AS we begin to see some shoots emerging on the travel front, I am seizing this opportunity to give a summary of what the very positive future of travel looks like. The increase in demand for bookings is quite astounding. It is apparent that the vast majority of Islanders have had enough – they want their holidays back.
Holidays are very often a fundamental break from reality and the stresses and strains of modern life. Not being able to take a holiday or not having something to look forward to has taken its toll. And so I’m here to give you a run-down on the latest in travel restrictions, policies and where is looking the safest and most likely to welcome UK travellers this summer and beyond.
Top of the list this summer will come as no surprise – it is Greece.
With a superb track record from last summer, Greece, by its very nature, has had the added advantage of being primarily made up of islands. This has enabled them to keep the virus at bay and numbers relatively low. The country’s tourism minister, Haris Theoharis, said Greece hopes to welcome foreign tourists from 14 May, depending on the status of the coronavirus pandemic. Visitors will be required to have been vaccinated, had a recent negative Covid-19 test or have coronavirus antibodies, he explained.
Cyprus and Portugal
Both Cyprus and Portugal say they hope to welcome vaccinated British tourists from May – the month when travel restrictions may be lifted in the UK. The Cypriot government said those who had two Covid jabs could travel, while Portugal said those who tested negative or were ‘immune’ could also visit.
There also positive signs from Spain as well. ‘We believe that summer has to be the beginning of the end of this bad experience,’ says Fernando Valdes, Spain’s secretary of state for tourism. ‘I can’t give a specific date, that will depend on how the pandemic evolves.’
He added that it depended how the vaccination programme was going in both countries, but noted ‘the UK is increasingly moving towards their goals’.
The Seychelles are to welcome back tourists but with Covid-19 protocols in place. Sylvestre Radegonde is the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism of Seychelles and recently announced that the Indian Ocean archipelago will be welcoming tourists again from 25 March. However, there are certain protocols that need to be followed: new visitors will need a negative Covid-19 test done within 72 hours prior to arrival. No quarantines will be imposed, but tourists will be required to stay in hotels certified as complying with coronavirus measures.
So, when can we look to get away?
As the majority of travel from Jersey is via the UK, we are not only reliant on the States advice but also that in the UK. Boris Johnson announced that we can potentially look forward to international travel from 17 May – this is to be confirmed on 12 April. However, at the time of writing, we are yet to have any confirmation from the Government of Jersey on this and so currently all the countries listed above remain on the red list and require quarantine on return.
Nevertheless, I would still recommend booking travel from the end of May onwards to destinations that look most likely to allow entry to UK travellers – but, remember, book smart.
Book flexible, refundable or re-bookable travel, where only a deposit is payable, and make sure you know the full terms and conditions. Travel Counsellors offer a flexible policy for your peace of mind and financial protections.
How far in advance should you book?
Well, right now it is possible to book right up to December 2022. This is very much unprecedented but, with trips such as Lapland practically sold out for 2021, 2022 rates were released earlier than ever before. We have always been able to book cruises two years in advance but now we can look much further ahead for almost everything.
Easyjet have just released their schedule up to September 2022 which, again, is historically early. So, if you are still a little apprehensive, but want something to look forward to, you can start to plan your dream 2022 adventure now.
If you have questions regarding travel you may have already booked or are considering, please get in touch for the most up to date information and guidance.