COVID-19: What are the new travel quarantine rules? Can I book a winter holiday?

What the new rules mean for holidaymakers - and for the travel industry.

11/24/2020 5:36:00 PM

COVID-19: What are the new travel quarantine rules? Can I book a winter holiday?

What the new rules mean for holidaymakers - and for the travel industry.

If they choose to opt in after arrival, they will have to resubmit their passenger locator form.Image:Passengers will have to go straight home from the airport and self-isolate for five days before taking a COVID-19 testHow much will the tests cost?To ensure the NHS Test and Trace system is not overloaded, the government has said people will have to pay for private tests from a list of government-approved providers.

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The list will be published on the website nearer the time, but the tests are set to cost between £65 and £120.Travel companies are hoping that as this option is used more, the test prices will become more competitive.Can I just get a test at the airport?

No. The government has said scientific evidence shows a test after five days of self-isolation"provides materially better results" than having a test on arrival.This allows time for the virus to incubate, if it is present, and helps reduce the risk of a false negative result.

Can I now go on a winter holiday?The new rule means those who were not able to book a holiday before as they could not self-isolate for two weeks on their return, can do so.But, there are caveats.Emma Brennan, spokeswoman for ABTA, the travel agents and tour operators' trade association, said:"First thing to remember is the travel corridor system is in place - places like the Canaries and the Maldives, you don't need to quarantine or have a test.

"For those places where you do have to quarantine for 14 days, you've got the opportunity to reduce it."That will make a big difference where quarantine has been a big barrier for people booking a holiday in a country where the government isn't advising against all but essential travel.

"But, for those places where the Foreign Office is advising against all but essential travel, that will mean your insurance is void even if you have a test on return."Plan for grounded 737 MAX to return to Europe's skiesAt the moment, that includes most ski destinations so that annual trip to the slopes will be off for now.

Ms Brennan added:"The picture is quite different across the world, so your destination might have a different rule from here."All the information is available on the Foreign Office website so anybody booking a trip should check there first."Sign up for the email alerts for that destination as things can change at pace, so keep checking to see what the latest measures there are, even for things like wearing face masks."

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Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video playerRyanair boss: Grant Shapps 'doesn't take on board our views'What does this mean for the travel industry?"Things are moving in the right direction," Ms Brennan said."We've been asking for testing for quite some time and it comes at quite a good time for people rushing to go away over Christmas to see friends and family.

"But, there's still quite a way to go before travel is fully opened up." Read more: Sky News »

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