Travelling in a Pandemic

Since March 2020 we have been dealing with the ever changing travel restrictions as a result of COVID-19. Since the COVID-19 Pandemic began we introduced our “Book with Confidence” Promise. This is essentially means that the operator of the holiday is offering flexible amendments and a full refund in the event your holiday can not go ahead as a result of the Foreign Commonwealth & Advice Office advising all but essential travel advise to that destination.

Since the Traffic Light system has been introduced it has created confusion for the travelling public, not helped by the mixed advice from government ministers. So here we will break down what the latest travel restrictions mean for those travelling from England.

There are two factors that operators now have to take into consideration when it comes to the operation of your holiday. Firstly, and most importantly, is the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). This government office determines the risk to the travelling public of travelling abroad. What operators are looking out for is the phrase “against all but essential travel” or “all travel” to a particular destination. When this advice level is in place for a destination the tour operator will then look at cancelling holidays to those destinations.

What I should make clear is that under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Regulations Act 2018, there is no legal requirement to cancel a holiday based on the FCDO’s advice level. If the flights are operating and your hotel is open and operational the operator can, legally, refuse to offer you a full refund. However, many operators are trying to be as flexible as possible for their customers and will offer amendments and/or cancellations if your destination is advised as against all but essential travel.

The second factor operators need to take into consideration is the newly introduced traffic light system. On 17th May 2021, international travel was no longer deemed illegal. Whilst Government ministers are advising that the travelling public should not be travelling to Amber or Red list countries for a Holiday, legally, there is nothing to stop someone from doing so.

This means for the travelling public, Amber list countries are causing the most confusion for deciding whether to travel or not. Many tour operators we work with are offering flexible amendment policies on holidays operating to Amber List Countries. You can either amend to another destination and/or date. You can also opt to travel to that destination should you wish to do so and are prepared to quarantine for 10 days on your return (or do the test to release after 5 days). Unless your destination is against all but essential travel by the FCDO the operators are not permitting a refund.

As we progress through 2021 we will see more countries added to the Green List and international travel restrictions being eased. For example the travel industry is calling on the UK Government to allow vaccinated residents enter England with no testing required from July onwards. Spain has already said they will allow UK residents to enter Spain with no tests required or proof of Vaccination, so we are seeing restrictions being eased slowly but surely.

Remember, at Platinum World Travel we work with 100’s of trusted UK Travel Partners and will always be upfront and honest about your rights, terms & conditions and amendment policies with each operator we offer. Our sister company, syte (start your travel escape) offers #truezero on 1000’s of holidays across the world with your balance due upto 6 weeks before travel. Syte introduced the #truezero deposit option on their holidays to give people the complete flexibility to cancel their holidays if they changed their mind without worrying about losing their deposit. 


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