Gemma Antrobus

 

Tradewind Voyages is a brand-new cruise line, with a single ship – Golden Horizon.  Launching in the middle of the pandemic, some thought they were crazy, but Tradewind Voyages planned ahead and were in the best possible position, when travel restrictions started to lift, by securing a number of UK itineraries, sailing around the British Isles. 

Ray and I were very fortunate to be invited onboard for a few nights, as part of Golden Horizon’s ‘dress rehearsal’ and we are delighted to tell you all about our experience.

 

There is no denying that the cruise industry is rather crowded right now but Golden Horizon is like no other ship that you will find on the sea, she is truly unique and therefore filling a much-needed gap.  She is the World’s largest square-rigged sailing vessel.  A near replica of the 1913 built ocean vessel, France II, she retains the charm, adventure and romance of an historic ship. 

 

The beautiful vessel cost 100 million Euros to construct and has a top speed of 20 knots, a length over all of 162m and a beam of 19m.

With a passenger capacity of between 272 and 330 (in normal times), looked after by a crew of around 159, passengers have four decks to enjoy and there are 140 cabins. 

 

 

If you’ve ever sailed on one of the Royal or Star Clipper ships, she does appear to be similar, with her beautiful masts and sails, but she is in fact very different.  Golden Horizon, is a true 5* ship, with all the bells and whistles.   Her public areas are much larger, she has a full-service spa with hairdresser, gym, library, boutique and marina offering snorkelling, paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing and windsurfing.  She really is on a whole other level of luxury.

 

 

We stayed in a deluxe cabin which are the highest category of accommodation, except for the four owners’ suites.  Our cabin was exceptionally spacious, with a traditional nautical feel.  We had a 3/4 bath, with shower and plenty of hanging space, which isn’t always common when at sea. Having inspected all of the other cabins, it was great to see that they were all well-appointed and spacious.  I was particularly impressed with the cabins for single travellers of which there are 6 and always sell fast.

 

 

The food that we experienced on board was of an excellent standard.  You can dine in the main dining room, the Horizon Bar & Grill or in your suite and you have the choice of 5 bars for that special tipple.  All allergies and intolerances are catered for.

There are three outdoor, salt water swimming pools onboard and the main pool is heated.  There is also a dive pool although no swimming is allowed in here.  Whilst we didn’t experience this whilst in the English Channel, the Marina will be perfect when docked in the Caribbean or Mediterranean and somewhere you will spend much time if you love to snorkel or enjoy water sports.

Daily classes are also available including yoga, meditation and breathwork and a daily schedule of activities is delivered to your cabin.

If you would like to relax whilst onboard there is a sauna, hammam and snow room in the spa area.  Perfect for those days at sea or just a bit of R&R.

 

 

The true delight of the ship was being on the upper deck when the sails were raised.  Having cruised a number of times before, I love to be up on deck, looking out to sea, but there is something very special about the ship when she is at full sail.  The sails are in fact so important that the first time they are raised on a journey, there is a special ceremony, accompanied by music written for this special occasion. 

 

 

The beauty of the Golden Horizon is that she aims to be as sustainable as possible.  She uses the wind and current and follows the sun, to allow guests to travel the world in a unique way.  Her philosophy is to be powered by nature whenever possible and the intention is to sail, without using propulsion for around 70% of each season.

If you have ever dreamed of sailing on a ship like Golden Horizon or you would like a different cruise experience, then this would be perfect. Please call us on 01428 658777 and we can discuss where in the world you would like to travel on this wonderful vessel.

 

 

On Friday 2nd July (2021) I was exceptionally lucky to be invited onboard Celebrity Silhouette before she set sail, taking guest around the British Isles, her first sailing in 15 months.

Having recently undergone a multi-million-pound re-fit, Celebrity Silhouette returns to Southampton this summer, offering new luxury cruises around The British Isles, to discerning British guests.  She sails with a full crew (all fully vaccinated), guests over the age of 18 who have received both covid vaccinations and those under 18, with negative PCR tests.  The number of guests on board will meet with government guidelines.

 

 

From bow to stern, the ship has been ‘revolutionised’, designed to ensure an unparalleled new luxury experience for guests needing to feed their love of travel.  Having viewed all of the suites, which are spacious and beautifully appointed, I was exceptionally impressed by the three exclusive areas, only accessible to those staying in a suite. Penthouse suites, Royal suites, Sunset suites and Celebrity suites.

 

 

The Retreat is an exclusive open-air hideaway designed by award winning UK designer Kelly Hoppen CBE. Here you will find the ultimate all-inclusive area for Suite guests highlighted by The Retreat Sundeck, an exclusive sun-soaked hideaway featuring luxurious new cabanas, loungers, hot tub, bar and more.  There is also an exclusive 24/7 Retreat Lounge with complimentary beverages, gourmet bites and concierge services, again only accessible for suite guests and finally access to a private restaurant, Luminae.  Luminae is a culinary experience of modern, eclectic cuisine, where we experienced the most exquisite lunch that would rival many ‘starred’ restaurants.

 

 

A whole host of other features have been included since the re-fit, including The Lawn Club, featuring 8 refreshed alcove seating areas, an oversized outdoor movie screen and real grass! Great for watching large sporting events or movie night. The Solarium and Pool Deck have also had a refresh, taking relaxation to new heights on the open-air top deck.

