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Package holidays to certain destinations could now see Britons facing fresh quarantine threats, even to places that have been placed onto the UK’s green list such as the Balearic Islands. Countries across the European Union (EU) have begun to put in place tightened entry requirements for Britons following comments from German chancellor Angela Merkel. It comes amid heightened concerns surrounding the prominence of the Delta variant in the UK.
Spain, for example, has announced unvaccinated Britons will be required to quarantine for 14-days unless they can show evidence of a negative “Gold Standard” PCR tests upon arrival. This includes the Balearic Islands.
Portugal, meanwhile, has also tightened entry requirements – demanding Britons be vaccinated in order to avoid quarantine. Luckily, this rule does not yet include green listed Madeira – though travellers will need to provide evidence of a negative PCR COVID-19 test.
With travel firms including Jet2, easyJet, TUI, and British Airways gearing to ramp up capacity to newly green Madeira and the Balearic Islands, the new restrictions could cause problems for Britons who are not yet vaccinated.
What are the latest updates from these popular package holiday providers?
Jet2 has not yet made any updates to its plans to resume holidays from July 1, 2021.
However, in order to help consumers, Jet2 has developed its own “Traffic Light policy” in line with the Government’s travel restrictions.
For green list countries, Jet2 says it is “looking forward” to taking guests on holiday, though warns travellers should “check the travel requirements” for their chosen destination before departing.
This would mean passengers heading to any nation requiring negative COVID-19 tests would be responsible for ensuring they had adequate proof testing.
For amber list countries, Jet2 says holidays “on or before July 14, 2021, won’t be going ahead”.
It adds: “We’ll automatically cancel your booking and process your full refund within 14 days.
“If you’re due to depart between 15 and 21 July 2021, if you want to, you can amend your booking admin-fee-free.
“If when amending your flight the total cost increases, you’ll need to pay the difference. “
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Holidays to red list countries, such as Turkey, will not be going ahead if they are due to depart on or before July 21. Instead, Jet2 will automatically refund the entire cost of the booking.
The Leeds-based provider adds: “If your booking is affected in any way, we’ll be in touch with you as soon as we can. We kindly ask you to hold off from contacting us and wait for us to get in touch with more details.
“Please visit our website seven days before you’re due to depart, when we’ll have all the latest official information.
“Between now and then, there’s no need to take any action – and we’d recommend that you don’t start arranging things like COVID-19 tests until closer to your time of travel, as travel requirements both here and abroad can change.”
easyJet holidays has not announced any amendments to travel plans following the latest quarantine updates across Europe.
However, the holiday provider has developed its own rules in accordance with the Government’s traffic light system.
On its website, the package holiday provider explains: “It’s important to know that this traffic light system only applies to your return journey.
“You’ll also need to ensure that everyone in your party meets the entry requirements for your destination, which could also change between booking and travel.
“Due to COVID-19, this may include steps such as completing and submitting documentation in advance to show at the airport, proof of a negative Covid-19 test and/or complying with any applicable vaccination rules.
“You’ll need to make sure you meet these requirements.”
easyJet holidays says holidays to green destinations “can go ahead”, but warns travellers they will need to arrange testing for their return journey to the UK.
“While on holiday, you’ll need to take an antigen (rapid flow) test before you begin your journey home,” explains easyJet holidays.
“You’ll also need to take a PCR test on or before day two of your arrival back home. The great news is, that unless you receive a positive result, you won’t need to self-isolate or quarantine once you get home.
“You’ll need to book a test package before you travel on holiday from one of the government’s approved list of providers.”
easyJet holidays is working with a number of providers to offer testing packages for customers.
Holidays to amber list destinations will also go ahead as long as passengers are “happy to travel and follow the renter steps” set out by the Government.
easyJet holidays is also providing more flexibility.
“For ‘amber’ destinations, you’re covered under our industry-leading Protection Promise,” it explains.
“You only need to pay your balance 28 days before travel, and if you need to make any changes or you simply change your mind you can cancel 28 days or more before departure and we’ll return your deposit back to you as easyJet holidays credit and refund any further payments to your original method of payment for your booking before this point.
“Once you’re less than 28 days from departure, we’ve now enhanced our Covid commitments for departures up to and including 30 September 2021.
“So if your holiday destination stays on the ‘amber’ list as we get closer to your departure date, you can make fee-free changes to your booking or cancel for credit right up to 24 hours before travel.”
Customers can also avail of the Protection Promise if they are impacted by “restrictions in destination.”
easyJet holidays adds: “In line with our industry-leading easyJet holidays Protection Promise, we won’t be operating any holidays to destinations that are on the ‘red’ list at the time of departure.”
TUI has not announced an update to its plans in relation to the new restrictions in Europe.
However, it continues to remind customers they are protected by the TUI Holiday Promise, which means holidays won’t go ahead and customers can avail of a free refund, or change their booking free of charge “if the government for the destination you’re travelling to decides to enforce quarantine on arrival and there isn’t the option to forgo this quarantine period by providing evidence of a negative COVID-19 test or of being fully vaccinated.”
For countries where testing is required to forgo quarantine, this will be the passengers’ responsibility.
TUI also continues to offer fee-free changes on all holidays, flights and accommodation bookings up to the end of October.
The airline has cancelled a number of holidays in the coming months.
It states: “Please rest assured, if your holiday has been cancelled, we’ll be contacting you soon to discuss your options.
“If you booked online, your booking information in Manage My Booking will be updated as soon as possible, too. We’re working around the clock to do this and are getting in touch with customers in departure date order.”
British Airways holidays
British Airways’ package holiday arm has begun to ramp up holidays to green list destinations.
It has not made any new updates following the increase in restrictions across Europe.
The airline is also tempting holidaymakers with up to £300 off summer holidays to newly green-listed countries including Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda, Grand Cayman, Grenada, Ibiza, Madeira, Malta, Mallorca, Menorca and Turks & Caicos.
However, these bookings must be made by Wednesday, June 30, 2021, in order to avail of the deal.
As part of its ongoing Protection Promise. British Airways holidays is also allowing customers to change or cancel their holiday “free of charge” up to three weeks before departure.
It adds: “If we cannot fulfil your holiday, we’re committed to ensuring you receive a full refund within 14 days.”
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