Travel Aware

Travel Aware

Tropical Sky Group
Useful Information and Updated Terms & Conditions for International Travel with COVID-19
International Travel is likely to have restrictions and a variety of Covid-19 protocols and checks for many months to come.  It is therefore important that you read and understand how this might affect you if you intend to travel and confirm and accept the advice and terms contained herein.

This document contains information and advice on what to expect before, during and after your travel which we hope will be helpful.  It also contains clarification of how some of our terms would apply to this specific situation of travelling in a Covid pandemic as well as updated terms specifically related to the new guidance and legislation the UK Government has introduced that will come into effect from Monday 4th October 2021.

Before you Travel

It is possible that the destination you have chosen to travel to, may change its requirements for entry between booking and travelling.

It is also possible that the UK Government assessment of travel risks to your chosen destination may change on multiple occasions between booking and travelling.  This is explained further in this document under the Traffic Light Guidance.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you are compliant with any rules regarding leaving the country, entering your destination and arriving back into the UK.  This is, and will continue to be, a dynamically changing landscape as the worldwide vaccine programmes roll out, surges occur in certain countries and variants of concern are discovered or are categorised as non-concerning.

The best source of information on these requirements comes directly from the UK Governments main travel advice site:   

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

It is also possible that the different countries within the UK may have slightly differing rules.

We will try to assist as much as we can, but this is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you are compliant with all travel requirements.

Whilst not an exclusive list, you should ensure you comply with any requirements for

  • Visa / declarations pre travel for your destination
  • Covid Test requirements – paying particular attention to timescales pre travel
  • Airline declarations and information on travel
  • Airline meal pre-ordering
  • Vaccine proof if required

 


At the Airport

It is highly likely that your airport experience will differ from historical experiences.  You should ensure you leave sufficient time for any airport additional checks. Your airline will publish ideal guides on how long to give yourself for check in.

Some changes may include, but will not be limited to:

  • Social Distancing measures
  • Facemask wearing
  • Longer queues
  • Restricted facilities
  • Restricted restaurant menus and goods for sale in some outlets
  • Proof of documentation completion
  • Proof of vaccines/Covid test results


Your airport experience on arrival at both your destination and re-entering the UK may also see further disruptions with additional Covid protocols and checks which may cause delays.
 

 

On Board Your Aircraft

Your experience on board may differ to past experiences.  Airlines are trying to keep the experience as good as it was pre Covid, but there may well be restrictions that affect you such as:

  • Cabin service restrictions due to social distancing
  • Face mask wearing
  • Restricted menus for food and beverages

 


In Your Hotel

Hotels may not be able to deliver their full experience as advertised due to Covid restrictions either directly or indirectly (e.g., caused by decline in occupancy or social distancing measures):

Changes in your experience may include, but not restricted to:

  • Non availability of some facilities
  • Reduced availability of some facilities
  • Reduced restaurant capacity
  • Reduced choice of restaurants
  • Reduced Menu choices for food and beverage
  • Face mask wearing


At Your Destination

It is possible that there will be Covid based restrictions at your destination with rules set locally by the relevant country or region.  This may include:

  • Restricting movement around the area
  • Closure or restriction of some entertainment facilities
  • Reduction in capacity of entertainment facilities
  • Local Covid restrictions, protocols and testing
  • Face mask wearing


 

Operation of Holidays

We are intending to operate all holidays subject to the UK Government guidance as explained extensively below.

It is important that you note:

  • We will plan to operate all holidays no matter what the current traffic light
  • We may have to cancel your holiday at any stage for any reason if we cannot deliver it as planned.  If this occurs you will be entitled to a refund but not compensation for cancellation
  • Cancellation decisions may occur at a very late stage pre departure as we are in a dynamically changing situation

You will need to pay in full for your holiday by the due date unless you defer your arrangements before this date.

If you are disinclined to travel, you will need to let us know as soon as possible.  We will then be able to look at alternative destinations or dates for you and re-price a replacement trip for you.  The later you leave the decision, the more likely we will have to also comply with partners terms and not just our own which may restrict our flexibility.