 

 

In the afternoon we were treated to one of the ships signature shows ‘Life’ – a euphoric explosion of light and colour in a fun, funky pop art concert.  The cast couldn’t contain their excitement at finally performing in front of a live audience and the feeling was mutual from the audience.

 

 

The upgraded Sunset Bar is perfect for kicking back, sipping cocktails and soaking up some of the best views around the world, with a new shaded lounge area complete with banquette seating and hammocks.  We sipped on cocktails (non-alcoholic, of course) and enjoyed the late afternoon sun before we disembarked.

 

 

Covid has meant a change to the way that safety drills (muster drills) are conducted onboard.  Once onboard, the Celebrity Cruises’ digitally advanced mobile app will transform the important safety drill into a faster, more personal approach that guests can complete from the ultimate comfort of their own luxury stateroom. Known as ‘eMuster’, key elements of the drill, including where to go in case of an emergency and instructions on how to properly use a life jacket, will be accessible to guests via their mobile devices and interactive stateroom TVs.

The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems on Celebrity Cruises ships continuously supply 100% fresh, filtered ocean air.

 

 

Up until 19th July, only guests booked on curated shore excursions were permitted to leave the ship in ports of call, in compliance with UK government regulations.  Post July 19th, it has been possible for guests to debark Celebrity Silhouette and explore independently in ports of call, where there are no restrictions put in place by port authorities or local government. Out of an abundance of caution, in order to go ashore while visiting all ports of call on British Isles sailings, Celebrity Silhouette guests will be still required to participate in tours curated by Celebrity Cruises.  

Celebrity Silhouette will remain in Southampton, offering cruises around The British Isles until September.  She will then sail to Spain, Portugal and The Canary Islands in October before she follows the sun and relocates to The Caribbean for the winter.

It was a absolute pleasure to spend the day on board this beautiful ship and I left wishing I was staying longer.  As a mid-sized ship she is suitable for all, whether you are new to cruise, a family, couple or solo traveller, I guarantee your expectations will be exceeded and you will have a really wonderful trip!

To find out more about Celebrity Silhouette or any of the Celebrity fleet, please call 01428 658777 or email gemma@haslemeretravel.co.uk

 

Friday 7th May 2021 was the day that we have been eagerly awaiting for months.  The day when we would finally receive a list of the first countries to make it onto the GREEN traffic light list.

The initial list is short but will be added to over the coming weeks.  A re-opening that we agree should be cautious but sustainable.

It’s rather complicated (for a change), so we have put together a Q&A to help you to understand exactly which countries can be travelled to from Monday 17th May and what you will need to do, in order to get there….and get back.  We will also list the Amber and Red countries too and their travel requirements.

This is an evolving situation, so as and when new announcements are made, we will keep you informed.  

As we dust off our suitcases and passports, our travel dreams are no longer so distant.  Soon we will be reuniting with family and friends, experiencing foreign lands, enjoying delicious cuisines, marvelling at history, culture & architecture and immersing ourselves in the hospitality so graciously offered across the globe. 

As always, when the time is right for you to travel again, please make Haslemere Travel your first port of call.  It would be our pleasure to assist you – 01428 658777 / gemma@haslemeretravel.co.uk

Q&A – Restart of International Travel

 

Q:  Will international travel resume on 17th May?

A:  Yes.  From this date it will no longer be illegal to travel and the ‘permission to travel form’ will be removed, meaning travellers will no longer need to prove they have a valid reason to leave England.

Q: Where can I go from 17th May? Which countries are on the GREEN List

A: The first 12 countries to be added to the green list have been announced as follows: Portugal (including Madeira & The Azores), Israel, Gibraltar, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Brunei, Singapore, Ascension Islands, Tristan da Cuna & St Helena, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. 

Q:  How often will the traffic light list be reviewed?

A:  Today we were advised that this will be in 3 weeks time.  If sooner, then we will update you.

Q: What does the traffic light system mean for testing and quarantine?

A:  When you travel with Haslemere Travel, we will ensure that you have the most up to date advice, specific to the destination that you are travelling to.  Taking into account the entry requirements for each country and the FCDO advice.  However, in brief the traffic lights work like this:

Green – Arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test (likely a lateral flow test – TBC) as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK, BUT will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday.

Amber – Arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of ten days and take a pre-departure test, a PCR test on day 2 and day 8.  There is also the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early.

Red – Arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for “red list” countries which includes a 10 day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8

Green Watchlist – To give passengers more certainty when travelling, a “Green Watchlist” will be introduced to help identify countries most at risk of moving from Green to Amber. The watchlist will provide greater assurance for those who wish to travel abroad. The allocation of countries will be kept under review and respond to emerging evidence, with a particular focus on Variants of Concern.  Please note that there is currently no ‘green watchlist’.

Q:  Where can I get a PCR test and how much will it cost?

A: We have been working hard with some selected PCR suppliers to obtain preferential rates for our clients.  For all bookings with Haslemere Travel, we will provide you with options to choose from and discount codes to access better prices.  You’ll be pleased to hear that these prices are certainly not as high as tests last summer.  

