What’s the latest on going on travelling this winter?
Going abroad for anything other than essential reasons is currently banned throughout the UK, but the reports of a potential vaccine have led to a rising interest from people eager to get back out there and travel.
England is due to come out of its current lockdown period on the 2nd of December 2020 and will potentially move back into its three-tier system, and until then travelling for holiday purposes can be met with a fine starting at £200, then going up to £6400. Previously, travelling abroad was allowed in all tiers – although the rules for beyond this lockdown are yet to be confirmed.
Are winter ski seasons still going ahead?
Depending on the area you are flying out to, there may be local lockdown measures in place that will restrict your access to the slopes. For example, the French government have implemented a temporary lockdown, which have seen the closure of resorts in Tignes and Val d’Isère until at least the 1st of December 2020.
Elsewhere in the world, resorts like Banff in Canada have opened earlier than they ever have before due to large snowfall with strict safety measures in place. It is predicted that resorts in Europe will follow suit provided that it is legal to do so – check with your travel provider if you have any seasonal work planned on the slopes to see if any changes to your visit are being made.
Will I still have to quarantine after entering the UK?
Currently, people coming into the UK have to self-isolate for 14 days, with exceptions for people coming from the Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Visitors will have to fill out a ‘passenger locator’ form with their contact details and UK address, and if you don’t have a valid address you will be expected to pay for one to be arranged for you.
Currently, the list of places you can visit without having to quarantine can be found here. Furthermore, airlines such as Emirates have also been working hard to provide extensive testing and COVID-19 insurance cover, which have led to the UK government adding the United Arab Emirates to the no-quarantine travel list. Take a look at some of the safety measures they have implemented in their flights and within the wider airport experience, so you can feel reassured in travelling on airplanes coming out of lockdown.
What if I go abroad and then can’t return to the UK?
In the instance of a country you’re currently visiting implementing border restrictions at short notice to control the spread of coronavirus, first of all don’t panic. Contact your travel provider and discuss with them potential accommodation options. You can also contact your travel insurance provider to discuss any support they may be able to provide. It is also important for you to stay in touch any friends and family back home, to let them know what is going on. Check your mobile data plan on how it works for international calls and texts – if you are going to be unable to return home for a while look into buying a temporary local sim card. If your accommodation has Wi-Fi included, or you know of places where Wi-Fi is available, applications such as WhatsApp, Facetime and Skype are great for keeping in touch without incurring mobile data charges.
If you require healthcare or financial support whilst stuck abroad, take a look at the UK government’s healthcare and financial support pages. As well as physical health, your mental health during these difficult times is of utmost importance, so please keep in contact with friends and loved ones. If you wish to talk to someone directly about your mental health, then their is support from companies like the Samaritans which are available 24/7.
What is the progress on the coronavirus vaccine?
The most exciting recent development in vaccine progression is the German biotech firm BioNTech revealing that their COVID-19 vaccine had a 90% success rate in preventing the coronavirus on patients who had shown no evidence of prior infection. This is incredibly promising news from a travel perspective as it means we are potentially one step closer to getting back to doing what we all love – exploring the world. However, the vaccine is still in an early stage of development, so deployment before Christmas is uncertain.
In terms of testing, ‘rapid’ tests are being developed, which require a nose or throat swab, and the test results will be available in twenty to thirty minutes. This will hopefully pave the way for non-quarantine air travel in the sense that travellers can get tested conveniently at the airport – allowing people to take appropriate actions faster depending on the result of their test.
We urge you not to travel for recreational purposes during this time for your own safety and the safety of others, instead why not use this time to plan your next great adventure post- lockdown? Consider looking at one of our detailed travel guides we have published on our website to help you.
We are working hard to add relevant and up-to-date information all the time, so if the country you want to visit isn’t on there right now, check back soon and it might be!
Written by Joe Corfield