With the scrapping of the traffic light system and removal of the requirement to take PCR tests before returning home from ‘Rest of the World’ list countries, travel has finally become a lot simpler. However, we understand that it is still an uncertain time and that you will, understandably have questions. We hope the below answers help put your mind at ease. However, as always, we’re at the end of the phone on 01242 253 073 if you’d like to talk to one of our specialists about your holidays (or anything really! We’re a friendly bunch).
The top line: Travel with peace of mind
Very broadly speaking, where your holiday is impacted or impossible due to government restrictions (eg Red lists or your destination not allowing UK visitors in), then it is our responsibility to either make alternative arrangements or give you a refund. Where your holiday is impacted or impossible because one of your party tests positive for Covid-19, then any costs incurred are a matter for your travel insurance.
This means that now, more than ever, it is absolutely vital to understand the travel insurance policy you are buying, and to look for certain key inclusions.
Travel insurance: What to look for
You need your travel insurance to do the following:
- ✔ To cover cancellation costs of your holiday if you are unable to travel because you test positive for Covid-19 or have to isolate because of Covid-19.
- ✔ To cover any medical, quarantine, and travel rearrangement costs you incur if you test positive for Covid-19 whilst on holiday.
- ✔ To cover you to travel to a country where the FCDO is advising against non-essential travel (should you wish to travel contrary to FCDO advice).
The good news is that with a quality travel insurance policy under your arm, and our help and support alongside you, travelling with confidence is most definitely possible! And those wonderful experiences, sights, and smells that create amazing holiday memories are once again in reach.
We’re always at the end of the phone to answer any worries or questions you may have about your holidays. But, for a quick bit of quick reassurance here, below are our Covid-19 ‘frequently asked questions’:
What happens if I can’t travel to my holiday destination because either a) the country is on the UK’s Red list, b) the FCDO is advising against non-essential travel to the country, or c) the country is not letting in tourists from the UK?
We make decisions on the operability of our holidays seven days prior to departure, and if any of the above conditions meant you could not travel to your holiday destination we would offer you the choice of postponing your trip, rebooking to an alternative destination, or having a full refund.
What happens if the country I’m in is moved to the Red list whilst I’m away or the FCDO changes its advice to advise against non-essential travel to that country?
In the event of a country being imminently moved to the Red list, HA would make arrangements to bring you back to the UK immediately; we have excellent partners around the world and they enabled us to repatriate all of our travelling clients when borders shut in March 2020, leaving no-one trapped overseas by changing regulations. If the FCDO change to advising against non-essential travel, we will bring you back to the UK if that is what you want. However, if you wish to continue your holiday, it is possible to travel against FCDO advice (it is only advice, not a legal requirement). However, you would need to talk to your travel insurers to check they were happy for you to continue your holiday, and to top-up your premium if necessary.
What happens if I test positive for Covid-19, or get told to isolate (by the NHS, either directly or through Test & Trace) and as a result I am in isolation on my planned departure date?
The trip would unfortunately have to be cancelled, with cancellation charges as per our terms & conditions; you would then make a claim on your travel insurance for these charges, and we would assist you by providing all necessary documentation for your insurers as quickly as possible.
What happens if I test positive for Covid-19 whilst on my holiday?
We have experience of dealing with this, having had clients catch Covid-19 when it first swept the world in February / March 2020. Medical costs, any quarantine / isolation related costs, and costs of rearranged onward travel would be a matter for your travel insurers. We would work with our local partners to keep you updated on next steps, to liaise with your insurers where necessary, and to make arrangements for the remainder of your holiday / getting you home once you are free to travel around again.
What happens if my holiday includes visits to more than one country, and one of those countries is on the Red list, or the FCDO are advising against non-essential travel there?
We would (in consultation with you) rearrange your trip to just include the countries that were not on the Red list / subject to the FDCO advisory, and refund you for the services in the Red list / FCDO advisory country. Where the FCDO are advising against non-essential travel, you do have the choice of keeping the trip as it is, and making sure your travel insurance will cover you for travelling against FCDO advice.
What happens if members of my party cannot be vaccinated against Covid-19 (for medical reasons, or because they are too young to have been called forward for vaccination), but vaccination is a requirement for entry into my holiday destination?
We would advise you not to book your trip until either the requirement for vaccination has changed, or all party members have been able to have the vaccination. Vaccinations are the responsibility of the client and normal cancellation charges as per our terms & conditions would apply if you were denied entry into the country because you were not vaccinated.
What happens if a country is open for travel, not on the Red list, and the FCDO is not advising against non-essential travel there, but I feel uncomfortable travelling there for my holiday?
We would work with you to see if we can ease your concerns: we have a lot of experience of sending clients on holidays, and an excellent understanding of what the situation is like “on the ground” thanks to our fantastic local partners, our own travels, and the feedback we get from our clients. If you are still concerned and you choose to cancel your holiday, you will be charged our standard cancellation charges as per our terms & conditions.