We understand that the rules and advice surrounding overseas travel, with the introduction of the traffic light system, relating to covid-19, remains confusing.

We have updated this page to enable you to quickly find travel information relevant to your situation, and also to signpost you to reliable advice from relevant authorities.

We aim to update this page as quickly as possible following any important announcements relating to travel and the coronavirus pandemic.  This page was last updated on 29 November 2021

Travelaware and FCDO Travel Advice

For information on staying safe and healthy abroad, visit the government’s TravelAware page https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

For the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) about travel to any destination, please visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

For information on the requirements to enter the UK, please visit https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control and for specific information on the red, amber and green list rules please see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

Bookings affected by FCDO advice

Should the FCDO advise against travel, to your booked holiday destination and you are currently due to depart at any time during 2021, we will offer a free of charge amendment (see more detail below).  If you are due to travel within 14 days and you don’t wish to amend your booking, we will offer you a free of charge cancellation.

Please rest assured that if your booking is affected by FCDO advice, we will be in touch.  We are contacting people in departure date order to ensure we deal with all affected bookings in a fair manner.  If you want to speak with us before we have contacted you, please email us on customercare@classic-collection.co.uk or call us on 01903 823088 or freephone 0800 008 7288, choosing option 2.

Entry into the United Kingdom – from 4am, 30 November 2021

New measures come into effect for all arrivals into the UK from 4am on 30 November.  It is no longer possible to take a lateral flow test on day 2 or day 8 – these must now be PCR tests.  It is also a requirement to self-isolate at home or the place where you are staying until you receive a negative test result.

If you are arriving from a non-red list destination the rules are dependant on your vaccination status. To check whether your vaccine is approved please visit;

England https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england#new-rules

N.Ireland https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-changes-international-travel-rules-4-october.

Scotland https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-international-travel-quarantine/pages/red-amber-and-green-list-countries/

Wales https://gov.wales/rules-international-travel-and-wales-coronavirus

For eligible fully vaccinated passengers you must:

  • Book and pay for a day 2 Covid 19 test (PCR) – to be taken after arrival.
  • Complete your Passenger Locator Form up to 48 hours before you arrive (you need to complete this in order to be permitted to check in for your return flight).
  • Ensure that you take your Covid 19 test on or before day 2.

You will not need to take a pre-departure test or a day 8 test, but you must self-isolate at home (or the place where you’re staying) as soon as you arrive. You are only permitted to end self-isolation if you receive a negative test result from your day 2 test. If your PCR test results are delayed you  must self-isolate either until a negative result is received, or until day 14 after arrival, whichever is sooner.

You must also be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (at least 14 days before your arrival) with a digital or paper document from the appropriate health authority.

If you are not fully vaccinated  you must:

  • Take a pre-departure Covid 19 test within 3 days prior to your travel home.
  • Book and pay for day 2 and day 8 Covid 19 tests – to be taken after arrival.
  • Complete your Passenger Locator Form up to 48 hours before you arrive (you need to complete this in order to be permitted to check in for your return flight).
  • Quarantine at home for 10 days
  • Ensure that you take your Covid 19 day 2 test on or before day 2, and your day 8 test on or after day 8

If your day 2 test is positive you must isolate for the full 10 days following, the day of taking the test is considered day 0. It is not necessary to take the day 8 test if your day 2 test is positive, if it is negative you must continue to self-isolate and take the day 8 test on or after day 8. If the day 8 test is positive you must self isolate for a further full 10 days, the day you take the day 8 test is considered day 0.

Classic Collection Holidays’ policy:

Should you wish to amend your holiday we will charge zero fees for amendments (although increased supplier charges may apply) and if a cancellation is required this will be subject to our standard booking conditions.

To amend an existing booking that is currently due to travel in the next 4 weeks, please call +44 (0) 1903 823088 or freephone 0800 008 7288 with details of your request.  To amend a booking that is currently due to depart outside of the next 4 weeks, please complete this Booking Amendment Form.

Red list destinations

The government says we should not travel to red list countries.

 Classic Collection Holidays’ policy:

At 14 days or less prior to departure, a cancellation with full refund will be available.  Alternatively, customers can amend their booking with zero amendment fees (although increased supplier charges may apply) and as a thank you for amending rather than cancelling we will offer a £100 holiday voucher to be used against the outstanding balance of the existing booking or a future booking.

