COVID-19 TRAVEL UPDATE (18th January 2021)


Please be aware that the information provided below is for guidance around how services may operate, and may vary by service provider, and may also be subject to further government guidance as it is updated. Due to the current exceptional circumstances, the operation and provision of services can change.

Should you need any assistance please contact your travel team or get in touch PRIORITY


TRAVEL UPDATE TIMELINE:
18/01 UK: Travellers arriving into the UK from 18 January (previously 15 January) need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result by taking a test up to 72 hrs before travelling to the UK
18/01 UK: UK travel corridors which allowed travellers to avoid quarantine have closed until at least 15 February, with travellers required to quarantine for 10 days or 5 days with a negative test
05/01 England: All of England placed into the highest level tier 4 with further restrictions until mid February, with travel permitted for work
05/01 Scotland: Mainland Scotland placed into highest level tier 4 with further restrictions, and elsewhere at tier 3 until the end of January, with travel permitted for work
01/01 UK: Subject to COVID restrictions, travel to Schengen area countries permitted without a visa if the traveller has at least six months left on their passport (except Ireland) and has travel insurance with health cover
26/12 N. Ireland: Six week lockdown to apply from 26 December with stricter restrictions applying in the first week
26/12 Scotland: Level 4 introduced in most locations, and level 3 everywhere else
20/12 Wales: Highest level 4 rules to apply with travel only permitted if essential for work or other reasons
20/12 UK: Due to a more virulent strain of the virus being reported in the UK, numerous countries have banned arrivals from the UK
18/12 England: A fourth tier introduced in some locations which is equivalent to the November lockdown with travel only permitted if essential for work or other reasons
18/12 Scotland: Cross border travel within the UK permitted for essential travel only
15/12 England: Travellers may be allowed to leave self-isolation early for work related activities if they test negative in the Test to Release scheme
14/12 UK: Isolation period reduced from 14 days to 10 days
14/12 Wales: Local tiered lockdown approach applied with different rules based on four tiers
05/12 England: Senior executives returning to travelling to England can do so without isolating when undertaking their work
02/11 Scotland: Local tiered lockdown approach applied with different rules based on five tiers
09/10 Scotland: While hotels may offer room service, licensed premises can only remain open until 6pm, but may not sell alcohol at all
09/10 England: Guidelines updated for hospitality venue collection of contact details
28/09 UK: Meetings for up to 30 delegates still permitted, but larger events can still not take place.
28/09 England: Fines for not wearing a mask or following rules increased
18/09 UK: Legal requirement for venues to collect contact details in designated venues
08/08 UK: Face coverings will be mandatory in all public areas within hotels in addition to public transport
15/07 UK: VAT reduced from 20% to 5% on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks
15/07 Scotland: Hotels can re-open along with restaurants, but conference venues remain closed
11/07 Wales: Hotels can re-open along with restaurants, but conference venues remain closed
10/07 England: Travel Corridors will apply for travel to regions of the UK with some requirements for self-isolation
10/07 Scotland: Face coverings required on public transport and in shops
04/07 England: 2m distance rule reduced to 1m+ where it is not possible to stay 2 metres apart

Should you need any assistance please contact your travel team or get in touch PRIORITY