​Q: Will I need a ‘Vaccine Passport’?

A: Not a ‘passport’ as such. The existing NHS app will be used to show proof of vaccination.  If you do not have a smart phone, then you may request paper confirmation from your GP surgery.  I would suggest that if you are keen to travel, even later in the year, that you download this at your earliest convenience, as it does need verifying.

Q: Will I still need to complete a PLF (Passenger Locator Form)?

A: Yes.  To ensure the UK’s borders remain safe and efficient when passenger flows increase, the Government has also announced plans to digitise the Passenger Locator Form, integrating it into the UK border system and enabling checks to take place at e-gates by Autumn 2021.

Q:  What is the best way to ensure that I am fully informed and my holiday is fully protected?

A: Simple – book with a fully bonded and financially protected travel company, like us.  We will always provide you with honest and impartial advice and guidance from our first conversation and until you return home.

Q: Is there anything else I need to think about?

A:  Yes.  Just because a country is on the ‘green list’, doesn’t necessarily mean you can travel there.  Take for example Australia and New Zealand (on todays green list), where their borders are currently closed.  You also need to consider whether the FCDO advises ‘against all but essential travel’.  If this is the case, a different travel insurance policy would be required.

Q: Do I still need to take a PCR test even if I’ve had both vaccines?

A:  At the moment yes, but this may change in time.

Q: Do I need special travel insurance?

A:  You definitely need travel insurance and you should ensure that it has ‘Covid cover’.  If your current provider won’t offer this then please let us know and we will provide you with some additional information on companies that our clients have used with success, that do offer Covid cover.

Q: Can I travel to a country on the AMBER list?

A: Yes you can.  You must however abide by the entry requirements of the country you are travelling to (if there are any).  As per the above information, currently when you return to the UK you will need to quarantine for a period of ten days and take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8.  There is also the option for ‘Test to Release’ on day 5 to end self-isolation early.

Q: What countries are on the AMBER list?

A: Afghanistan, Akrotiri and Dhekelia, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Aruba, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bermuda, Bhutan, Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba, Bosnia and Herzegovina, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Curaçao, Cyprus, Czech Republic (Czechia), Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece (including islands), Greenland, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macao, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Montserrat, Morocco, Myanmar (Burma), Nauru, Netherlands, New Caledonia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, North Macedonia, Norway, The Occupied Palestinian Territories, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, Poland, Réunion, Romania, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, South Sudan, Spain (including the Balearics and Canary Islands), Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Martin and St Barthélemy, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United States (USA), Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis and Futuna, Western Sahara, Yemen

Q: Can I travel to a country on the RED list?

A: Yes you can, as international travel is no longer illegal.  The government advice is still to only travel to red list countries in extreme circumstances.  Again you will need to abide by the FCDO advice, the entry restrictions for the country you are travelling to and upon your return to the UK you will need to stay for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8. 

Q: What countries are on the RED list?

A: Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Congo (Democratic Republic), Ecuador, Eswatini, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Guyana, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Maldives, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

 

For any further questions or holiday enquiries, please call us on 01428 658777 or email gemma@haslemeretravel.co.uk

 

Over the past year, our website blog posts have been a little different to those pre pandemic.  Our aim has been to fill you full of travel inspiration, to keep you dreaming of those wonderful destinations still to be discovered and to bring you the most up to date travel advice.

Originally promised for Monday 12th April, the Global Travel Task Force has released their report a few days early and we have broken this down into an easy to digest set of questions and answers.

Please find below the most relevant details about how (we understand) that International travel will commence.

There are still some elements that are unknown and we believe that these will follow over the next couple of weeks.  

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps said on the BBC this morning “this is the first time I can come on and say that I am not advising people not to go away this summer” – what excellent news!

 

Q:  Will international travel resume on 17th May?

A:  This is the earliest date that international travel will resume.  At this point it will no longer be illegal to travel and the ‘permission to travel form’ will be removed, meaning travellers would no longer need to prove they have a valid reason to leave the country.

Q: Where can I go from 17th May?

A: This is not yet clear, but in a BBC interview this morning, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that it would be 2-3 weeks before it was……I will update you, as soon as I know more.

Q: What does the traffic light system mean?

A:  When international travel commences, countries will be classified as Green, Amber or Red, with the addition of a new category ‘Green Watchlist’ .

Green – Arrivals will need to take a pre-departure test (likely a lateral flow test) as well as a PCR test on or before day 2 of their arrival back into the UK, BUT will not need to quarantine on return (unless they receive a positive result) or take any additional tests, halving the cost of tests on their return from holiday.

Amber – Arrivals will need to quarantine for a period of ten days and take a pre-departure test, a PCR test on day 2 and day 8.  There is also the option for Test to Release on day 5 to end self-isolation early.

Red – Arrivals will be subject to restrictions currently in place for “red list” countries which includes a 10 day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, pre-departure testing and PCR testing on day 2 and 8

Green Watchlist – To give passengers more certainty when travelling, a “Green Watchlist” will be introduced to help identify countries most at risk of moving from Green to Amber. The watchlist will provide greater assurance for those who wish to travel abroad. The allocation of countries will be kept under review and respond to emerging evidence, with a particular focus on Variants of Concern
 

 

Q:  What about cruising? 