To amend an existing booking that is currently due to travel in the next 4 weeks, please call +44 (0) 1903 823088 or freephone 0800 008 7288 with details of your request.  To amend a booking that is currently due to depart outside of the next 4 weeks, please complete this Booking Amendment Form.

More information about red, amber and green list rules for entering England can be found here.

Entry requirements at destination

Where blanket entry requirements are imposed by the destination, which makes it impossible for us to deliver the package booked – for example a 5 day quarantine on arrival for all – we will offer a complete refund to all fully paid bookings within 14 days of departure, on a rolling 14 day basis. However, if there is a requirement for visitors to have completed a full vaccination programme this does not affect our ability to deliver the package that has been booked and therefore booking conditions will apply to cancellations. However, if children are included on the bookings where vaccinations are not currently possible, we will consider each of these on an individual basis.

Changes to Traffic Light system

For those on holiday

If you are already on holiday and your destination becomes red, effective before your planned return date, then you will have to follow the appropriate rules for red list countries when you get back to the UK. To avoid this requirement you would have to return to the UK before the change in advice deadline. Should you choose to curtail your holiday we will do our best to assist, however, we are unable to guarantee flight availability and you would be required to pay the full cost of any new flights. It is also unlikely that you will receive a refund for your unused accommodation.

Please visit www.gov.uk/uk-border-control for detailed public health advice and requirements for entering the UK.

The UK government has a list of providers of tests for outbound travel. For return to the UK and day 2/day 8 tests you can pre-book testing kits from Qured, which can be sent to your home in advance of your holiday. Further details can be found on their website, and a 10% discount is offered to Classic Collection customers by using the code CLASSICCOLLECTION10.

Please note that Classic Collection Holidays does not endorse or recommend any particular private test providers. Customers should ensure to their own satisfaction that tests meet the criteria of both the destination, and the UK for return travel, and that results can be obtained within the required timeframe.

Owing to the nature of the initial changes in international travel we have noticed a further increase in the number of calls as customers reconsider their position in relation to holidays that are already booked, We are working through these as quickly as we can and would ask our customers to bear with us during these continued extraordinary times, but it is taking longer than usual work through all affected bookings.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you and your party are adequately insured on holiday, and that the insurance is suitable for your needs and the type of activities you plan to undertake during your holiday. Many insurance policies now include varying types of cover for coronavirus, please read the policy details carefully to ensure it has the level of cover you need.

For further information please visit our FAQs below.

Amending your holiday

You can always request an amendment to your booking, for any reason.  Usually this will be in accordance with our standard booking conditions.  However, if you are currently booked to travel on any date in 2021 we will waive our amendment fee, although supplier charges (flights, hotel costs) may differ for alternative dates.

Additionally, as part of our Classic Commitment we are offering all bookings that are currently due to depart this Spring or Summer a ‘thank you’ for amending to a future date.  Upon amendment, we will issue a £100 Classic Holiday Voucher which can be used on a future booking or to offset against the balance of the amended booking.

Whilst on Holiday

We know how important holidays are, and we hope the safety procedures that have been introduced will reassure you this is being taken seriously by everyone involved in providing your holiday. Given the existence of new health and hygiene requirements certain amenities and facilities may be limited or unavailable, and your experience may be different to that of previous years. We ask that you respect the measures implemented locally in your holiday destination to support the safety and wellbeing of everyone. Some of the changes we anticipate may include, but are not limited to the following;

  • The transfer to and from your hotel may be in a larger vehicle, or it may be necessary for your party to travel in separate vehicles dependant on the size of the party travelling. Social distancing measures are likely to be in place in both the hotel and surrounding areas. You may have to queue to check in and provide the hotel with a scanned copy of your passport, or check in online in advance of your arrival.
  • There may be mandatory health screening including temperature checks.
  • You may be required to wear a mask in certain areas, including during your transfer.
  • Books and magazines are unlikely to be available in rooms or lounges, in-room mini bars may not be stocked.
  • There may be a limited number of guests permitted to use the pool/s at any one time.
  • Buffet service restaurants may instead offer waiter service or operate with limited numbers and a one-way system in place. Where restaurants are open there may be a requirement to make a reservation and some hotels may offer in room dining only.
  • Children’s clubs may be closed or only accepting limited numbers, those open may require pre-booking.
  • Spas and gyms may be closed or offering a limited number of services.
  • Housekeeping services may be by request only.
  • Where water sports are available there may be restrictions, particularly relating to the rental of snorkels and masks. We would recommend taking your own if you intend to snorkel.