Our promise is that we will be as flexible as possible over this recovery period.  However, if you require changes very close to your planned departure, partners, in particular airlines may not be in the position to offer refunds or alterations to plans as we would wish.  An example of this would be if an airline continues to operate their flights on dates you were originally booked for and the tickets were issued and fully paid for. You may not be entitled to a refund from the airline or at best only be given a credit against a future flight to be utilised in a specific time frame.

Our advice is be certain as far in advance as you can that you are happy to travel with some of these potential restrictions.  If you are hesitant in any way, then you should discuss with us any deferral of travel plans or change in destination you wish.  The sooner we do this the more flexible we can be.  It is easier to change your plans and bring them forward if you change your mind again rather than to unpick a holiday at the last minute once all hotels and airlines are fully paid for.

Important Note: Any Covid tests required by the UK or your travel destination will be at your own expense as will any formal quarantine costs.  It is also vital you ensure you have extensive valid travel insurance that covers you to travel to your chosen destination and includes cover for Covid related incidents.

 
 

UK Guidelines for travel prior to October 4th 2021        

For latest guidance please see - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

The UK traffic light system was put in place from 17 May 2021. The definition of the Traffic Light system is detailed below as well as our decision and terms of operation in these categories.  It is very important you read and understand how we will operate in these categories and how that may affect you in terms of covid testing requirements and potential quarantine.

Green Traffic Light

Travel is permitted with no quarantine requirements on return to the UK.  Covid testing will be required before you travel, before your return and after your return home.  Individual countries will vary in their approach but will usually require either a test on arrival or proof of a test taken before departing the UK.

We plan to operate all holidays in this category.

Green “Watch” Traffic Light

As green above. The only difference is that the destination is at risk due to one or more of the measures being used by the Government of moving into the Amber category.

We plan to operate all holidays in this category.

Amber Traffic Light

Conditions are as per Green where travel is permitted, but self-isolation will be required on your return to the UK.  This is currently 10 days, but there is the possibility of reducing to 5 days with an additional Covid test. You will not have to self-isolate on your arrival in England or take a Covid test on Day 8 if you have been fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programme and have not been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in England. Please note rules may vary in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so please ensure to check as applicable. To be considered fully vaccinated 14 days must have passed since your final dose was administered. Children under 18 years will also be exempt from self-quarantine and the day 8 test.

We plan to operate all holidays in this category.

Red Traffic Light

Conditions are again as per Green, but significantly, in addition, you will be required to quarantine on your return to the UK for 10 days in a Government specified hotel at an additional cost of £1,750 per person.

We will plan to operate all holidays in this category as over time it is highly likely that countries will continue to move towards the Green categories enabling travel at your planned time.

However, if the destination remains in this category with no expectation of a change 14 days before your departure date, we will enforce a cancellation of your holiday as we would consider this a material change to delivering your holiday as planned.  There may be other circumstances that cause us to make the decision earlier, and if so, we will explain that to you at the time.

If you specifically request in writing for us to continue with your holiday where your destination remains in the Red Traffic Light, understanding the costs and implications of your quarantine on return to the UK, we will operate your holiday for you if we are able to and if permitted by the Government.
 

 

Destinations Moving Between Traffic Lights

As this is such a dynamic situation, it is highly likely that some destination will move between the traffic light indications between your booking and departing for your trip.

If this happens, we will still operate and plan to operate your holiday as explained in the traffic light system notes, even if your destination slips into an Amber or Red status.

If of course at any stage you change your mind, we will of course be happy to look at modifying your travel plans for you.

 

Red Traffic Light & Other enforced Covid-19 Cancellations

Unfortunately, if we are forced to cancel your holiday due to your destination being in the Red Category and your choosing not to travel under those circumstances, or if for other operational matters we feel we cannot fulfil your holiday, you will have the following choices:

Rebook an alternative date or destination.  Your new requirements will be re-priced based on what you would like to do and when you would like to travel.  Depending on your chosen date, we will re-calculate your deposit due and return your balance of funds to you.

Credit Notes are available if you would prefer us to simply hold your funds until you have time to consider what dates or destination you would like to rebook.

Refund in full or part will be available if you prefer.  In the vast majority of circumstances, a full refund can be provided.  In a few cases we may be only able to offer a partial refund and a credit with a partner.  This is particularly the case if we have fully paid and ticketed your planned trip with the airline as they are being permitted in certain circumstances to only provide a credit rather than a refund.