A: The UK government has confirmed that domestic cruises will restart in England no earlier than 17 May. This report sets out a framework for a risk-based approach to managing a safe restart of international travel, underpinned by analytical evidence. Therefore, the UK government will restart international cruises alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the “traffic light” system.

Q:  How will the government / scientist decide which countries are on which list?

A: Key factors in the assessment of a country will include 1.  the percentage of their population that have been vaccinated, 2.  the rate of infection, 3.  the prevalence of variants of concern and 4.  the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

Q:  Where can I get a PCR test and how much will it cost?

A: The cost and availability of PRC testing has faced much criticism as the prices in the UK far exceed those in other countries.  The government have advised that they are working with the private sector to drive these costs down and increase availability.  If you have a holiday booked with Haslemere Travel and it is necessary for you to take a PCR test, we will provide you with a list of facilities where you can book these.

​Q: Will I need a ‘Vaccine Passport’?

A: The UK will also play a leading role in the development of international standards around a digital travel certification system. The Department for Transport is working across government to consider the role certification could play in facilitating outbound travel, for those countries, which have systems in place. Work also continues to develop a system that would facilitate travel certification for inbound international travel.

Q: How often will the restrictions be reviewed?

A: Restrictions will be formally reviewed on the 28 June to take account of the domestic and international health picture and to see whether current measures could be rolled back. Further formal reviews will take place at checkpoints no later than 31 July and 1 October

Q: Will I still need to complete a PLF (Passenger Locator Form)?

A: To ensure the UK’s borders remain safe and efficient when passenger flows increase, the Government has also announced plans to digitise the Passenger Locator Form, integrating it into the UK border system and enabling checks to take place at e-gates by Autumn 2021.

Q:  What is the best way to ensure that I am fully informed and my holiday is fully protected?

A: Simple – book with a fully bonded and financially protected travel company, like us.  We will always provide you with honest and impartial advice and guidance from our first conversation and until you return home.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps:

“International travel is vital – it boosts businesses and underpins the UK economy – but more than that, it brings people together, connects families who have been kept apart, and allows us to explore new horizons.

“The framework announced today will help allow us to reopen travel safely and sustainably, ensure we protect our hard-won achievements on the vaccine roll out and offer peace of mind to both passengers and industry as we begin to take trips abroad once again.”

 

For any further questions, please call us on 01428 658777 or email gemma@haslemeretravel.co.uk

 

So, ‘why’ should we be travelling in 2021?   This will be different for everyone but the more and more conversations we have with our loyal clients, the more it is evident, that travel in 2021 will not just be frivolous or ‘just because’.  Travel, this year will have a reason or a purpose behind it.

At the moment (late Jan 21), we’re still not too sure about the when, but Boris has promised to give us a further update on 22nd February, so not too much longer to wait.  One thing that we know for sure is that the appetite to travel is huge.  

And, as for the ‘how’, just leave that to the team at Haslemere Travel.  That is what we are experts in….ensuring that you’re every need is taken care of, that you are fully informed, fully financially protected and that there is always someone who cares about you and your booking (no call centres here!).

Travel For HUGS!

Humans thrive of physical connections and hugging is one of the most powerful ways to show physical support.  I’m sure, like us, this is something you have dearly missed in the past year.  We can’t wait to not only see, but hug, our nearest and dearest…….we’ve missed them so so much!

It tuns out that hugs don’t just make us feel good, they also have a real, physiological benefits to our health, including reducing stress levels, improving heart health, boosting self esteem and reducing pain (that would be those feel good hormones – endorphins)

So, when the time is right, let us help you arrange a trip to see the family and friends that you have missed the most, so that you can give them a great big HUG!

Travel With FRIENDS!

We have all managed to stay in contact with our closest friends, through the wonders of modern technology, but there will never be enough Zoom cocktail classes or quiz nights that can replace a trip with friends.

This might be a spa weekend, a golfing/tennis short break, a few days wandering around the museums or galleries of your favourite city, a private villa with a few families or simply a few nights away with your bestie just enjoying each others company.

Let us help connect you with your friends again – we have plenty of ideas.

Travel For Your Own WELLBEING!

This past year has been a huge strain on everyone, from our children and grandchildren, who have been superstars, adapting to schooling from home.  Our frontline workers who have worked tirelessly to fight the Covid battle directly.  Our key workers who have helped to turn the cogs of industry and to all of those in between who have either been working from home, or supporting their family members, who have – you are all awesome! 

The impact however on our mental health must not be ignored!

We hope that you are all being kind to yourselves and taking a little bit of time, each day to look after your body and mind.  For some this may mean keeping up with a strict exercise program and for others it might be finding a quiet corner and curling up with a good book.  Whatever this looks like to you, please don’t forget to make it part of your daily routine.

At Haslemere Travel, we work with so many hotels and destinations that take wellness to the next level.

We work with hotels that have dedicated wellness programs that tackle body & mind detoxing, stress management, improving fitness, enhancing immunity, improving digestion and spiritual growth.  We also work with yoga retreats, trekking companies,  yacht charters and gastronomy experts.  Please do chat to us about your next wellness travel experience or how we can help you incorporate wellness, into your next holiday.

