Holidays in amber list countries ‘rather complicated’ warns expert

Simon Calder discusses regulations for travelling to Malta

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The Government confirmed Britons who have received their COVID-19 vaccine will be allowed to travel to amber list countries for leisure this summer. But how pleasant will the holiday be?

According to travel expert and Head of the Points Guy UK, Nicky Kelvin, it won’t be the most relaxing holiday as the process involved can be “rather complicated”, he said.

The expert warned travelling to amber countries this summer can be tricky, especially for families of those who don’t travel often.

He explained: “I recently returned from a business trip to the US, which is currently on the amber list.

“I found the experience of returning fairly complicated due to the amount of admin involved at each step.”

“I had to have a test within 72 hours before returning from the US and used Covid testing company Qured, which I ordered before setting off on my trip in order to avoid hunting down a testing provider when I arrived abroad,” he said.

“This process involves taking the test via video with a medical practitioner who verifies the result and issues a certificate.”

The expert continued: “When I arrived at the airport in Los Angeles, I needed to show evidence of a negative test result and also had to complete a Passenger Locator Form.

“Travellers will need to create an account on the Government website and fill in the rather complicated form.

“Along with the Passenger Locator Form and a negative test result, travellers will have to provide proof of their day two and day eight tests results, which cost roughly £90.

“I used Randox who were very efficient and delivered the tests to my home before I arrived back to self-isolate,” he explained.

“Although not cheap, PCR tests are certainly more affordable than this time last year.”

He also warned of additional travel restrictions passengers can encounter on their arrival: “Another point to consider is that while British travellers can now easily travel home from amber countries, these countries may have restrictions in place on arrival.

“Countries such as Spain, France and Italy can change their rules for travellers coming in at any time, especially as UK COVID-19 infections continue to rise.”

From July 19, double-jabbed travellers will be able to go on holiday to amber list countries without having to quarantine for 10 days on return.

Most European countries, including Britain’s favourite holiday spots, are on the UK’s amber list, including destinations such as Spain, Croatia or Greece.

But for families with kids or people that don’t travel often, the experience can be quite stressful.

He also said that passengers should be ready to expect long queues – experts warn they can go up to six hours – and potentially pay £1750 if their amber destination suddenly turns red.

“As we’re all aware, the Government can make changes to the green, amber, and red lists at any time, which is why Brits should be mindful of the risks involved when booking a trip abroad.”

He continued: “Should a country move to the red list, travellers should be prepared for the incredibly high cost of hotel quarantine, which is £1,750 per person.”

Under the Government’s current travel restriction, an green or amber country can downgrade at any time and with very short notice.

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