What You Need To Know About Travelling Abroad | moneyfacts.co.uk

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Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 11/05/2021

From next week, international travel will once again be allowed for those living in England and many consumers are expected to book trips to jet off for long-awaited holidays. While would-be holidaymakers will be keen to head away for a much-needed break, travelling this year is still not going to be the same as normal, with restrictions on which countries can and cannot be visited.

Here, we’ve looked at where travellers in England will be able to holiday from Monday 17 May 2021, as well as how holidaymakers can financially protect themselves if their holiday is cancelled due to COVID-19.

Where can you go on holiday?

Until the 17 May 2021, all foreign trips for leisure purposes are illegal. After this date, consumers living in England can only go on holiday to countries on the Government’s green list. At the moment, only 12 countries are on the green list, these are:

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Iceland
  • Israel and Jerusalem
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira)
  • Singapore
  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

Holidaymakers should be aware that although the Government is allowing travel to these countries, some countries on the green list may have closed their borders and consumers are advised to make sure they can legally enter the country before booking holidays.

For countries on the green list that are allowing UK tourists, holidaymakers will not have to quarantine, but before travelling back to England they will have to complete a passenger locator form, take a COVID-19 test and book and pay for a day-two COVID-19 test. Once in England, travellers must take a COVID-19 test on or before day-two after their arrival, if the test is negative, they do not have to quarantine. As well as this, countries may have their own requirements for allowing UK tourists to visit and, again, holidaymakers should check requirements before booking.

In addition to this, travellers should keep in mind that countries can be moved from the green to the amber or red list at any time, in which case rules for visiting the country will change.

Has the Government introduced vaccine passports?

At the moment, there is no vaccine passports system in place, however, some have suggested that these may be introduced later in the year between the UK and popular European destinations to allow easier travel and reduce the need for quarantine.

Can you travel to countries on the red and amber lists?

Those travelling to countries on the red list must quarantine in a managed hotel on their arrival into England. Visitors to countries on the amber list must, on their arrival in England, quarantine at home or in the place they are staying for 10 days. Travellers should also be aware that many countries on the red and amber lists are being advised by the foreign office to avoid all but essential travel. 

What are your rights if your holiday is cancelled due to COVID-19?

Consumers who have booked a holiday to a country on the green list that is cancelled due to COVID-19 should be able to get a refund. Ideally, holidaymakers should book a package holiday as it is easier to get money refunded than if they have booked flights and accommodation separately. In addition to this, consumers will have better security if they book their holiday using a credit card as, under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, credit card providers must protect all purchases over £100, which includes holiday bookings.

If you are booking a holiday on a credit card, you may want to consider using a 0% purchase credit card, which will provide an interest-free period in which to repay the money. When on holiday, you may want to consider using a travel credit card to avoid additional foreign usage fees when paying for products and services while abroad.

Although consumers will likely have protection if their holiday is cancelled due to COVID-19, they will not have this same protection if they are unable to travel due to testing positive for COVID-19. Instead, holidaymakers can protect themselves by purchasing travel insurance that provides cover if they receive a positive test just before travelling, as well as making sure that they have cover if they fall ill while on holiday. For more information about travel insurance and to compare the best travel insurance deals, visit our travel insurance page.

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