Following Boris Johnson’s recent announcement about the UK Government’s Roadmap out of lockdown’, many people are excited about the possibility of staycations returning within weeks. However, there is still some uncertainty about international travel.
The most recent announcement seemed to indicate that pubs and non-essential retailers could open again in April, and if all went well, we could be clear of all restrictions by June 21st. This was great to hear after weeks of winter lockdown!
It has got many people thinking about the summer, including meeting up with friends and family at festivals and nightclubs – and even the possibility of planning a staycation.
Boris Johnson mentioned that international travel might be allowed from May 17th, which has meant a sudden increase in the number of people booking holidays abroad.
As exciting as this announcement was, it should still be approached with caution. After all, the restarting of summer holidays last year (2020) was cut short after many holiday favourites, such as Portugal and Spain, were suddenly taken off the travel corridor list with very short notice.
Fingers crossed, things will be different this time, though, with the successful roll-out of the vaccine and the potential end of the mandatory quarantine upon arrival in the UK (when that is eventually announced).
In the meantime, if you are planning on booking a holiday abroad this summer, we’ve rounded up the latest travel information from some of the larger travel companies to help you to plan more efficiently.
On the 22nd January 2021, EasyJet updated their website with important information about new quarantine restrictions. With an aim to be more flexible with their customers due to the current uncertainty, easyJet is offering customers the option to transfer their flight without a charge fee, within 14 days of the date of the flight, if the flight is to or from a destination which is subject to quarantine restrictions (as long as the request is made within 7 days of the destination’s government announcing the quarantine restriction). However, if the fare for the new flight is more than the original fare cost, then you will have to pay the difference.
If the flight is cancelled by EasyJet, however, you will receive an email that will give you your options, which may include:
- Transferring to another flight, free of charge
- Receiving a voucher for the value of the booking
- Requesting a refund
EasyJet has also set up a Disruption Help Hub so that you can find out more.
Jet2 updated their site on 26th February to announce that their flights would restart from the 17th May 2021 – following the government’s roadmap announcement. They mention that we can still expect the same great service from them, but due to the changes in the entry requirements for a number of the countries they fly to, they encourage passengers to continue to check information about the country they are travelling to, right up to the day they are due to depart.
The budget airline, Ryanair, is continuing to fly (with a reduced schedule) – which it has done since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has made one significant change, though, and that is to drop all change fees for bookings made between March 31st to October 31st 2020, with customers now allowed to make 2 changes free of charge.
Ryanair has also offered those who have had their flights cancelled 3 options:
- A change of booking, free of charge
- A travel voucher
- A full refund
On their website is a useful page, detailing the current requirements for the countries they fly to – entitled ‘Where can I fly?’
Tui’s most recent update confirms that they won’t be operating any flights or holidays from the UK before, or on, 16 May 2021. They state that they are currently working their way through the latest government advice, and cancelling holidays on a rolling basis in date order.
They go on to state that all customers with holidays booked within those time frames should receive an email with the options available to them before 5th March 2021. These options include:
- Changing the booking (with a rebooking incentive)
- Receiving a refund credit note (with a rebooking incentive)
- Receiving a full cash refund (within 14 days)
Tui has also set up a Travel with Confidence hub to help answer any general queries.
If you plan a trip abroad this summer, make sure you travel safely by taking a COVID home test from Fit2FlyTest before you go. This gold standard PCR test will reveal if you are suffering from the COVID-19 virus or not and provide you with a fit to fly certificate if your test results are negative.