Holidays: How to book a holiday as quarantine list chops and changes

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Holidays are pretty difficult to organise at the moment with travel restrictions rife and constantly changing. The latest changes to the quarantine list were announced on Thursday – but it was a mixed bag. The good news is that the Greek islands Lesvos, Santorini, Serifos and Zakynthos have now been moved to the travel corridor list.

Anyone travelling back from these four islands and mainland Greece will not have to quarantine any more. Only Mykonos and Crete still come with quarantine requirements.

However the bad news is that entry restrictions for Italy have been ramped up.

A negative COVID test is now required when you arrive in Italy from the UK. You’ll be asked to show evidence that you tested negative in a test administered in the 72 hours before your travel.

In short, going abroad is a complex business. spoke exclusively to Craig Ashford, Director at TravelUp for his advice on how to go about booking a holiday this winter.

“As the travel corridors continue to be reviewed on a weekly basis, it is important to be aware that some destinations may be impacted by the ever changing and evolving quarantine list,” he said.

Ashford explained his greatest piece of advice is to make sure you do your research before booking.

“Before you travel it is worth looking at the European Centre for Disease Control which produces helpful daily figures which show the level of Coronavirus infections across the globe and allows you to compare infection levels from one country to another.

“Of course, it is not a guarantee for if a country may join the UK’s quarantine list, but it is a good initial indicator.”

It’s also important to protect yourself should anything go wrong during these uncertain times.

“For financial protection for holiday bookings, it is important to know that customers are financially protected if they have booked through an ATOL protected scheme.

“This protection means that should their holiday be cancelled, they can find assurance that they will be able to redeem a credit voucher against a trip in the future.

“I would also strongly advise customers to be aware that should they book through a travel agent and require a refund, it may be the case that the ATOL-protected package has used an airline such as Ryanair, who have been difficult in issuing refunds in the event of cancelled flights.”

There are currently just two countries Britons can travel to without any restrictions.

These are Gibraltar and Greece.

Italy and San Marino were previously among the list but the new testing rules have changed this.

Germany, too, was recently among the restriction-free countries, but now travellers entering Germany from a designated risk area must enter quarantine for 14 days and take a COVID-19 test.

Northern Ireland Scotland, North East England, North West England, Yorkshire and the Humber and Wales have been designated as high risk areas.

Travellers are also required to notify the local German health authority in their place of residence/accommodation.

Luckily the countries remaining still have plenty to offer British holidaymakers.

“If you are healthy enough to travel, cities like Athens which usually become overwhelmed with tourists are particularly empty right now and could make for a more relaxing and enjoyable holiday learning history, minus the crowds,” said Ashford.

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