CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

3rd December 2021 Update

The UK government have announced changes to the UK re-entry requirements and testing for fully vaccinated travellers.

Effective from 4am Tuesday 30th November, all fully-vaccinated travellers returning from a non-red list destination will need to take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after arrival (lateral flow tests will no longer be accepted), and you must self-isolate until you receive a negative result.

Non-vaccinated travellers returning from a non-red destination will still need to take a pre-departure test before arrival into England, a day 2 and day 8 PCR test and self-isolate at home for 10 days (with the option to Test to Release on day 5).

PCR tests must be pre-booked before you go on holiday (see below for information on Covid Testing Packages).

There are different rules if you are returning from a red list country. The same red list rules apply whether you are fully vaccinated or not.

To ease your preparations for your holiday and to put your mind at rest about what you need to do to travel to non-red destinations; we have collated all the latest Coronavirus information onto one easy-to-use page.

This information includes the current entry requirements for the country you’re travelling to as per FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office) advice and also everything you need to know about COVID testing packagesentry requirements for your return to the UK, and proving your vaccine status for travel.

For FCDO advice for the country you’re travelling to

Click Here

 

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY DESTINATION:

In plenty of time before your holiday, please check the entry requirements for the country you’re travelling to and get tested and fill out a pre-departure form as required. Please note that this may be required even if you have been vaccinated.
The FCDO link above will let you know whether you need to fill out a pre-departure form and/or get tested before you travel or on arrival in your destination – the requirements on timings and the types of test accepted vary from country to country.

It’s your responsibility to make sure you meet any entry requirements, including arranging and paying for tests where you’re required to do so. Hays Travel have partnered with Collinson Group to help you with the testing process.   
You’ll find all the latest country-specific information on testing and entry requirements on the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office website.

 

COVID TESTING PACKAGES

Airport On-Site PCR Testing

Most UK airports are offering on site testing upon arrival back into the UK. Check below for the most up to date information on airport testing at your arrival airport

At Home Testing

Hays Travel have partnered with Collinson Group as a recommended supplier of COVID testing packages - from pre-departure testing in the UK to re-entry testing for your return to the UK and day 2 and day 8 testing after your return home. All tests can be booked with Collinson Group via using this link: https://www.collinsongroup.com/en/covid-19-testing

 
Pre-departure test in resort (unvaccinated)

You must provide proof of a negative COVID test (antigen or PCR test) to travel back to England if you are unvaccinated; the test needs to be taken in your destination up to 72 hours before your departure. 

What happens if the test is positive?

You’ll need to follow local public health advice and specific procedures in place and expect to self-isolate in resort – you’ll be supported by your package holiday provider. You’ll also need to inform your travel insurance company; so it is essential that your travel insurance policy includes comprehensive COVID-19 cover – ask our staff for more details on our COVID-19 policy.

What are the rules for children travelling on non-red list holidays?

No child under 18 will have to isolate; but children age five and over will need to take a PCR test on day two. Children four and under will not need to take any tests.


What happens if a destination changes to the red list whilst I’m on holiday?

Your package holiday provider will arrange for you to be repatriated before rules come into effect.

NB: You should still check the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) advice for individual destinations. For more information on your local travel restrictions, please refer to your local government website

 

REQUIREMENTS FOR YOUR RE-ENTRY INTO THE UK:

What you need to do in preparation for coming back to the UK from your holiday destination depends on which UK country you’re a resident in and whether or not you're fully vaccinated.

You’ll need to book the tests you need to take once you arrive home, before your holiday begins. There’s guidance on this on the FCDO website. These tests are required even if you’re a UK citizen and you have been vaccinated. The Test to Release scheme is only in place for England. To support you with this process Hays Travel have partnered with Collinson Group as a recommended supplier.

If you live in Wales, the PCR tests you need to take once you’ve arrived home from a non-red list destination should only be purchased through the Wales CTM portal.

If you are unvaccinated you’ll need evidence of a negative test result – taken 72 hours before departure - to enable you to board your flight home and/or you could be fined on arrival. Your test result can be provided as a printed document, or an email or text message that you can show on your phone. NB: If your pre-departure test result is positive, you must not travel, and you should follow local guidance.

