For some time, the UK’s travel corridor list has allowed UK travellers to travel abroad to select destinations without needed to quarantine upon return while, for trips to destinations that are excluded from the air corridor list (a continuously changing list), a mandatory 14-day quarantine has awaited them upon their return home. But not for much longer.
Global taskforce updates travel regulations
A new announcement from the UK government’s Global Travel Taskforce on 24 November will see the country now adopting a ‘test to release’ strategy for international arrivals from 15 December 2020. According to GOV.UK, this will give passengers arriving into England from countries not featured on the government’s travel corridor list the option to take a test after five days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing them from the need to isolate. No doubt this development will have a colossal impact on travel bookings, and a knock-on effect for the rest of the travel trade industry.
This is a timely development, especially as a Skyscanner survey highlights that 44 per cent of Brits asked would be more likely to travel abroad if there was a shorter quarantine time upon their return to the UK.
“As we’ve seen with the vaccine news and the positive impact it's had on travel bookings, there is a real appetite from post-lockdown holidaymakers to get out and explore as soon as they can and it’s safe to do so,” said Jo McClintock, Brand Director at Skyscanner. “Shorter quarantine lengths are another measure that we would expect to have a direct impact on traveller confidence.”
Travel insurance to ease concerns
But there are still other barriers to getting travel going again, including travel anxieties over catching Covid, or getting stranded abroad due to lockdown restrictions.
For 86 per cent of Brits, having travel insurance lessens anxieties about travelling abroad, reveals Medical Travel Compared, in its latest survey findings. And, aside from Covid-19 (which is a worry for 69 per cent of Brits), what are Brits worrying about?
- That they may have purchased the wrong travel insurance
- That their pre-existing medical conditions won’t be covered
- Being caught out by the travel insurance ‘fine print’
Clearly, product transparency, clear signposting and general customer assistance needs to be prioritised by travel insurers right now.
“I’m not surprised that not being insured if they become unwell on holiday is Britons’ biggest fear about travelling abroad. The costs of uninsured healthcare abroad can be astronomical, even before the cost of medical repatriation is taken into account,” Dr Sarah Jarvis, MBE General Practitioner (GP) and consultant to Medical Travel Compared, said. “We need to raise awareness of the importance of declaring medical conditions when taking out travel insurance: not declaring existing conditions can invalidate your insurance. With Brexit just around the corner and no clear plans on what will replace the current [European Health Insurance Card], it has never been more important to have the correct travel insurance.”