Summer holidays are officially on for those that have received both vaccinations, in the latest update from number 10.
The green list now includes more destinations than ever after Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, announced the latest additions with some movement on the other lists too. However, more excitingly the fully vaccinated will have even more choice as they will be able to return from amber countries without having to quarantine. Essentially making the rules the same as that of green list travel.
With more than 140 countries currently on the amber list, the change could mean that fully vaccinated Britons are able to travel to them all without worrying about quarantine when they get back.
Currently, travellers that visit any of the destinations named on the amber list have to isolate for up to 10 days on their return, unlike green list countries where travellers are not required to quarantine.
Although quarantine will be removed for those that have had both jabs, they will still be required to take a PCR test on day 2 of their return, essentially moving over to the green list system. Children will also be exempt from quarantine even though they are not vaccinated, but they must also have tests on day two of their return.
This is the long-awaited boost the travel industry has been desperate for. Especially as testing has become more available, with providers like Tui offering COVID testing packages from £20 pp, travellers can get excited again. It’s also important to note that adults who have not had both jabs will still have to quarantine when they return from an amber destination, or they could be fined up to £10k.
The change is to come on July 19th, opening up European destinations such as France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy with travel companies preparing for a surge in demand.
To get some good deals, it’s great to book in advance before a surge in demand. As there is still uncertainty it’s important to protect yourself when booking a foreign holiday, our key tips are:
What you want to look out for is how the company will refund you. Ideally, this will be in cash rather than a voucher. If you are happy with receiving a voucher make sure it’s from a reputable company and a provider you regularly use, if the company goes bankrupt getting your money back will be challenging.
If possible, stay away from paying a deposit. If you do pay a deposit, make sure it’s very low and only required close to the time of the trip in case there are any last-minute changes to your travel plans.
Given the general uncertainty at the moment, we’d recommend taking extra caution when booking package holidays. Booking everything separately means you can review the T&Cs of each company to ensure they all offer good refund policies. It also makes it easier to move booking dates and you won’t have to deal with any middlemen who make communicating directly with the company particularly tricky. The pandemic has put a lot of pressure on travel providers to ensure they offer flexible cancellation and rebooking policies, just make sure you do your research first.
There are a number of providers on the market for you to choose from when booking tests for travel, we’ve compiled a price comparison to make it easier for you to know where to start.
Comparison Chart for COVID Test provider without any promotional codes (Last updated 24/6/21)
* Will need to organise and pay for a fit to return test whilst away
** Need to ensure that fit to return test can be collected at holiday destination
If you are fully vaccinated you will now only have to pay for a day 2 test on return, essentially making amber travel testing as cheap as green. It’s important to check local guidelines to understand which tests are required before travelling.
It’s important when you are choosing a provider, you make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to receive packs and that testing is available in your region. With a surge in travel in certain destinations, if a lateral flow test is required before travelling home, we recommend sourcing this before you fly to ensure there are no last-minute surprises such as tests running out that prevent you from travelling home.
To ensure that you benefit from the changes, you will need to demonstrate your vaccination status.
The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your vaccination status in an easy-to-access way, it allows you to show that you’ve had the full vaccination course when travelling abroad.
The NHS COVID Pass is available if you:
There are a number of ways to get your pass from downloading the app to requesting the pass to be posted to you. It’s important to note that your appointment card from vaccinations centres cannot be used to demonstrate your vaccination status. Find out more on the gov website here.
“With so much uncertainty around travel, Brits have been unsure and even confused about whether they will get away for the summer months. There has been talk for a long time on how the vaccine will affect travel and it’s exciting that we are now getting some great news.
Hopefully, Brits will have the confidence they need to book their trip and get away through the summer holidays, without the fear or quarantine” James Lynn, Co-Founder, Currensea travel debit card
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