Things have been looking uncertain for the travel industry recently, but we are excited to see that in the past few days, as of the 1st of July, we have gotten some very optimistic and future-making news. This, of course, being the announcement on quarantine-free travel to amber destinations for those who are fully vaccinated.
This is possibly just the beginning of an upswing, and all of us in the travel industry are greatly looking forward to more options that we can offer consumers for their holidays in the not too distant future.
There are advantages to this popping up the longer we look at it, so we’re going to take some time here to explain exactly what’s going on, how it can impact your holiday this year, and why it’s just so exciting for all involved!
How Will Amber Travel Work?
The government has disclosed that as early as the 26th of July 2021, anyone who has been fully vaccinated will be able to travel to amber destinations without going through a 10-day quarantine period upon return.
This essentially means that for double vaccinated travellers, amber countries, such as Greece, will be treated like green destinations. You can find out more about all the restrictions for green, amber, and red list destinations on our blog, but in this specific situation, you can expect amber listers for double vaccinated travellers to maintain these requirements:
- There will be no quarantine requirements upon return to the UK.
- The traveller must do COVID tests before they depart, and on or before day 2 of your arrival back in the UK. Many resorts are offering PCR tests in resort before return.
Pretty simple, right? This means that fully vaccinated travellers won’t have to worry about extra days to book into any quarantine resorts or hotels, just doing all the necessary tests.
This also allows a lot more flexibility and assurance surrounding green watchlist destinations. If a country is on the green watchlist, it means that it could become amber at any time, any country on the green list will fall to the watchlist before becoming amber.
This has caused some hesitation for travellers, but in light of this news, it means that for fully vaccinated consumers, that is not as impactful, and though there are policies in place to protect you against a country falling to amber, the effect on your holiday will be practically nil. So, as soon as this is confirmed, hopefully July 15th, it is time to book your Summer holidays – that’s if you haven’t already.
What About Amber Countries Falling to Red?
This is still a risk. However, as long as we are all staying well informed, from travel agent, to supplier, to consumer, this isn’t something that can’t be prepared for.
We always encourage that consumers keep up to date with their travel business, but also keep an eye on the government travel advice page for themselves so you can be sure your destination is right for you.
In this case, if you’re planning on travelling to an amber destination as a fully vaccinated traveller, this means checking policies for your destination, looking at the FCDO advice, the destination’s news on their tourism board, and keeping in touch with your travel business.
There are a lot of amber destinations that are determined okay to travel to, and the government travel advice page will detail if a country shouldn’t be travelled to for holidays over more necessary trips.
All in all, booking with a travel agent and PTS member, keeping good travel insurance, and staying up to date should ensure you’re thoroughly prepared for any changes and can amend or cancel a holiday if it does change lists regardless of quarantine free travel to amber destinations.
How Will Fully Vaccinated Travellers Be Recognised?
A few things are still a little uncertain at the moment, with this being such a fresh decision, so dates aren’t solid yet, though the government are aiming for the first week of the school summer holidays. Vaccine passports are a little more certain, but still in negotiation.
The UK are now working on an agreement with the EU for the EU to recognise the NHS App as vaccination validation, and the UK will recognise the EU digital green card as well.
Beyond this, the UK government are in negotiation with a few different EU destination on the NHS App being accepted as vaccination validation, and there is already discussion over a deal being close to closed with Brussels on this front. In the case that countries aren’t accepting this, it simply means that a letter from the NHS will be required by passengers, so we advise checking this when you book.
There are also policies in other country that are looking to be level with this big decision. Spain is said to be allowing double vaccinated visitors in without any need for quarantine, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed that this will become more widespread so we can all work together to create safe and fun holidays.
What Other Things Are in Discussion?
At the moment it’s a little uncertain, but as this is a decision hopefully to be put into action for the school summer holidays, we’re all anticipating that children will be allowed to go to amber destinations without quarantine as long as they’re with a double vaccinated adult.
Though Grant Shapps has explained that the government is working on a testing regime for unvaccinated children wishing to travel to amber countries with vaccinated adults.
There are also some complexities around UK travellers who cannot get the vaccine for medical reasons that the government is working on so that this scheme can be as inclusive as possible while still remaining safe.
This is such a huge step for the travel industry overall, and as the details become clearer over the course of July, we in the travel industry are so excited, preparing for all the wonderful holidays that will be more open for vaccinated travellers, in stunning and popular destinations like Greece.
We, of course, always advise keeping in touch with your travel agent and PTS member and keeping up to date on your destination’s policies when you’re travelling, so that you can travel with the most peace of mind.
We are looking forward to many possible positive outcomes of this decision, so if you are ready to book your summer holiday ready for this news to go into action, don’t forget to get in contact with a PTS member and get booking!
Or, if you’re not sure which of our splendid members to choose, you can call PTS head office for some advice as 0207 190 9988. And you can check out our blogs to learn more about the traffic light system outside of quarantine free travel to amber countries your consumer protection, and the package travel regulations.