Travel round-up: what’s it been like to travel since things opened up?
On the 17th of May 2021, international travel to certain destinations became legal again and travellers across the country were allowed to go on holiday again – provided the country they chose to go to was on the green list (see here for more information). This was really exciting news – it was a chance at freedom after being locked up inside for so long. So what’s changed since you last went on holiday? The coronavirus hasn’t gone away, and we’ll talk you through everything you need to know before you board that plane.
Social distancing and safety measures
When it comes to general safety and social distancing measures, you know the drill by now. Wear masks, try and keep two metres apart from other people and wash or sanitise your hands regularly. None of this has changed, and it is especially important to adhere to these rules when travelling and in airports as you are mixing with a large amount of people, and also lots of different cultures. When visiting different countries, we, as travellers, should always make as good an impression as we can, so that the locals won’t mind having us back the next time!
If you’re booking any activities to do whilst on your holiday, chances are they will have some rules in place that you must follow in order to keep everyone safe. Whether it be social distancing, not touching things or wearing a face covering in certain areas, make sure you are aware of what’s what so that everybody can have a good time. If you’re unsure about anything, don’t be afraid to ask staff members. From someone who has worked in retail before, trust me – don’t feel awkward or embarrassed that you might be asking a ‘silly question’, we appreciate and notice that you are making the effort!
People’s thoughts that have already been travelling
We got in contact with a few people that have been on holiday since travel reopened to hear their thoughts on going abroad so soon after travel reopened. They weren’t concerned or worried about their holiday being cancelled because many places offer a solid refund policy should anything happen.
As to be expected, places were very busy. One person we spoke to that had been to Portugal said that there were tourists packed in every bar and restaurant they went to. Luckily, they had booked things in advance in order to avoid disappointment. It is likely that things will stay busy (or even get worse) during the summer holidays, so make sure to book everything that you can beforehand. Alternatively, if you can’t make your booking to a bar or restaurant, make sure to let the place you were going to know so that they can give the table to a walk-in! Lots of places within the hospitality industry have had to close during lockdown periods, so it is important that we help business get back on their feet in any way that we can.
If you’re looking to travel on a budget, now can also be a good time to grab a bargain. Whilst UK holiday prices have skyrocketed this summer, there are many good deals to be found abroad in order to encourage people to travel out. Websites, such as Skyscanner, are a great way to sniff out where deals might be hiding.
What if I need to travel for work?
As the pandemic brought recreational travel to a halt, it also put a pause on business travel. In 2020, global business travel was reduced by 52% as many people were forced to adapt to video conferencing and working from home.
Currently, if you are a business traveller, travelling to an amber or red-list country will depend on the restrictions of the specific country. However, there are certain measures put in place for when you return to England. Before any journey, you will need to take a COVID-19 test and then pre-book any tests that you will need to take upon your return. You will also need to complete a passenger locator form, which is required for any trip. Depending on your job, you may be exempt from quarantine. You can see the full list of exempt jobs here.
After returning from amber-list, you must quarantine for ten days at the place you are staying. You may be able to break your quarantine to travel to your exempt job if it is permitted. When you arrive at the border, be prepared to present a letter from your company stating personal details, contacts details from your employer and the kind of work you will be carrying out in the country.
Our best safety tips
Aside from what we have already covered in this article, you can check out our other blog posts here, and here, where we cover our general travel, safety tips for flying during the pandemic and also some of the best places to go on holiday in 2021. In that article, we featured Iceland and New Zealand, which are two countries currently on the green-list as some of the safest to visit.
Make sure to visit our website www.safertravel.org to visit our ever-expanding range of city and country guides to help you prepare for your travels. Keep up to date with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.
Written by Joe Corfield.