Ok, time to address the elephant in the room. Some of us are travelling again but a) how easy is it at the moment to travel and b) is it likely to last? With the curent media circus of sensationalist headlines reporting eternally pessimistic news (most of which has been absolutely untrue), we remain optimistic for travel to keep opening up this summer and autumn. We have had some happy guests return from long-awaited holidays with their families and, apart from the irritating Day 2 test requirements, are having a seamless journey both there and back.
European Commission’s president Ursula von der Leyen proposed to “welcome again vaccinated visitors and those from countries with a good health situation”. Well, she was true to her word, with Europe opening up to international travel and accepting travellers from the US. Sadly, the United Kingdom fell far behind and we ar still persona-non-grata with the likes of Italy where British travellers have to quarantine for 5 days on arrival. Hardly ideal but manageable.
SO, HOW DOES THE TRAFFIC LIGHT SYSTEM WORK?
If you are flying to a destination on the UK’s ‘green’ list, you will have take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel to England, book and pay for a Day 2 COVID-19 test to be taken when home and complete a passenger locator form. You must follow these rules even if you have been fully vaccinated. Sounds crazy? Yes, we wholeheartedly agree. There is no quarantine required on your return home unless the test result is positive. Green list countries include Barbardos, Croatia and Malta.
Those returning from amber countries will have to do exactly the same as those who return from green list countries which does make the whole traffic light system seem even more ridiculous. Those countries on the amber list now include Greece, Italy, Spain (including the Balearics), Cyprus and France.
And whilst we’re on that, let’s not even bother mentioning countries on the ‘red’ list. With stays in airport hotels for 10 days at your own cost -including two COVID-19 tests – this is a price that isn’t worth paying. Sadly that means Mexico, South America and Oman are off limits.
HOW MUCH DO TESTS COST
Tests can now be found for a more reasonable price of £60 but the government is pushing to reduce these costs with one provider – Eurofins – now down to just £45 for a PCR test
WHERE CAN I GO
Crazily many of the countries listed on the British government’s ‘green’ list include countries that have very much banned British travellers (Australia and the United States are not allowing us for the forseeable future but we hope that Canada will open to foreign travellers from September). What a blow to those countries that were whispered to be on the green list but sadly didn’t make the final cut (goodness knows why – it seems like the British government are just randomly sticking pins in a map at this point and declaring them ‘safe’ to travel).
The lists will be reviewed every three weeks with the government hinting that more European countries will be added shortly.
IS IT ALL WORTH IT?
Having been lucky enough to get away to Spain and Italy this summer, I cannot begin to tell you how much all the testing was worth it. One step into that crystal clear sea and the last 18 months of hell almost drift away. We have had many guests travel this past month and are receiving rave reviews and feedback. It’s been a huge risk for some families, especially those who were already away for the most recent announcement and fearing that they’d be put into hotel quarantine. But so far, all of my clients have returned safe and sound. It’s irritating to have to get a COVID-19 test when you’re away but we provide all information of where you can book these before you travel, safe in the knowledge that you are all set. The airports have been a breeze and I would urge you not to believe all you read in the papers. I feel we are being scaremongered into staying at home this year and I can assure you that you are perfectly safe to travel abroad. As long as you feel comfortable with it, then you’ll be fine!
Contact us today with your travel plans.