Having something to look forward to, now matter how far in the future that is, will do wonders for your wellbeing.

Travel Your Bucket List!

We always thought that when you worked in travel and travelled a lot, that your ‘travel bucket list’ would get shorter, but its quite the opposite…the more you see, the more you want to discover.

This past year has had us dreaming of all the missed travel opportunities and new destinations that we can’t wait to explore – have you been dreaming too?  

Tell us what is at the top of your ‘travel bucket list’?

Travel To Isolate!

An interesting concept that we are starting to explore for many clients, is the desire to travel, but to also feel isolated.  

It’s been such a long time since we have experienced crowds of people, that wanting to holiday without the masses, is understandable.

If it’s a boutique hotel, private island, self contained villa or a remote cabin, miles from anywhere, we know just the right places.

For all your travel requirements in 2021 and beyond, please call us on 01428 658777 or get in touch via our Contact Us page.

Throughout 2020 we have all been somewhat consumed by something other than BREXIT, however, with the countdown on, to the end of the year, we wanted to put together some top tips, for travelling ‘post BREXIT’ (from 1stJanuary 2021).  As always, if you are a client of ours we will be talking to you directly, about the specifics that may affect your booking.

Passports

When travelling within Europe, you have always been able to do so, right up until your passport expires. From 1stJanuary 2021, you will need to ensure that you have 6 months validity on your passport from your date of return.  You may be refused entry in to a country if this is not in place.

We would urge you to check your passports as a matter of priority and make an application as soon as possible.  There will be a great many people affected by this new rule.  Turnaround times at the passport office are currently at around 3-4 weeks, but this is likely to become longer with increased demand.

To complicate matters further, if you have a passport that expires at the end of 2021 or early 2022, its possible that you could still be denied entry into an EU country, if you do not renew you passport now.  When some UK passports were renewed 9-10 years ago, they were given an additional 9 months validity. From 1stJanuary 2021, this additional 9 months will not be recognised.

At The Airport

You will no longer be able to use EU fast-track passport control and customs lanes.

Travel Insurance & EHIC

If you are travelling on or after 1stJanuary 2021, the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) will no longer be valid.

Please ensure that you take our adequate travel insurance every time you travel overseas and should you have any questions about this, please do let us know.

If you are a UK state pensioner living in the EU before the end of 2020, you will be able to use the EHIC beyond 2020, but you must apply for a new card.

EHIC is also valid for students, who have started a course in the EU before the end of 2020, until their course finishes.  Again they will require new cards.

Driving License

When driving in EU countries from 1stJanuary 2021 onwards, you will need to carry your UK driving license, but you may also need an IDP (International Driving Permit). The type of IDP will depend on the country you are diving in / through.

IDP’s can be purchased through the Post Office at a cost of £5.50.

Car Insurance

You will require a ‘green card’ when driving in the EU.  This is proof that you have motor insurance cover for driving abroad.  If you are towing a caravan or trailer you will need to carry separate green cards.  We would suggest contacting your vehicle insurance company at least 6 weeks prior to travelling to make the necessary arrangements.

GB Stickers

You will need to display a GB (Great Britain) sticker on the rear of your vehicle even if you have a number plate with the Euro symbol.

Travelling with Pets

Sadly if you are travelling with your pet, the Pet Passport will no longer be valid.  Please speak to your veterinarian at least 4 months prior to travel, to discuss the necessary procedures for the country you are travelling to.

Mobile Data Roaming

The guarantee of free roaming throughout the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway ends on 1stJanuary 2021.

Please check with your mobile phone company, before travelling, to ensure you are aware on any charges that you may incur.

Duty Free

If you are travelling from Great Britain into the EU after 1stJanuary 2021, you can take advantage of duty-free shopping.  Current duty-free limits will increase in the new year.  There will no longer be tax-free airport sales of goods like electronics and clothing.

For any further questions about your booking and travelling after 1stJanuary 2021, please do call us on 01428 658777.

Information correct at the time of publishing – 08.12.20

The government’s Global Travel Taskforce (GTT), chaired by Transport Secretary, Grant Schapps, last week announced the new ‘Test To Release’ regime.  This has been devised to enabling the country to create a careful and balanced route out of the pandemic, bolstering international travel, whilst keeping the public safe.

Lets look at the detail…..

Q:  What is the new ‘Test To Release regime?

A:  This system will replace the current 14 day quarantine period, for passengers arriving from countries the do not have a ‘travel corridor’.  UPDATE:  From Monday 14 December, the number of days that you will need to self-isolate will be reduced from 14 days to 10 days

Q:  When will this come into effect?

A:  From Tuesday 15thDecember 2020

Q: How will this work?

A:  Following your return from a non ‘travel corridor’ country, you will quarantine for 5 days, taking a PCR test on the 5thday. Once you receive your negative result, you are free to return to work / school / normal life.

Q: Where can I take a test?

A:  The government have said they will release a list of approved testing facilities.  You may take your test at any one of these. UPDATE 15.12.20 – The government has today released a list of private providers.  Please follow the link to see the up to date list.

Q:  Will I have to book?

