We understand that despite a holiday being a welcome prospect at the moment, planning and travelling during these uncertain times can be daunting. We have put together answers to some of the most frequently asked questions from our clients in order to alleviate some of these worries. Of course, our expert travel specialists are always on hand to discuss any queries you may have in detail.
Updated 18 February 2021.
Are UK citizens allowed to travel abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Under current lockdown rules non-essential travel is not allowed. We are monitoring advice and will update the information here when restrictions are eased. For clients who do not live in the UK we advise you to check with your government travel advice.
I want to book a holiday, but I am worried about losing my money if the country I am visiting prevents anyone from entering?
Our Book with Confidence policy will not only allow you to make changes, fee free, up until 15 days prior to travel but if the government in your country of residence restricts all but essential travel or the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel we will refund or rebook your holiday. This will also apply if the destination you are travelling to has entry restrictions in place such as closed borders or extended quarantine requirements, or flights are cancelled without alternative routes available, or if there is a requirement from the UK government for you to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel (at your own expense) upon your return to the UK.
Are there entry requirements to the country I want to travel to?
Entry requirements are changing constantly with some countries borders closed completely. We also advise checking the most up-to-date information about entry requirements and restrictions for the country you would like to travel at the FCDO website here. As restrictions start to lift, we have put together a list of destinations to consider for future trips here. Many countries currently require a negative PCR test result no less than 72 hours before you travel. For more information see our PCR testing page here.
Can I book a holiday to travel in 2021?
Yes, you can book a holiday for 2021 and be assured that our Book with Confidence policy will allow you to make changes to your booking for any COVID-19 related reason up until 15 days prior to travel.
Can I book a holiday for 2022 yet?
Not only can you book for 2022, but we would recommend booking early – due to postponed holidays, places are likely to sell out quicker than usual. Please get in touch with one of our travel specialists to discuss your requirements.
Can I get travel insurance to cover COVID-19?
It is very important to have comprehensive travel insurance when booking your next holiday, and we require all those travelling with us to have an appropriate policy. We can put you in contact with our preferred insurance partner, Campbell Irvine, who offer cover for many COVID-19 situations. See our insurance page here for more information.
What if I or a close family member get COVID-19 or have been told to self-isolate before I am due to go on my holiday?
If you contract COVID-19 and are unable to travel on your holiday this will be treated as any illness stopping you from travelling. You should refer to your travel insurance provider to make sure that this situation would be covered.
If it is announced that I have to quarantine when I get back from my destination can I cancel or change my dates?
As per our flexible booking policy, if there is a requirement from the UK government for you to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel (at your own expense) upon your return to the UK, you have the right to request a full refund.
Can I take a refund at any time after I book?
If your plans are affected by the COVID-19 related reasons covered by our flexible booking policy cancellation terms and you do not wish to change or postpone your holiday, you can cancel and claim a full refund.
Can I cancel and get a refund if I decide I do not want to travel for any other reason?
If your reason is unrelated to a change in FCDO advice or new travel restrictions impacting your holiday, you can still cancel. However, you will be subject to our usual booking conditions, including any cancellation charges. Depending on your reason, cancellation fees may be covered by your insurance policy.
How can I travel safely during COVID-19?
Travelling safely will mean following measures to reduce the risk of spreading and contracting COVID-19. Follow the rules at airports, train stations and other transport hubs, wear a face covering to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, maintain social distance from others and ensure that you frequently and effectively wash your hands. To ensure that you are minimising your risk as much as possible it is advised to check in online before arriving at the airport to spend less time queuing around others, to use contactless payment for any purchases where possible and to adhere to all local guidance.
What will it be like at the airport and on my flight?
Airlines and airports have introduced strict measures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 such as one-way systems, social distancing signposts, mandatory mask wearing and hygiene stations. There are different protocols in countries around the world, however you should expect that there will be some level of enhanced security and checking in place on arrival. To get the most up-to-date information on what to expect at your particular destination please speak with your travel specialist before travel and check the FCDO foreign travel advice.
How are you safeguarding health on your holidays?
Our measures to safeguard your health and wellbeing have been accredited by the World Travel & Tourism Council, meaning that we meet or exceed the travel industry’s latest global health & safety protocols. Check our health and hygiene policy here for the full details of what we are doing to keep you safe on your travels with us.
What restrictions are there in the destination I want to travel to?
Restrictions will differ throughout countries, and even regions, and are likely to change over time, but will likely include some rules on social distancing, mask wearing and enhanced health and hygiene protocols. Some sights may be closed, have limited opening times or reduced capacity. Check the FCDO foreign travel advice page before you travel or speak with your travel specialist for specific information about your destination.
Will I have to wear a mask during my holiday?
Rules relating to mask wearing will differ from country to country and could change as time goes on. Individual private spaces such as hotels and sights of interest may well also have their own rules in addition to any national requirements. We strongly advise to wear a mask in any situation where social distancing is not possible, and of course to follow the local guidance at all times. Please refer to the FCDO website for up-to-date information on national restrictions, and your travel specialist for advice relating to particular destinations at the time of booking. Check our health and hygiene policy here for the full details of what we are doing to keep you safe on your travels with us.
How will my accommodation be managing COVID-19 risk?
Each accommodation will have its own measures in place alongside national rules in order to minimise the risk to their guests and their own protocols to ensure health and hygiene. These could include measures such as contactless check-in, social distancing measures, table service only in restaurants and bars and enhanced cleaning. You can ask your travel specialist about the measures that you can expect at your specific accommodation at the time you travel. We are working closely with all of our accommodation providers to ensure they are operating with robust COVID-19 policies. Check our health and hygiene policy here for the full details of what we are doing to keep you safe on your travels with us.
How are you managing social distancing on your tours?
Our small-group journeys are well-suited to socially-distanced exploring with a maximum of 18 and an average of just 14 guests making it much easier to maintain cleaning and hygiene procedures and ensure adequate physical distancing. Some of the measures we are putting in place to safeguard our guests include large vehicles with increased space, no-contact check-in/check-outs in many hotels and group dining arranged to allow for plenty of space. Of course, there is also the option of taking one of our tours as a private journey or creating a fully tailor-made holiday allowing you to travel only with members of your household or bubble.
What happens if I get ill while on holiday?
One benefit of travelling with Cox & Kings is that you are never alone. Our local offices are always on hand to help you, so you should let them know as soon as possible if you start to feel unwell. They can support you in following local guidance for booking a test, self-isolation and navigating local healthcare if needed. You should contact your travel insurance provider for advice if you need treatment.
Will I need to quarantine when I return home from my holiday?
Travellers arriving into the UK are currently required to self-isolate for 10 days, however, you may be able to shorten this isolation period with the test to release scheme. From 15 February, arrivals who have been in one of the red list of high-risk countries over the past 10 days are required to quarantine in hotels and are not eligible for the test to release scheme. A negative test result obtained no less than 72 hours before travelling home is required to be shown on arrival. Rest assured Cox & Kings’ local offices are there to facilitate in-country testing, whether you’re travelling to another country or returning home. Check our advice on PCR testing here.
As these rules will change over time the latest information on the government website should be checked at the time of travelling. Please note there may be different rules applying to entry to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland so it is prudent to check each of the relevant government’s sites for the latest advice.