With constantly changing Government advice, you could be forgiven for missing a vital bit of information whilst planning your getaway this year. Here are five key things you should consider before jetting off this summer.
1. Passenger Locator Forms
Most countries, including the UK on arrival back home, will require people to complete a passenger locator form. This basically gives authorities all the information they need to contact you if they need to.
In most instances, these can be completed in advance or on arrival. However, some countries, such as Greece, require them to be completed 24hrs in advance, to the shock and disappointment of some unlucky travellers - BBC News - Holiday shock: 'We were stopped from boarding our Greece flight'
Usually your airline will e-mail you with the requirements, but if you want to have a look at the requirements, the Ryanair website is a good source – Ryanair – Where Can I Fly?
2. Stock up on facemasks and anti-bac
In 2020 the airport vending machines dispense facemasks and anti-bacterial products, instead of sweets and chocolate. That’s because you’re going to need lots of them.
Take Spain for example – you’ll need to wear a facemask from leaving your private home or car in the UK until the time you get into your hotel room. You’ll also need them in any public place such as walking along the promenade in the evening or even going to the toilet in a restaurant.
So, take a large stash of disposable facemasks, or a few cotton ones which you can wash and rotate.
The Government have a lot of advice on how to stay safe whilst travelling, which can be found here - Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer air travel for passengers
3. Travel – but not as you know it
Expect a few differences in 2020. Many places have increased restrictions to help curb the spread of coronavirus. For example:
- France has banned large gatherings in some regions and imposed mandatory face coverings in public.
- Italy has started to close some tourist destinations with popular squares in Rome being the first to face restrictions.
- Belgium has a ban on major events, such as festivals, and a limit of how many people are allowed to dine in a restaurant.
- Portugal’s nightclubs remain closed.
- Spain requires face coverings at all times, with certain areas, such as Barcelona and Madrid re-imposing lockdown restrictions.
- Greece has placed restrictions on popular restaurants and bars, forcing them to close from midnight to 7am, as well as making face coverings compulsory in all public places.
Do some research before travelling to make sure you know what to expect.
4. FCO advice can change very quickly
Last week, the FCO changed advice on Belgium, Andorra and The Bahamas, giving travellers very little notice. This follows the pattern set last month with the additional quarantine restrictions placed on Spain.
Clearly, things can change quickly. So, if this happens to you just before you travel;
- Package holidays should be refunded or moved to a new date
- Flights can normally be re-booked with no change fee
- Hotels may not be so flexible – book hotels with free cancellation or as part of a package
Travelling against Government advice will leave you uninsured, which brings us on to point number five..
5. Are you insured?
Reading the small print of your policy has never been more important. If you travel against Government advice, you will be uninsured. However, as long as the country you are travelling on is on the FCO’s Travel Corridor List when you leave the UK, you will be insured against contracting coronavirus whilst away.
For more information on various insurance related issues, see these other blog articles:
If you have any further questions on travel insurance during Covid-19, get in touch with our team