A:  Yes and you will need to do this before you depart, as you will have to declare the test centre upon entry to the UK.

Q:  How much will the test cost?

A: This will depend on the clinic that you use, however the cost of testing is significantly less than when testing commenced during the summer.

Q: Do I have to go to a testing facility?

A:  There is the option to visit a test centre or take a test at your home.

Q:  Can I use the NHS facility for this?

A:  No, the NHS system is only for those with Covid symptoms. If you use this service you will not legally be permitted to exit quarantine early.

Q:  Do I have to quarantine for 5 days and take a test from every country?

A: No, there are a great many countries on the ‘travel coriddor’ list, with more added each week. These do not require any quarantine on your return.

Q:  What happens if I don’t want to pay to take a test?

A:  If you choose not to take a test, for whatever reason, you would continue to quarantine for 14 days, with no test at the end.

Q: How will the government know whether I have chosen to quarantine for 5 days and take a test or for 14 days with no test?

A:  Upon your return to the UK, it is mandatory to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF).  For arrivals from 15thDecember, you will be asked to declare your choice. If at any point you change your mind about the 5/14 day quarantine, you will have to submit another PLF.

Q:  Will travel always be like this?

A:  Highly unlikely.  As we move ever closer to a vaccine, this is seen as a stepping stone. 

Please note this information is accurate as of 29.11.20 and is subject to change.  For official government advice, please follow the link.

At yesterdays travel update (22.10.20) New travel corridors were announced for:

The Maldives

The Canary Islands – Tenerife, Grand Canaria, Fuerteventura & Lanzarote

Denmark

Mykonos

Passengers arriving into the UK, from these destinations from 04:00 on 25.10.20, will no longer have to self isolate for 14 days.

The Maldives

The Canary Islands

Denmark

Mykonos

For holidays to any of the aforementioned new ‘travel corridor’ countries or to anywhere else in the world, please call 01428 658777, email gemma@haslemeretravel.co.uk or contact your favourite Elite Travel Consultant

Information correct as of 11:00 on 23.10.20

Haslemere Travel is delighted to be taking part in HOLIDAY TO HELP OUT week.

Holiday To Help Out is an initiative organised by the travel industry aimed at exciting clients about future holidays and highlighting some fantastic offers.

These special offers are available for bookings made between 2-8 November, for travel in 2020/21 or beyond, and ONLY available through travel agents…..like Haslemere Travel!

A whole host of our favourite suppliers have signed up to offer, discounts, savings and added value and the list is growing by the day!

Please see below for the suppliers involved and the deals that are currently in place….more to come! 

