Travel in the Time of COVID-19

Travel in the Time of COVID-19

Feeling a little lost when it comes to understanding all the rules, regulations and advice regarding overseas travel in these strange times? We completely relate! Which is why we’ve put together this handy guide to travel in the time of COVID-19.

Cutting through all the uncertainty, confusion and white noise, you’ll find everything you need to know about your options when it comes to taking a trip with Trending Travel over the coming months, plus useful links to the most reliable guidance from the appropriate authorities.

Check back regularly for important updates and if you want to chat through your options in further detail then don’t hesitate to get in touch.

This page was last updated on 19 May 2021.

Trending Travel COVID-19 Advice

The ban on overseas holidays ended on 17 May 2021, meaning that it’s no longer illegal to go abroad and that overseas holidays have resumed under a “traffic light system” with each country categorised as “Red”, “Amber” or “Green”

Green List Requirements – People coming from “green list” countries will have to provide a negative COVID test within 72 hours of departure and then pay for a PCR test on or before their second day back in the UK.

  • Amber List Requirements – Those returning from an “amber” country will have to take a pre-departure test, quarantine at home for 10 days on their return and take two PCR tests when back, on days two and eight, with the option to pay for an extra test on day five to be released from isolation early.
  • From 4am, Monday 19 July, the government will no longer recommend against travel to amber list countries. People covered by the amber list rules, who have been fully vaccinated with an NHS vaccine, will not need to quarantine on arrival in England or take a COVID-19 test on day 8.
  • Red List Requirements – Britons returning from “red” countries must take a pre-departure test, quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved hotel at their own expense – at a cost of up to £1750.00 per person, as well as the two PCR tests once back, on days two and eight. Direct flights from red-listed countries are banned and Britons currently in these countries must fly home via a third nation.

A regular rereview of the system in the UK takes place every three weeks, however it may be the case that changes to the Red, Amber and Green Watchlist could happen with immediate effect.

If you have a holiday booked with us and are due to travel to one of those countries not on the Green list between now and the end of June 2021, Trending Travel will be in touch shortly to discuss alternative arrangements, whether that’s choosing an alternative destination or rescheduling your travels to a later date.

If you have a holiday booked with us to travel to one of those countries after the end of June 2021, as things stand your holiday will be going ahead as planned. However, we do expect to have more clarity once the Government has reviewed the data ahead of the main summer holiday season.

For up to date information on the countries from which travel to the UK is currently banned, please review the Department for Transport’s Red List https://www.gov.uk/guidance/transport-measures-to-protect-the-uk-from-variant-strains-of-covid-19#red-list-travel-ban-countries

If you are due to travel with Trending Travel in 2021 but the FCDO then advises against ‘all but essential travel’ to your chosen destination, our team will be able to assist you as follows:

  • If you have a holiday booked with us and are due to travel within four weeks of the latest FCDO advice, Trending Travel will get in touch imminently to discuss alternative arrangements with you, whether that’s choosing to travel to an alternative destination or rescheduling your trip with us to a later date.
  • If your 2021 holiday is due to take place in one month or later from the date of the latest FCDO advice, the Trending Travel team will keep you in the loop regarding any ongoing developments and make sure you’re fully aware of any dates that you will need to make any final decisions by.

If you have booked a holiday and your chosen destination has not been listed as an area where ‘all but essential’ travel is advised against by the FCDO, your trip will go ahead as planned. However, you may decide you’d prefer not to travel at that time, so you can:

  • Get in touch with us to see if we are able to postpone your trip to a later date or change your destination. In these instances, and depending on the total cost of your altered holiday arrangements, you will either:
    • Receive a refund of the difference in price if the total price of your new holiday arrangements is lower than that of your original booking, or
    • Pay any additional costs if the total price of your new holiday arrangements is higher than that of your original booking.
  • Cancel your trip in accordance with our booking terms and conditions, where cancellation charges are likely to apply. If this is your preferred option, we would suggest you contact your insurance company without delay to check if you are able to reclaim any or all of these charges from them.

If you are unable to postpone or switch your chosen destination, we may be able to offer you a Refund Credit Note (RCN) which entitles you to either book another holiday or receive a cash refund at a later date, up until the expiry date of the note. An RCN also retains any financial protection that you may have had with your original booking. For example, if your original booking was a package holiday that was ATOL-protected, the RCN will still provide this protection; or, if your original booking came with ABTA financial protection, for example a cruise, the RCN will still provide this protection.