Destination Traffic Light changes whist on Holiday

It is possible that your destination may move within the traffic light guidance whilst you are away.  This may have implications on re-entering the UK as described in the Traffic Light categories.  It is your responsibility to comply with any changes and any implications including incremental costs of quarantine will be at your own risk and expense.  We strongly advise you check your travel insurance policy to ensure you have adequate cover for such circumstances.

It is highly likely that you will be able to complete your holiday as planned.  We would contact you to confirm or advise any change in arrangements needed such as an airline schedule change requiring a change in your planned return date.  Again, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance to cover this circumstance as any additional costs of an extended or curtailed stay would be at your expense.  Due to hotel terms, it is also unlikely any refund would be due for shortened stays.

                    
 

UK Guidelines for travel from October 4th 2021 onwards

For latest guidance please see - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

From 4am Monday 4 October 2021, the rules for international travel to England will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.

Please advised that those residing in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland should be aware that rules may differ.

 

Travel from the rest of the world if you are fully vaccinated

From 4am Monday 4 October, if you have been fully vaccinated under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas for at least 14 days:

You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum:

  • forename and surname(s)
  • date of birth
  • vaccine brand and manufacturer
  • date of vaccination for every dose
  • country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer


If your document from a public health body does not include all of these, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied boarding. If you are fully vaccinated in the US, will also need to prove that you are a resident of the US. If you are fully vaccinated, but do not qualify under these fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules.

You may also be required to produce this document along with associated QR codes at your country of destination.

Where unvaccinated children are travelling with fully vaccinated adults, some destinations may require the children to follow the process for not fully vaccinated individuals. It is the obligation do of the traveller to determine this prior to travel.  

We plan to operate all holidays in this category.


Travel from the rest of the world if you are not fully vaccinated

From 4am Monday 4 October, you must follow these rules if you:

  • do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules
  • are partially vaccinated
  • are not vaccinated

Before you travel to England you must:

After you arrive in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

We plan to operate all holidays in this category.

 

Travel to/from Red countries

From 4am Monday 4 October, you must follow these rules if you are:

  • fully vaccinated
  • partially vaccinated
  • not vaccinated

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the?UK?if you are a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the?UK.

Before you travel to England, you must:

When you arrive in England, you must quarantine in a managed hotel, including 2 COVID-19 tests.

Red Traffic Light & Other enforced Covid-19 Cancellations

Unfortunately, if we are forced to cancel your holiday due to your destination being in the Red Category and your choosing not to travel under those circumstances, or if for other operational matters we feel we cannot fulfil your holiday, you will have the following choices:

Rebook an alternative date or destination.  Your new requirements will be re-priced based on what you would like to do and when you would like to travel.  Depending on your chosen date, we will re-calculate your deposit due and return your balance of funds to you.

Credit Notes are available if you would prefer us to simply hold your funds until you have time to consider what dates or destination you would like to rebook.

Refund in full or part will be available if you prefer.  In the vast majority of circumstances, a full refund can be provided.  In a few cases we may be only able to offer a partial refund and a credit with a partner.  This is particularly the case if we have fully paid and ticketed your planned trip with the airline as they are being permitted in certain circumstances to only provide a credit rather than a refund.

Destination Traffic Light changes whist on Holiday

It is possible that your destination may move within the traffic light guidance whilst you are away.  This may have implications on re-entering the UK as described in the Traffic guidance.  It is your responsibility to comply with any changes and any implications including incremental costs of quarantine will be at your own risk and expense.  We strongly advise you check your travel insurance policy to ensure you have adequate cover for such circumstances.

It is highly likely that you will be able to complete your holiday as planned.  We would contact you to confirm or advise any change in arrangements needed such as an airline schedule change requiring a change in your planned return date.  Again, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance to cover this circumstance as any additional costs of an extended or curtailed stay would be at your expense.  Due to hotel terms, it is also unlikely any refund would be due for shortened stays.

In summary, we have given you additional information regarding: travelling internationally during a Covid-19 affected world; interpretations of our terms and conditions; and further information regarding the UK Government’s travel guidelines.

We hope that you will enjoy your holiday, even with these restrictions, as we are likely to have to holiday this way for some while.

If you have any questions, please contact your travel advisor.

Publication date: 20/09/2021

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