List updated on 29.10.2- at 11:00

  • Arosa River Cruises – Additional 5% discount on all 2021 cruises
  • Acklams Holidays
  • Adventure Tours UK – 10% of all small group tours PLUS save £200 on tailor-made adventures
  • Africa & Beyond – Saving of £350 per person on a South Africa holiday
  • Africa Collection – 10% discount on 8-night Botswana holiday
  • Airways Holidays – £50 per couple discount off any Channel Island package holiday (min. 4 night stay)
  • Alfa Travel – £10pp off all 2020 & 2021 coach and self drive holidays
  • Amadeus River Cruises – 5% off all river cruises
  • American Cruise Lines – 5% off all holidays
  • APT – €100 onboard credit for select European sailings
  • Arena River Cruises – Free Premium Package (worth up to £280pp) PLUS low deposit of £25pp
  • Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai – Complimentary upgrade to Platinum Half Board (includes free flow of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages)
  • Avalon Waterways – Additional discount of £100 per person
  • Beachcomber Tours – 40% discount on new bookings to the Beachcomber Hotels in Mauritius
  • Cape Verde Experience – £100 off per couple on any package holiday
  • Celebrity Cruises – $100 on-board spend with every stateroom
  • Celestyal Cruises – Additional 15% off select sailings PLUS zero solo traveller supplement
  • Citalia – £100 discount off any Citalia booking
  • Club Med – An additional 5% off all Club Med holidays (on top of existing offers)
  • Collette – 5% off all holidays
  • Contiki – An exclusive additional £25 off Contiki’s current deals
  • Coral Expeditions – 5% off all holidays
  • Corsican Places – £100 off per couple on any package holiday
  • Cosmos – Additional discount of £50 per person
  • CV Villas – Free car hire + exclusive £100 discount
  • Cyplon – Free upgrade to half board and up to 15% off selected Paphos hotels
  • Discover Egypt – 5% off Discover Egypt holidays departing in 2021 and 2022
  • Domes Resorts – €50 resort credit PLUS one meal
  • EasyJet Holidays – £50 off per booking (subject to min. spend of £800 per booking)
  • Elegant resorts – Complimentary room upgrade in Crete PLUS 50% off luxury break in Indonesia
  • Emerald Waterways – Free all inclusive upgrade (premium drinks package) on select cruises OR €150 onboard credit on select sailings
  • Emirates Holidays
  • Encounters Travel – 10% off all Egypt tours & 5% off other destinations in 2021/2022
  • Exodus Travel – 10% off selected tours
  • Explore
  • Exsus – Free lounge passes on departures from UK, PLUS Champagne (or non-alcoholic equivalent) on arrival in resort
  • Fred Olsen Cruise Lines – £100 on board spend for 2021 sailings of 5-16 nights
  • Fred Holidays – 5% off all holidays
  • Friendship Travel – $150 resort credit; 3 nights free; room upgrades – all on selected hotels
  • G Adventures – Save 15% on 500+
    G Adventures Tours
  • GIC – The Villa Collection – £100 per couple off any new 2021 holiday
  • Goa Experience – £100 off per couple on any package holiday
  • Gold Crest Holidays – Save up to £50 per person
  • If Only – Complimentary room upgrade; $200 resort coupon; kids stay free
  • Inghams – £100 per booking off all holidays
  • Inside Asia – £200 per person off any tailor-made trips to Asia (min spend £3,000 per person)
  • Inside Japan – £200 per person off small group tours or tailor-made trips to Japan (min spend £3,000 per person)
  • Insight Vacations -15% off 2021 holidays
  • ITC – Save up to £300 on all holidays
  • Into World – 5% off ALL tours; 10% off those with ’Holiday to Help Out’ logo
  • Intrepid – Up to 15% off Intrepid’s range of small group adventures
  • Jetset – £140 per booking discount (applies to any package holiday 10 nights or more, departing 2021)
  • Just Go Holidays – £10pp off all holidays departing in 2021
  • Just You – Free case of wine when you book a Just You holiday
  • Kirker Holidays – A bottle of Pol Roger champagne per booking
  • Latin Routes – £100 discount per booking PLUS a case of South American wine
  • Le Boat – Additional 5% discount on all boating holidays
  • Ledra Hotels & Villas – 3-course meal at an awarded restaurant
  • Leger Holidays – £50pp on a 9day+ Europe Coach tour PLUS range of other offers
  • Lusso – £200 discount on any Lusso holiday
  • Luxury Gold – 15% off 2021 holidays
  • Mercury Holidays – £50 off per person on beach holidays
  • National Holidays – £10pp off all 4&5 day breaks departing in 2021
  • Not In the Guide Books – 5% off all experiences
  • Olympic Holidays – £60 per person discount
  • One Fine Stay – Complimentary £100 guest services / concierge credit
  • Pandaw – 5% off all holidays
  • Perfect Weddings Abroad – Save up to £500 on weddings with a free wedding package upgrade
  • Planet Holidays – Save up to £600 per couple on holidays to Greece and Cyprus
  • Polar Routes – £250 discount per booking
  • Ponant – 5% off all holidays
  • Premier Holidays – £50 per couple discount on any long-haul holiday and an afternoon tea per person for any Channel Islands booking
  • Rainbow Tours – Save up to £300 on all holidays
  • Red Sea Holidays
  • Regent Holidays – Save up to £300 on all holidays
  • Riviera Travel – Up to €400 on board credit per couple for 2021 and 2022 European river cruises
  • Sandals – £100 off bookings for 2022
  • Santas Lapland – £100 per booking off all holidays 
  • Sardinian Places – £100 off per couple on any package holiday
  • Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours – An additional £200pp discount on select river cruises
  • Shearings – £20pp on all UK coach tours for 2021 departures PLUS a range of other offers
  • Star Clippers – €100 onboard credit on select sailings
  • Stuba – £50 off a min. stay of £1,000 across 114,000+ hotels
  • Sunvil – Two weeks for the price of one on selected holidays to Greece
  • Tanzania Odyssey – 10% off any Nomad Tanzania safari
  • Tee The World – Free HB and 2 drinks on luxury Dubai golf holidays
  • The Artisan Company – Up to £150pp off a Northern Lights Holiday
  • The Gambia Experience – £100 off per couple on any package holiday
  • The Golf Travel Centre
  • The Villa Collection – 5% off all properties in all destinations
  • Trafalgar – 15% off 2021 holidays
  • TransIndus – 10% off all group tours departing in 2021/22 PLUS £200 off tailor-made holidays in Asia (min spend £1,999)
  • Travel Gallery – Up to 50% off featured hotels on 14-night luxury touring holiday in Sri Lanka
  • Travelpack – Free upgrade to all-inclusive PLUS free room upgrade & free transfers on Maldives break
  • Travelsphere – Free case of wine when you book a Travelsphere holiday
  • Tru Travels – 15% discount on all TruTravels tours
  • Undiscovered Mountains – £100 discount per booking PLUS free VIP welcome hamper with local products and champagne (or non-alcoholic equivalent) on arrival
  • Uniworld – £100 per person ship board credit
  • Virgin Voyages – $100 US on-board credit on any Virgin Voyage package
  • Wendy Wu
  • You Travel – Up to 10% off selected hotels

NB: Suppliers in Blue & Pink were added on 23/10. new additions, added on 28/10 are in orange.

Q:  How do I know what deals are available?

A: Keep checking back for regular updates.  We will be updating the website often.

Q: When will the deals & offers become available?

A: These offers and deals will become available between 2ndand 8thNovember, exclusively via a travel agent.  These are not available to book direct with the aforementioned suppliers.

Q:  Do I have to travel between 2ndand 8thNovember 2020?

A:  No, you just have to book during this week.

Q:  What holiday dates will these offers be available for?