Where we are made aware of any changes that we believe might have a significant impact on your holiday we will make every effort to let you know. However, changes may be implemented at any time as hotels and transfer providers seek to comply with local protocols to follow stringent health and hygiene measures, and to ensure the wellbeing of all guests.
We ask for your understanding if we have omitted to inform you of any change. We are working hard to provide as much up to date information as possible, to enable you to enjoy your holiday, whilst remaining safe.

How to contact us whilst you are away

Should you require any assistance whilst on your holiday please contact either your local representative or hotel manager in the first instance.  Where we provide local representation you will be contacted by a member of our team shortly after your arrival, and their telephone number is included within the final documentation that we send to you before departure (your travel pack).

Where we offer a telephone representation service, or in the event that you are unable to reach our representative, please call our Customer Care team on +44 800 008 7288 and select option 2 followed by option 5 during office hours (Monday to Saturday between 9am – 5.30pm).  Outside of these hours, in the event of an emergency only, please call our duty office on +44 7792 396 667.  Whichever number you call we’re happy to call you straight back so that you don’t incur unnecessary call charges.

FAQs

If I book a holiday but travel restrictions prevent me from travelling, will I receive a refund?

Absolutely yes. If the FCDO advises against all but essential travel to a destination, and your booking is due to depart within 14 days we will cancel your holiday free of charge and you will receive a full refund. Alternatively, we can amend your holiday to a different destination or a future date.

My booking has been cancelled and I’m waiting for my refund. When can I expect to receive it?

We are aiming to provide refunds within 14 days of cancellation although sometimes it is taking a little longer owing to the volume of transactions. Your patience is greatly appreciated.

Which countries are currently on the ‘Red List’?

For up to date information on your chosen destination’s colour category, please review the government guidance on Red, Amber and Green list rules for entering England, which lists each country under the appropriate colour. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england

Will I need to quarantine when I return to the UK?

This is now determined by the colour category of your chosen destination and is detailed on the governments UK Border Control page

The FCDO is not advising against travel to my destination but I’m nervous about travelling and want to cancel my holiday. Can I get a refund?

If we are able to operate your holiday and there are no travel restrictions in place, then you can cancel your holiday if you choose to, but this will be in accordance with our booking conditions.  It is likely that there will be a cancellation charge payable which will increase the closer the date of cancellation to your scheduled date of departure.

You could always consider an amendment to a future date.  We are charging no amendment fees at the moment (although supplier costs may increase with a revised departure date) and we are currently rewarding those who amend to a future date with a £100 holiday voucher to say thank you.

Do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before I can travel?

This will largely depend on where you’re travelling to and the decision taken by that country’s government.  More information about this can be found on the FCDO website by selecting your destination country from the list on the landing page.

Can I amend my booking?

You can always request an amendment to your booking, for any reason.  Usually this will be in accordance with our standard booking conditions.  However, if you are currently booked to travel on any date in 2021 we will waive our amendment fee, although supplier charges (flights, hotel costs) may differ for alternative dates.

If you are amending a booking that is currently due to travel in the next 4 weeks, please call +44 (0) 1903 823088 or freephone 0800 008 7288 with details of your request.  If the booking is currently due to depart outside of the next 4 weeks, please send us the request by using our Booking Amendment Form.

Additionally, as part of our Classic Commitment we are offering all bookings that are currently due to depart this Spring or Summer a ‘thank you’ for amending to a future date.  Upon amendment, we will issue a £100 Classic Holiday Voucher which can be used on a future booking or to offset against the balance of the amended booking.

What happens if my booked hotel is closed?

If your flights are still operating and your holiday can otherwise go ahead, then we will book you into suitable alternative accommodation in accordance with the Package Travel Regulations.  A suitable alternative is deemed to be of the same or higher star rating and quality, the same board basis and a similar location.

Is my booking financially protected?

If you have booked a flight-inclusive package holiday, you are financially covered by ATOL.  For any other bookings, you are financially covered by ABTA bonding.

What happens if I’ve been contacted by Test and Trace and need to isolate, and I can no longer go on holiday?

We will do all we can to help amend the date of your holiday, but if you’re unable to amend, cancellation charges will apply.  This may be recoverable from your insurance company.