Please rest assured that if your booking is affected by FCDO advice, we will be in touch. We are contacting people in strict departure date order to ensure we deal with the volume of affected bookings in a fair manner. Should you wish to speak to us before we have got in touch, please send an email to hello@trendingtravel.co.uk, call us on 0161 850 5674, or drop us a message via WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook Messenger or Instagram DM.

For the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) about travel to any destination, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

You can always request an amendment to your booking, for any reason, and in normal circumstances this would be in accordance with our standard booking conditions. However, if you are currently booked to travel on any date in 2021 we will waive our amendment fee, although supplier charges (flights, hotel costs) may differ when booking alternative dates.

We know how important your holiday is to you and have been bowled over by the safety measures that each and every one of our suppliers have put in place locally to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our travellers.

However, with the introduction of these necessary health and hygiene requirements, you may find that some of the services, facilities and amenities that you’ve enjoyed on previous holidays are either unavailable or limited, resulting in a different holiday experience this time around.

It’s impossible to list them all here so where we are made aware of any changes to the advertised services, facilities and amenities that could significantly impact your chosen holiday, we’ll make every effort to let you know before you travel. It’s important to know though that some changes may be implemented at a moment’s notice as hotels and groundhandlers seek to comply with local protocols, so we do ask for your understanding if we have not advised you of any such changes and that you respect any local protocols that have been put in place to ensure the wellbeing of all guests.

If you need assistance during your holiday, it’s really important that you immediately bring this to the attention of the relevant person (for example the resort representative, hotel manager or transport agent) who will do their best to help you in the first instance. In the event that you are unable to reach the relevant person in-resort, please call us on 0161 850 5674 or via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM or email during office hours (Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm; Sundays & Bank Holidays 11am to 5pm); or outside of office hours and, in the event of an emergency only, on 07712 000411. Whichever number you use, we’ll be more than happy to call you straight back to avoid you incurring any unnecessary call charges.

TravelAware
For information on staying safe and healthy abroad, visit the government’s TravelAware page https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Before travelling to the UK everyone 11 years old and above must take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and obtain a negative result.

The test needs to have been taken no more than 72 hours prior to travel to the UK, and must meet the performance standards of >97% specificity, >80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml. Passengers travelling without a negative test result will be denied boarding.

The test result must be in either English, French or Spanish and must include the following information:

  • Your name, which should match the name on your travel documents
  • Your date of birth or age
    The result of the test
  • The date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
  • The name of the test provider and their contact details
  • The name of the test device

Your test result can be provided as a physical printed document, or via email or text message which you can show on your phone. You must ensure that your device is charged.

Everyone five-years-old and above must book and pay for a travel test package costing £210 per person, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before Day Two and on or after Day 8 of quarantine.

Currently, there are 12 countries or territories that are on the Green list, including Portugal & Madeira, Gibraltar and Iceland meaning that you can travel to these countries without having to quarantine on your return to the UK.

  • Green List Requirements – People coming from “green list” countries will have to provide a negative COVID test within 72 hours of departure and then pay for a PCR test on or before their second day back in the UK.
  • Amber List Requirements – Those returning from an “amber” country will have to take a pre-departure test, quarantine at home for 10 days on their return and take two PCR tests when back, on days two and eight, with the option to pay for an extra test on day five to be released from isolation early (please see Test to Release scheme details below for England only).
  • Red List Requirements – Britons returning from “red” countries must take a pre-departure test, quarantine for 10 days in a government-approved hotel at their own expense – at a cost of up to £1750.00 per person, as well as the two PCR tests once back, on days two and eight. Direct flights from red-listed countries are banned and Britons currently in these countries must fly home via a third nation. The travel test package and quarantine hotels must be booked in advance of your arrival using the booking portal, https://quarantinehotelbookings.ctmportal.co.uk/
    You must provide your journey and contact details before travel, by completing a passenger locator form for all passengers.

Test to Release – England Only

If you are arriving into England, you will have the option to use the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Test to Release programme. This means you can opt to take a COVID-19 test after five days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing you from the need to isolate.

For more information, please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-test-to-release-for-international-travel. You will still be required to take the second test of the travel test package, on or after Day 8.

If you are due to travel with Trending Travel in 2021 but the FCDO then advises against ‘all but essential travel’ to your chosen destination, our team will be able to assist you as follows:

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland
  • Republic of Ireland