 

UK PASSENGER LOCATOR FORM

Make a note of the UK Passenger Locator Form link, as you’ll need to complete this form within the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK and before you check-in for your flight home. Every adult needs to complete a PLF form and any children travelling need to be added on to one adult’s form.

Once you’ve completed the PLF form and submitted it; you’ll receive an email with your QR code(s), which you’ll need to show before you board your flight home. You’ll also be able to download your completed form with your QR code(s). You'll also need to enter your PLF reference number – a 13-digit number prefixed by 'UKVI' – when you check in to your flight online.

 

NHS APP – VACCINE STATUS

You’re fully vaccinated from 14 days after you have your second dose of a UK government-approved vaccine.
If you live in England and have been fully vaccinated, you’ll be able to demonstrate your COVID-19 vaccination status through the NHS app.
If you don’t have a Smartphone, you can call the NHS Helpline on 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you – you must do this at least five working days after your second vaccination. Make sure you allow seven days for the letter to be received.
If you live in Wales and have been fully vaccinated, visit the Welsh Government’s website to find out how to get your NHS COVID Pass.
If you live in Scotland and have been fully vaccinated, visit the NHS inform website to find out how to get proof of your vaccination status.
If you live in Northern Ireland and have been fully vaccinated, visit the NI Direct website to find out how to get proof of your vaccination status.

We have many experienced staff travel agents back at work to help you. 

Please contact your local branch, or the person who made your booking, and we will prioritise a call back to you.

Click here for your branch contact details

 

We will contact you within four weeks of your departure date to discuss the options*. If you have booked a package holiday, then we will try to offer you alternative arrangements for a later date but if this is not possible, or you do not want to accept the alternative arrangements, then you will be entitled to a full refund.  If you have made either a hotel only or flight only booking, then the options available to you will depend on the relevant airline.

The FCO advice is applicable for refunds on travel due in the immediate future, and we have been advised by the travel industry body, ABTA, that immediate means the next four weeks.  For holidays due after that, we await further advice from the FCO.  If you choose to cancel your holiday earlier than this, the terms and conditions of your booking, including normal cancellation charges, will still apply.

The latest FCO travel advice can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

*Please note that this varies depending on the tour operator.

If you don’t want to re-book, we will work on your behalf to get your refund as quickly as possible.  Given the huge number of refunds being processed, some airlines and travel operators are delaying refunds or offering credit notes until a refund is processed.  We are negotiating with them to try to speed things up for you. 

We will issue the refund within 14 days of receiving the refund from the supplier, however at present this is taking up to 6 weeks.

If we have asked you to submit bank details for a refund, click here

If you are unable to travel because of the Coronavirus you are entitled to a refund.  We at Hays Travel will do everything in our power to ensure that this is paid as quickly as possible.

We are working hard to administer all refund requests from our suppliers. At the moment we are experiencing significant delays in receiving these refunds from some of our suppliers due to the volume of people requesting refunds.

We will issue the refund within 14 days of receiving the cancellation invoice from your supplier, however at present this is taking up to 6 weeks.

If you have not heard back from us within the timescales quoted then please contact your local branch or agent where you originally booked your holiday.

We are really sorry that this is taking longer than you would expect under normal circumstances and are very grateful for your patience during these unprecedented times.

Don’t worry, if you are entitled to a refund your money is safe.

If you are not due to travel in the immediate future, and we have not yet contacted you to discuss your options, you can opt to cancel or change your arrangements, in line with the normal terms and conditions of your booking, which means cancellation or amendment charges will apply.

Yes, we can often just change your whole holiday to the same date next year or an alternative date if required.  And as the biggest independent UK travel agent we have access to thousands of holidays.   On certain new bookings you can get our Peace of Mind Guarantee – you can cancel or change free of charge, up to 50 days before your departure date.

Balances for holidays which are not currently cancelled are still due to be paid, or you could lose your deposit and pay charges according to the booking conditions. If the government advises against travel at the time you’re due to travel, your money is protected and you will be able to consider your options about rebooking or having a refund.

And finally ………

Thank you once again for booking with Hays Travel.  Please help us all stay safe and avoid delays by emailing your local branch or to the person who made your booking.  They will get back to you as soon as possible.