What happens if my holiday destination changes to the next level whilst I’m on holiday?

Should this happen the government will state the date from which the new rules will apply, if you are returning to the UK on or after this date you will be expected to abide by the rules appropriate to new colour. Should you wish to curtail your holiday in order to return to the UK before the change, you will be responsible for the cost of new flights and may not receive any refund for the unused portion of your accommodation costs. It is important that you contact us to request our assistance to book flights if required.

Where can I get tested in resort before return to the UK.

It is your responsibility to arrange a test in resort before return to the UK,  The test must meet performance standards of ≥97% specificity, ≥80% sensitivity at viral loads above 100,000 copies/ml.

The test can either be a PCR test or lateral flow – but you must not take an NHS test on holiday for the purpose of testing for your return.

You can also contact Qured (https://qured.com/traffic-light-tests/) who can send you a lateral flow test kit to undertake yourself whilst on a video call with them, and use the code CLASSICCOLLECTION10 to receive a 10% discount.

Advice for travellers following the UK’s departure from the European Union

There will be changes to travel to Europe from the United Kingdom from 1 January 2021. Please plan early to make sure you have everything in place in time for your trip. It is also important that you check how the coronavirus pandemic may affect your travel plans. When planning a trip and before you travel, check the Foreign Office advice for the destination you are visiting. https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Passport validity

If you have a British passport, you will need to have at least six months left on your passport and your passport must have been issued within the last 10 years. Please use the Government’s passport checker to see if you need to renew your passport.  https://www.gov.uk/check-a-passport-travel-europe

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend taking out comprehensive travel insurance with sufficient healthcare cover, including cover for existing medical conditions and any activities you plan to do. If you have a European Health Insurance Card it will be valid up to its expiry date.

Passport control and customs lanes

You will no longer be able to use EU fast-track passport control and customs lanes, meaning possible delays at some airports. Also, when you arrive in an EU country, be prepared to show your return ticket. You could also be asked to show that you have enough money for your stay.  Recognized ways to prove your financial sufficiency include a personal bank statement covering the last 3 months, credit cards, cash.

Check your mobile phone company’s policy on data roaming

Rules around mobile data roaming are changing meaning you may face charges when using your phone abroad, including for making calls, sending messages or using the internet. Check with your mobile phone provider about their data roaming policy.

Make sure you have all the documents you need to drive in Europe

You may need an international driving permit (IDP) to drive in some EU countries and Norway from 1 January 2021. These are available from the Post Office

Visa-free travel in Europe

Britain and the EU have agreed visa-free travel for short visits. UK passport holders can spend up to a total of 90 days in any 180 day period in the Schengen Area of Europe. The Schengen Area comprises 26 European countries that have officially abolished all passports and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. The 90 days allowance can be in a series of short visits or one long visit. There are a small number of EU countries outside the Schengen Area including Croatia and Cyprus.  You could make a visa-free visit of up to 90 days to either of those countries and still not have used any of your  90 day allowance to visit countries within the Schengen Area.

ETIAS Visa waivers from 2023 onwards

From 2023 – the exact date is yet to be confirmed – you will have to buy a visa waiver for holidays and short stays in the EU. This is not a visa but a permission to enter. It will cost €7 (approximately £6.30), be valid for three years and will be issued under the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), similar to the ESTA permit currently required to visit the US.

Prohibited meat and milk products

You won’t be able to take any meat, milk or any products containing these items into the EU. There are exceptions for powdered baby milk, and baby food for medical requirements.

Useful Travel Industry Links

API (Advanced Passenger Information)

ABTA – The Travel Association
www.abta.com

ABTA – Balcony Safe Campaign
Balcony Safe Campaign

ABTA – Swim Safe
Swim Safe

ABTA – Fun in the Sun

Fun in the Sun

ABTA – Holidays in the Snow

Holiday in the Snow

AITO – Association of Independent Tour Operators
www.aito.co.uk

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Travel Health Advice
www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

UK Passport Service
www.gov.uk/browse/abroad/passports

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018

CAA – Civil Aviation Authority
http://www.caa.co.uk/

Data Protection Information
www.ico.org.uk

For customers in Ireland, see www.dfa.ie/travel/travel-advice  for destination advice and, for vaccinations and health advice, visit www.hse.ie/portal/eng/health/az/T/Travel-health or check with your GP surgery or travel clinic.