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Travel news: Traffic light system for travel and 999 free cruises for emergency workers

Passengers boarding cruise ship

After Boris Johnson confirmed the government’s lockdown easing plan on Easter Monday, we continue to edge closer to being able to travel once again

With domestic travel restrictions lifted on 12 April, and international travel on the cards from 17 May, travel news has shifted to the ins and outs of these changes – including the new traffic light system that could come into effect.

For the latest travel news, including how emergency service workers could find themselves on a free Royal Caribbean cruise, keep reading.

Traffic light system for international travel

Easter Monday saw the government reveal their plan to introduce a traffic light system for travelling abroad. The prime minister spoke about his optimism for travel restarting on 17 May, and there will be a report released on 12 April to review if the country is on track for this target.

Below is the three-tier traffic light system plan for international travel:

Green – no isolation period, but a negative test will need to be produced before you leave the UK and before you travel back to the UK as well.

Amber – (not confirmed) may be a 10-day quarantine period in your home upon return to the UK. The Test to Release scheme could also be used here.

Red – based on the existing ‘red list’, the guidelines currently in place – to self-isolate in a hotel for 10 days with tests on day two and day eight – should remain in place.

Royal Caribbean to raffle 999 cabins for emergency workers

When the Anthem of the Seas returns to duty in the UK on 15 July, Royal Caribbean have announced that 999 of the cabins will be given to NHS, social care workers, and members of the armed forces as a ‘thank you’ for their dedication in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic over the past year.

Bookings for this cruise begin on 7 April for the general population, but pre-registration to be drawn in the ballot of 999 cabins starts from 13 April for those who are eligible.

And, when the Anthem of the Seas sets sail from Southampton on 15 July, everyone on board will be fully vaccinated – including all crew members.

Consumer confidence lies with travel agents and package holidays

Research carried out by ABTA at the end of February shows the confidence of consumers keen to travel again is in travel agents and package holidays. People are now statistically more likely to book a holiday with a travel agent or go for a package holiday than they were before the pandemic began. 

The research, which surveyed 500 consumers, revealed people are looking for security and reassurance, which is provided by travel professionals. Some of the most important factors seemed to be the industry know-how and financial security they could offer.

ABTA explained that the current trend in consumer travelling is the search for security and protection – people want to be sure they can get a refund or rebook if something goes wrong.

P&O announce passengers need full vaccination

The latest in a long line, P&O Cruises have announced that all of their passengers will need to be fully vaccinated, at least one week before departure. They’ll be running two cruise ships domestically in the UK this summer, with the first departures in June.

P&O have also announced that passengers will need travel insurance that protects them for Covid-related cancellation and repatriation expenses for at least £2 million. Speak to our customer service team about an endorsement certificate if this affects your Avanti policy.

British Airways travel pass app

British Airways are working on implementing a travel pass into their mobile app that allows passengers to register their vaccination status. This will make it easier for people who have been fully vaccinated, with two doses, to travel.

BA chief executive Sean Doyle spoke about the UK’s great progress in recovering from the pandemic, and his hopes of the government being ambitious in using technology to verify the vaccination status of people who want to travel.

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