The time has come.
The skies have started to open, travel is beginning its journey of resumption and I am starting to have more opportunity to return to what I enjoy doing more than anything else on this planet – putting together travel plans for my lovely clients and myself.
I’ve always provided advice on entry requirements and health restrictions as part of my standard service, but in line with everything else that the virus has served up, it’s of course no longer as straightforward as ‘no jabs required, no visa required, off you go’.
And things continue to evolve weekly.
For each destination, I will be checking several key factors to ensure that you are fully aware of the world’s new expectations. If you want to do some research before getting in touch to discuss potential options, here is some guidance:
A holiday is still a holiday, but I won't sugar-coat this; it may not be the same or 'normal' travel experience that you have enjoyed until now and you will probably need to make a few compromises along the way.
Your chosen destination may be on the exemption list, but can you get in? For example, Sri Lanka requires a visa which is not currently being offered to UK passengers. It may take a while for the visa processes to catch up with the developing situation. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office website is the best source for reliable and update to date information.
New entry requirements
These have changed for most countries. You may now need to complete an online form before travelling and you may also be required to undergo temperature checks or tests for coronavirus as part of health screening when you arrive at your destination. Again, you’ll find current information along with the country’s regulations regarding face masks, distancing and quarantine on the FCO website.
Temperature checks at the airport or your hotel at destination
Each airport and hotel will have its own policy of action for this and I can guide you accordingly. A high temperature will either result in further tests to ascertain if Covid-19 is present or a mandatory period of quarantine depending on the exact situation.
What happens if you test positive for Covid-19?
If, following further assessment you test positive, you will no doubt be asked to quarantine according to the country’s regulations. This could be of a longer duration than your planned holiday and the current standard seems to be 14 days. Your insurance provider will need to cover any costs for travel disruption in this case. The tour operator will not be liable to refund your holiday and so a robust policy is highly recommended. I’m aware of some insurance providers offering this and I’m sure that more will follow.
What if you don’t want to travel, even though you can?
This is known by insurance companies as disinclination to travel and will not be covered by your policy or by ABTA and ATOL. The best solution would be to try and move your booking to a new date when you feel more confident to travel. If you want to cancel your booking, do be aware that standard cancellation terms and conditions will apply.
Will you be required to wear a mask at the airport? Will you be required to wear a mask on the flight?
Each airport and airline will have its own policy, but you should assume that masks/ face coverings will be required.
Will you need to wear a mask at the hotel?
Each hotel will have its own policy. I will be checking the policy of each hotel that I have booked or will be booking.
The past three months have been an almost vertical learning curve for many of us in the travel industry.
My conscientious work ethic has been my saving grace and has enabled me to look after each and every one of my clients, without exception, throughout the crisis.
By booking with an experienced and reputable agent such as myself and taking advantage of ATOL protection and ABTA bonding you are providing yourself with the best protection available.
Please call me to discuss any concerns or talk through options currently available.