The travel industry has been left disappointed and Brits have been left even more confused following the government’s first review of the traffic light system.
With no new countries added to the ‘green’ list and Portugal, instead, demoted the ‘amber’ list, Brits have been left wondering whether booking a holiday this year is even worth the risk?
Let’s be honest, trying to keep up with the constant changes in travel guidance is confusing enough, let alone trying understand any and all new traffic systems and whether destinations are classed red, amber, green or white. Yep, you read it right. There’s a new “white” list for ‘safe’ non-EU countries. Residents of countries included on the ‘white list’ will be able to enter the EU for non-essential travel regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not. However, we’re not sure when the new travel rules for trips to the EU come into place and the UK currently is not included on this list. Also, being on the ‘white list’ does not mean that you are excluded from travel restrictions as each EU country will have the power to impose Covid-19 measures where necessary.
So, anyway, whose travel advice should you listen to when planning a holiday? And how can you make sure that if you do decide to book a summer holiday that you’re fully protected?
Our advice would be to check the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s (FCDO) travel advice to the country you are planning to visit in the first instance. If the FCDO advise against travel to that particular destination, we would recommend choosing a different country as travelling against FCDO advice is a common exclusion in most travel insurance policies, and you therefore wouldn’t covered be covered to submit any claims should the unexpected happen.
However, if they do not advise against travel to that particular destination then our next piece of advice would be to check the traffic light system. If the country is on the ‘green’ list, then you’re good to book and you won’t need to quarantine on your return. If, however, the country is on the ‘amber’ list then we suggest doing your research to better understand the number of Covid-19 cases in that particular destination and if the cases are rising. Travellers should also be aware that there are isolation restrictions for those returning from an ‘amber’ destination.
The reason that travelling to an ‘amber’ destination is risky is because while the FCDO may not advise against travel at that time, they could quickly change their guidance and the country could be placed on the ‘red’ list. Then, travellers returning from ‘red’ destination face isolating in a hotel for 10 days, at their own expense.
Furthermore, we would strongly recommend that anyone booking a trip (whether it’s for a spontaneous break or for the following year) books with a reputable tour operator or travel agent. That way, should the trip no longer be able to go ahead as a result of a change in government advice, it is the tour operator’s responsibility to provide travellers with a full refund or chance to move their travel dates.
We know that booking a break at the moment is more stressful than ever before. So, if you have any questions that you’d like to run by us, drop us an email at email@example.com and we’ll do our very best to help.