OVERALL GUIDANCE:
  • Do not travel if you have experienced coronavirus symptoms (link to NHS symptoms page) in the last 7 days, are self-isolating due to symptoms, have been sharing a household with someone who has had symptoms in the last 10 days, or been told to self-isolate.
  • LOCAL ACTION - ENGLAND: From 05 January all of England placed into highest level of restrictions, although travel is permitted for work (link to Government guidance) including vehicle sharing (link to Government advice). From mid-February localised restrictions expected to re-apply based on COVID alert levels (link to Government Locational advice). For locations with Very High alert levels it is recommended to avoid travelling to or from an affected area unless for things like work, and to avoid overnight accommodation if you are a resident elsewhere - however this is discretionary (link to Government alert level advice).
  • LOCAL ACTION - N. IRELAND: Introduction of restrictions which discourage unnecessary travel (link to N. Ireland restriction guidance).
  • LOCAL ACTION - SCOTLAND: From 05 January all mainland areas of Scotland subject to highest level of restrictions (link to Scottish Government guidance). Other locations are subject to localised action with restrictions applying (link to Government local measures). Only essential travel between Scotland and other areas of the UK.
  • LOCAL ACTION - WALES: Particular locations may be subject to localised action with restrictions applying (link to Welsh Government restriction advice).
  • COLLECTION OF CONTACT DETAILS is mandatory for hospitality venues to support testing and tracing (link to Government Test and Trace advice).
  • TRAVEL TO AND FROM THE UK: permitted (subject to COVID restrictions) to Schengen area countries (link to information about the Schengen area) for up to 90 days in any 180 day period without a visa unless the traveller has less than six months left on their passport (except for Ireland), and has travel insurance and health cover.
  • INBOUND TRAVEL TO THE UK: Any travellers arriving into the UK from 4am on 18 January (previoulsy 15 January) will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result by taking a test up to 72 hrs before travelling to the UK (link of Government information about travel Covid tests).
  • INBOUND TRAVEL TO THE UK: will require travellers to self-isolate for 10 days or 5 days with a negative test from 18 January to at least 15 February, except the Falklands, St Helena and Ascension Islands. Rules apply for some Caribbean islands from 21 January.
  • INBOUND TRAVEL TO ENGLAND from the Common Travel Area and Travel Corridors listed on the Government exempt list (link to Government exempt list) without the requirement to self-isolate expected to be available again from teh earliest 15 February. Guidance on travelling in European Countries can be found here (link to guidance).
  • OUTBOUND TRAVEL FROM THE UK: the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise British nationals against all but essential travel, especially as countries (link to FCO countries guidance) may restrict travel without notice.
  • ONLINE TRAVEL ASSESSMENT: From 05 December Senior executives may only need to provide a letter of authority to permit travel without isolating when undertaking their work (link to Government exempt list) 48hrs prior to arrival into the UK travellers may still need to complete an online assessment (link to online assessment), and present the completed form on arrival at the UK border.
  • TEST TO RELEASE: From 15 December travellers may be able to leave self-isolation early where they have tested negative by participating in the test to release scheme (link to Government guidance)
 ACCOMMODATION GUIDANCE:
  • OVERVIEW: Travellers can stay away from home in England for work purposes, while properties need to be COVID Secure.
  • CAPACITY: Less UK properties remain open than normal – as previously PRIORITY is in contact with the supply chain to secure availability.
  • CATERING: Most properties offer very limited breakfast and dinner services, room service or collection only. Alcohol may be unavailable subject to loacl rules.
  • CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT: Hoteliers are being led by government guidelines as these evolve, such that many are endeavouring to limit touch, and may also enquire about a traveller’s health.
  • CLEANING: Advanced cleaning procedures are being adopted in all areas. Guest rooms will not be cleaned during a guest’s stay, with towels and linen being on a request only basis.
  • FACE MASKS: Compulsory for non-seated customers.
  • OCCUPANCY: Some properties are restricting occupancy to only allow the sharing of a room for guests from the same household.
  • OTHER ON-SITE SERVICES: Services within restaurants, leisure facilities, meeting rooms and other public areas are unavailable.
  • REFUNDS: Many hoteliers are being flexible on cancellations and refunds.
  • TIMINGS: Social distancing measures may lead to delays on check in and departure, with a strong emphasis on limiting contact wherever possible.
  • VAT: VAT on accommodation, food and non-alcoholic drinks has being reduced to 5%, with most corporate hotels passing the saving on to travellers.
MEETING GUIDANCE:
  • OVERVIEW: Business Meetings for work, training or education purposes can take place where not possible to be carried out from home in properties that are COVID Secure.
  • CAPACITY: Where small meetings are necessary these are for a maximum of number of people depending on the tier in that location on the basis that social distancing rules can be applied and as led by local restrictions.
  • CLEANING: Advanced cleaning procedures are being adopted in all areas.
  • FACE MASKS: Compulsory for non-seated customers.
  • REFUNDS: Many hoteliers are being flexible on cancellations and refunds.
  • TIMINGS: Social distancing measures may lead to delays on check in and departure, with a strong emphasis on limiting contact wherever possible.
FLIGHT GUIDANCE:
  • OVERVIEW: For Essential travel, such as where an alternative way of travelling is not possible.
  • CAPACITY: Many airlines have reduced capacity on flights to promote social distancing, which may result in some services not being available at the time of your search.
  • CATERING: Limited food and drink provision available on flights.
  • CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT: Minimise luggage and face to face contact. Due to social distancing measures at airports, travellers can anticipate delays on check in and the drop off and collection of luggage.
  • CLEANING: Airlines are undertaking advanced cleaning protocols on planes.
  • FACE MASKS: Compulsory.
  • OTHER IN-FLIGHT SERVICES: To reduce touch points many airlines have removed pillows, blankets and in-flight sales.
  • TICKET REFUNDS: Airlines are taking differing positions on refunds, so while some airlines are refunding fares, others are providing vouchers.
  • TIMINGS: Social distancing measures including mandatory face covering are being introduced at airports and on planes, so please allow more time for your overall journey.
RAIL GUIDANCE:
  • OVERVIEW: For Essential travel, such as where an alternative way of travelling is not possible.
  • CAPACITY: Some Train Operating Companies have reduced capacity on train services to promote social distancing, which may result in some services not being available at the time of your search.
  • CATERING: No food and drink provision available onboard rail services.
  • CLEANING: Train Operating Companies are undertaking advanced cleaning protocols on trains.
  • FACE MASKS: Compulsory.
  • FLEXIBLE TICKETS: Where you book a flexible train ticket, your seat reservation (please see note below about Seat Reservations) may only apply to the service time and route you selected, so to travel at a different time please check at the station ticket office before boarding.
  • SEAT RESERVATIONS: Some Train Operating Companies are mandating that all travellers require seat reservations where seats can be booked, so please ensure you have seat reserved for all journeys.
  • TIMINGS: Social distancing measures including mandatory face covering are being introduced across the rail network including stations, so please allow more time for your overall journey.
  • TICKET COLLECTION: Where possible please use E-Tickets rather than collecting tickets from stations.
  • TICKET REFUNDS: Rail tickets are being refunded with some greater flexibility provided, however there are delays on refunds being processed.
Should you have any queries around your travel requirements please get in touch with a member of the team who will readily provide assistance, or get in touch PRIORITY.
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