We understand that the rules and advice surrounding overseas travel, particularly relating to covid-19, can be confusing.

We have created 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 late updated on 01 March 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.

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 strict departure date order to ensure we deal with the huge volume of 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.

Covid-19

Current Government guidance is that no international travel will take place before 17 May 2021, pending a review based on data to be submitted by the Global Travel Taskforce on 12 April. If you have a holiday booked with us and are due to travel between now and 16 May 2021 we will be in touch as soon as possible to offer the opportunity to amend or cancel your booking.

Due to the volume of bookings affected by the latest advice, we will be working through these in departure date order.  We would ask our customers to bear with us during these extraordinary times as it is taking longer than usual work through all affected bookings.

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

Amenities and facilities

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 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.

Arrival back in the UK

1) Before travelling to the UK everyone 11 years old and above must take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and obtain a negative result.

The test needs to have been taken no more than 72 hours prior to travel to the UK, and must meet the performance standards of >97% specificity, >80% sensitivity at viral  loads above 100,000 copies/ml.  Passengers travelling without a negative test result will be denied boarding.

The test result must be in either English, French or Spanish and must include the following information;

  • your name, which should match the name on your travel documents
  • your date of birth or age
  • the result of the test
  • the date the test sample was collected or received by the test provider
  • the name of the test provider and their contact details
  • the name of the test device

Your test result can be provided as a physical printed document, or via email or text message which you can show on your phone.  You must ensure that your device is charged.

2) Everyone 5 years old and above must book and pay for a travel test package costing £210 per person, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of quarantine.  On your return to the UK you will need to quarantine for 10 days (please see Test to Release scheme details below for England only). If you are arriving from a country on the banned travel list (or anywhere outside of the Common Travel Area if arriving in Scotland by air) you must quarantine in a hotel. The travel test package and quarantine hotels must be booked in advance of your arrival using the booking portal. (need working link)

 3) You must provide your journey and contact details before travel, by completing a passenger locator form for all passengers.

Test to Release – England only

If you are arriving into England, you will have the option to use the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Test to Release programme. This means you can opt to take a COVID-19 test after 5 days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing you from the need to isolate. For more information, please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-test-to-release-for-international-travel. You will still be required to take the 2nd test of the travel test package, on or after day 8.

For up to date guidance specific to your home nation please visit the following;

England

Scotland             

Wales

N.Ireland

Republic of Ireland

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, 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 due to the volume of transactions, so please be patient with us.

Which countries are currently on the ‘Red List’?

For up to date information on the countries from which travel to the UK is currently banned, please review the Department for Transport’s Red List.

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

Detailed guidance on what happens when you return to the UK from abroad can be found on the government’s UK Border Control page.  At present we understand that much will depend on where you travel to in the 10 days before you arrive in the UK.

I don’t want to self-isolate or quarantine when I return to the UK. Can I cancel my holiday?

If you want to cancel your holiday because you don’t want to quarantine when you return, your cancellation will be subject to our booking conditions.  This is because the requirement for you to self-isolate or quarantine on your return home does not affect our ability to operate your holiday.

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.  There is very little information available regarding this at present, but we recommend checking the FCDO website to keep updated.

FCDO website

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 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.

I’m due to travel this summer but there is still a national lockdown. What does this mean for my booking?

For all customers due to depart on or before 16th May 2021, unfortunately your holiday can no longer go ahead as originally planned. We are contacting all customers with affected bookings in departure date order to discuss your options.

For customers due to travel on or after 17th May 2021, as things stand your booking will be going ahead as planned. We expect to have more clarity of this once the government have reviewed data during the week commencing 12 April.

You can amend your booking at any time, subject to our booking conditions.  At present, we are not charging any amendment fees although supplier charges (flights, hotel costs) may differ for alternative dates.

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.

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.

Visa waivers from 2022 onwards

From 2022  – 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) and will be issued under the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, 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.