For more information on the topic, click here.
Yes. It’s imperative to take out comprehensive travel insurance that covers all your specific needs as soon as you book a holiday. Many policies have adapted to recent times and include different types of cover for Coronavirus, such as a cover for cancellation if you’re unable to travel or medical expenses while on holiday. Go over everything in your policy meticulously to ensure that it has what you require. If booked with a travel agency, you may ask one of the travel agents to advise you on this matter.
In the case of a positive result from your pre-departure test, you’ll need to follow the advice of local authorities and advise your travel operator, who will offer support and advice. You’ll also need to contact your travel insurance provider to see what your policy entitles you to with regards to covering any additional costs, such as extending your stay to cover the quarantine period, accommodation, further testing, rearranging your return journey, and any medical treatment that might be required.
Unfortunately, if your insurance does not cover these costs, you will be required to cover them yourself.
Please note that while travel companies can arrange to extend your stay and offer advice, they are not liable for any of the additional expenses incurred. The insurance company should cover these costs if it is included in your policy or by yourself.
Some destinations require visitors to show proof that they have received the full course of an approved vaccine to be allowed to enter. You can find out if this applies to the country you plan to visit by visiting this advice page at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
It’s also possible to show proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 through the NHS Covid Pass if you’re in England or Wales, by getting a record of your Covid-19 vaccination status if you’re in Scotland or through the NI Covid certification service if you’re in Northern Ireland.
The above-mentioned records are available in paper and digital formats. However, you should keep in mind that it may take up to 10 working days to send the paper certification to you.
If you’re a resident in England and registered with a GP, you can also download the NHS Covid Pass through the free NHS App, but do check the foreign office advice pages to see if your destination will accept the app before choosing the option.
You will also not be able to use the NHS appointment card from your vaccination centre to demonstrate your vaccination status.
If you’re not fully vaccinated, check if your destination will accept a negative COVID-19 test result instead. You might also be able to complete your vaccinations, perhaps by visiting a walk-in centre, just make sure that the date of your second dose meets your destination’s entry requirements, and you’ll be able to show proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated in time for your trip.
On some occasions, certain destinations will also accept natural immunity against Covid-19 for entry, and you can show proof of having recently recovered from the virus through the NHS Covid Pass.
If these options aren’t available, and you’re unable to enter the destination, you may speak to your travel provider to see if they can offer any help or flexibility to change your holiday destination or the dates of your booking. If you have booked a package holiday, you check if you can transfer your holiday to another person depending on the company you book your holiday with.
You should also check with your travel insurance as to whether you have any cover for this.
If you’re returning to the UK from an amber list country and have been fully vaccinated, you will no longer need to self-isolate on your return or take an additional test on day eight in the UK. Please note that ‘fully vaccinated’ in this case means it’s been at least 14 days since you’ve had either two doses of an approved vaccine (such as Pfizer or AstraZeneca) or one dose of an approved single-dose vaccine (such as Janssen) and you need to have received your full course in the UK, Europe or the US.
Definitely! Booking a package holiday is one of the smartest moves when it comes to post-covid travel. It provides the greatest level of protection for travel plans, including the right to alternative options, ranging from destination & date changes to open vouchers when one’s holiday is significantly affected by a change in the situation at your destination. The good news is that any kind of trip can be a package holiday – from city break and beach holidays to a ski trip or even a cruise, so there’s plenty of choices set out on the table just for you.
The specifics will have to be clarified by your travel advisor when you book the holiday, as there are different testing requirements for different destinations. It’s important to note that any tests you need for travel will have to meet the UK Government’s testing requirements and come from a private testing provider, so you can’t use any of the tests that are being offered free of charge by the NHS.
In the set of requirements laid out by each destination, might or might not be the need to present a negative Covid-19 test. You’ll find information about the testing requirements for the country you are visiting at the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice pages: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
The testing requirements for your return to the UK will vary depending on whether your country is on the green, amber or red list and whether or not you’ve been fully vaccinated.
All travellers returning from green list countries will need to take two COVID-19 tests; one pre-departure test (antigen test, LAMP test or PCR test) before they return to the UK and then an additional PCR test on or before day two of their return. These testing requirements also apply to fully vaccinated travellers returning from amber list countries and those aged under 18.
Travellers returning from the amber list countries who haven’t been double jabbed will need to take three Covid-19 tests
- Pre-departure test (antigen test, LAMP test, or PCR test) before they return to the UK
- An additional PCR test on or before day two of their return
- Another PCR test on day eight of their return.
You will also need to take these three tests if you are returning from or have transited through a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in the UK, as well as pre-booking a mandatory 11-night quarantine hotel package.
Pre-departure tests can either be arranged via a private testing provider in the UK or by getting a test in a destination that meets the UK Government’s testing requirements.
Some travel companies offer their own testing packages as well. So, it’s a good idea to speak to your travel provider about this topic. For instance, Travel Center provides discounted PCR tests with Randox Health, UK’s largest PCR provider, to ensure you make a safe & steady return to travel.
In this scenario, there may be many possible outcomes. For starters, your holiday company might be able to change the date of your holiday, but if not and you can’t travel, cancellation charges will apply. These might be covered by your insurance policy.
You can also check if you can transfer your package holiday to another person with your travel agency, this depends on the company’s supplier policy.
No, as the reason for the holiday not continuing is outside the control of your tour operator.
Many travel companies are doing everything in their power to offer more flexible booking. For instance, if you wish to postpone a holiday booked with Travel Center, our agents will give you the option to change your travel date.
However, in certain circumstances, this may not be possible. Travel companies are not legally required to offer a postponement if the FCDO is not advising against all but essential travel to your destination.
Each company has its own set of rules you will need to adhere to when booking your holiday. In this case, the travel company will contact you to iron out any wrinkles of this sort.
However, if we were to approach this question in the general sense – no, you don’t have to pay the remaining balance of your holiday if you don’t want to go. However, if you decide not to pay the final balance of your holiday before it has been officially cancelled by the company, then you will need to pay the cancellation charges attributed to your booking. This could mean loss of deposit or any monies paid thus far.
If you decide to visit a destination that the FCDO advises against, you must be prepared for some unexpected risks. For instance, you may not be able to get home if travel restrictions kick into gear. The best possible course of action would be to check with your insurance company as to whether your travel insurance will still be valid, as travelling against FCDO advice is likely to mean it will be invalidated. If you are still considering travel, you need to be realistic about the level of disruption you are willing and able to endure. Make sure to do a thorough run of the entry requirements and travel rules currently in place before you book your trip.
There you go! Those are the top trending travel questions you need to know if you’re considering a holiday or booking a trip. We hope we covered what you were looking for, and if we didn’t, feel free to leave them below in the comment section – we won’t take long to give you an answer.
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