Last update: 6 January 2022
As the world begins to open up once more, we understand planning and travelling during these uncertain times can be confusing. 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.
Will I need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel on a Cox & Kings group tour in future?
Yes, from 1st January 2022 all clients travelling on a Cox & Kings group tour will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Clients must also comply with any local entry requirements – visit the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) site for current entry requirements by country.
Why has Cox & Kings introduced this policy?
At Cox & Kings, the safety and wellbeing of our clients is our first priority, and we are continually reviewing ways to further reduce the risk of infection from Covid-19 on our tours, while also ensuring that clients are able enjoy their holiday experience to the full.
Over the course of 2021, we have seen how vaccines have had a positive effect in reopening international travel, becoming a standard entry requirement for most of our core destinations.
Client feedback has also indicated that most travellers would feel safer when travelling in exclusively vaccinated groups.
Will all our guides and drivers be vaccinated?
From 1st January 2022, Cox & Kings will work only with vaccinated local staff in respect of group tours. However, as a number of national vaccine roll-outs are still in their early stages, we will, in exceptional cases, permit staff to be tested, instead of vaccinated, on a strictly temporary basis until such time as they can receive a vaccine locally.
Will I be required to provide proof of my vaccination?
We will not require clients to provide us with proof of vaccination. All clients will however be asked to sign a health declaration form which will confirm the requirement to be vaccinated in order to travel. This is a contractual document which forms an integral element of our booking conditions. In order to comply with any local regulations in your destination however, you are strongly advised to carry proof of vaccination with you.
I cannot be vaccinated against Covid-19 for medical reasons; can I still join a group tour?
We will be pleased to welcome any client with a recognised medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccination. Please note that some countries have vaccination as a requirement to entry, so you may not be able to enter a country without being fully vaccinated. Check the FCDO website for full details. Additional testing requirements may also apply however and therefore please contact your travel consultant directly for further information.
I already have a group tour booked with Cox & Kings but am unvaccinated, what are my options?
If you have already booked a Cox & Kings group tour and will be unvaccinated on the date of departure, please contact your travel consultant who will be able to advise of alternative options.
How does Cox & Kings define “fully vaccinated”?
Cox & Kings follows guidance from the World Health organisation (WHO) which currently defines those who have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine as fully vaccinated, 14-days after their second vaccine. There are certain exceptions for those who have received a vaccination course which only requires a single dose e.g. Johnson & Johnson. Further information can be found on the WHO website:
At present, booster shots are not required. However, we reserve the right to change this in the future in the event WHO update their guidance – all booked clients will be notified of any changes.
I received one or more doses outside of the UK, will these be accepted?
This is not problem, provided the vaccine is recognised by the WHO. Further information can be found below:
You should however check the specific entry requirements for your destination to ensure these doses will be recognised by the relevant national authorities.
If I have an existing booking, can I still make changes depending on which UK government list my booked destination is on?
For new bookings from 01 January 2022, book for travel through to 31 December 2022, and you may change or cancel up to 30 days prior to departure in the event of a COVID-19-related reason* outlined here. If you choose to change or postpone, you may rebook your travel through to 31 December 2022. Additionally, if you choose to cancel due to any COVID-19 related reasons* outlined here you will receive a full refund.
Can I cancel and get a refund if I have booked a destination that is listed on the UK Government’s ‘rest of the world’ list?
If your chosen destination is on the ‘rest of the world’ list the good news is that your holiday should operate as planned. For new bookings from 01 January 2022, you can change your travel plans or postpone up to 30 days before your travel date due to any Covid-19 related reasons outlined here. We will not charge you should you choose to change to a new destination or move your travel dates. You can rebook to travel any time before 31 December 2022. If your booking is not covered by our Book with Confidence (BWC) policy and you do not wish to travel standard cancellation terms and conditions would apply
Can I cancel and get a refund if I have booked a red destination?
For new bookings from 01 January 2022, book with C&K for travel through to 31 December 2022 and you can change your travel plans or postpone up to 30 days before your travel date. We will not charge you should you choose to change to a new destination or move your travel dates, and you can rebook to travel any time before 31 December 2022. You may also cancel due to any Covid-19 related reason and will receive a full refund. You can see our COVID-19 related reasons in full here.
If a country moves onto the red list while we are away – who is responsible to get us home?
If the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises immediate return of UK citizens Cox & Kings will provide support to get you home as expediently as possible. However, if the destination you have travelled to moves onto the red list whilst you are travelling there and the FCDO does not advise immediate repatriation you may continue your trip as planned. You will however be required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel on return to the UK and adhere to the relevant guidelines that apply to red list countries. All quarantine expenses and/or costs incurred to return home early in the event the FCDO does not advise all citizens to return home shall be at the traveller’s own expense.
What happens if I test positive when I take my test before coming home? Who is responsible for any additional costs that I may incur?
You should refer to your travel insurance provider to make sure that this situation would be covered.
Are UK citizens allowed to travel abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic?
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 30 days prior to travel but if the government in your country of residence restricts all but essential travel, or, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and 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.
Are there entry requirements to the country I want to travel to?
Entry requirements are changing constantly with some country’s borders closed completely. We have listed some of the countries you are currently able to visit under the traffic light system here. We 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. 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 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 gets 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.
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?
From 4am, Friday 7 January if you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, you do not need to take a COVID-19 test before you travel to England or quarantine when you arrive in England. Additionally from Sunday 9 January, if you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, you can choose to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test after you arrive in England.
If you take a lateral flow test and test positive, you will need to self-isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test. You must book the test before you travel to England. Full details can be found here.
If you are returning from a red-list country, no matter what your vaccination status, you are required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days. Full details can be found here.
For the latest information on traveling from another country during COVID-19 including the rules for children see here.
If you are not fully vaccinated then the existing testing and quarantine requirements remain, read here for full details.
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.
Other useful information:
For a comprehensive travel abroad checklist, visit the UK Government site here