A:  Each of our suppliers will have a slightly different policy, but many will be for 2021 travel and some for 2022…especially the cruise companies.

Q: Is there a minimum spend?

A:  In most cases there isn’t, but if there is, we will advise you during the enquiry process.

Q:  Do I have to book these deals via a Travel agent.

A: Yes.  They will not be available else where.

Q: Will these deals be available after 8thNovember 2020.

A:  To our knowledge they will not.

Any other questions, please do feel free to call us on 01428 658777, pop into the shop, email: gemma@haslemeretravel.co.uk or contact your favourite Elite Travel Consultant

If you’ve decided that you’re going to save your travels until next year but at the same time are desperately craving all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and invigorating inspiration that comes from a trip to a foreign land, here’s a way you can (almost) get the full travel experience without leaving the house.

Curl up in an armchair and grab a coffee to settle down with one of these great reads that will transport you to faraway lands in an instant, without you leaving the house.

Each of these books paints an evocative picture of the country in which they are set. Dig deep into the different cultures of these lands: get to know their people, their history, their landscapes and look forward to discovering them for real on your future travels.

Whilst we are on the topic of books and travel, I was asked by our fabulous, local, independent book retailer, Haslemere Book Shop, to provide them with my top travel related book choices. If you are interested in checking them out and / or purchasing them, please follow the link.

Travel to Turkey

Birds Without Wings: Louis de Bernières

Many of you will have read and/or watched the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin which paints a wonderful picture of the Greek island of Cephalonia. Like Captain Corelli, this novel began with a holiday, this time to south western Turkey where Louis de Bernières visited the ghost town of Kayakoy.

Sitting up in the hills above the Mediterranean sea just 8km from Fethiye, Kayakoy is a peaceful village with verdant gardens. The ruins of the old town sit just above. The town was finally destroyed by an earthquake in the Fifties, but it really started to die when the Christian population was deported to Greece as part of the Population exchange between the two countries following World War 1.

 

Set against the backdrop of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, the Gallipoli campaign and the subsequent bitter struggle between Greeks and Turks, “Birds Without Wings” traces the fortunes of one small community in south-west Anatolia – a town in which Christian and Muslim lives and traditions have co-existed peacefully for centuries. When war is declared and the outside world intrudes, the twin scourges of religion and nationalism lead to forced marches and massacres, and the peaceful fabric of life is destroyed. Philothei, a Christian girl of legendary beauty, and Ibrahim the Goatherd who has courted her since infancy are but two of the many casualties. With the end of a community that once transcended religious differences, their great love seems destined to end in tragedy and madness. 

Like Captain Corelli, it delivers a heady mix of love, savagery, war and Mediterranean idyll. The book is populated with characters as real as our best friends and is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking. It’s all about the pleasures of peace, the meaning of home, and the foolishness and fratricide of war, encompassing the whole range of human emotions and behaviours, from the most savagely cruel to the most selflessly compassionate. 

Travel to Malaysia

The Gift Of Rain: Tan Twang Eng

The Gift of Rain is the first novel by Malaysian novelist Tan Twan Eng and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. 

Set on the Malaysian island of Penang in 1939,  the main character is sixteen-year-old Philip Hutton, a loner. Half English, half Chinese and feeling neither, he discovers a sense of belonging in an unexpected friendship with Hayato Endo, a Japanese diplomat. Philip shows his new friend around his adored island of Penang, and in return Endo trains him in the art and discipline of aikido. 

But such knowledge comes at a terrible price. The enigmatic Endo is bound by disciplines of his own and when the Japanese invade Malaya, threatening to destroy Philip’s family and everything he loves, he realises that his trusted sensei – to whom he owes absolute loyalty – has been harbouring a devastating secret. 

Philip must risk everything in an attempt to save those he has placed in mortal danger and discover who and what he really is. 

With masterful and gorgeous narrative, replete with exotic and captivating images, sounds and aromas – of rain swept beaches, magical mountain temples, pungent spice warehouses, opulent colonial ballrooms and fetid and forbidding rainforests – Tan Twan Eng weaves a haunting and unforgettable story of betrayal, barbaric cruelty, steadfast courage and enduring love.

Travel to Zimbabwe

Nervous Conditions: Tsitsi Dangarembge

Nervous Conditions is a novel by Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga, first published in the United Kingdom in 1988. It was the first book published by a black woman from Zimbabwe in English. It was one of the BBC’s top 100 books that changed the world in 2018 and it won the Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1989.

The semi-autobiographical novel focusses on the story of a Shona family in post-colonial Rhodesia during the 1960s. It illustrates the dynamic themes of race, colonialism, and gender during the post-colonial conditions of present-day Zimbabwe and provides a mine of information about Shona customs. 

It tells the story of a Rhodesian girl’s journey in pursuit of education from impoverished homestead to missionary school and finally to private Catholic school. 

When the novel opens, 14-year-old Tambu lives on a homestead with her parents and siblings.  She is given a chance to go for higher education after the death of her older brother Nhamo. Centring around the experience of several female characters as they either challenge, or come to terms with, the traditional patriarchal structure of their society, the young narrator, Tambu, must show great determination as she overcomes all the obstacles to her progress in life.

It is a powerful read, at once a coming-of-age story, a critique of colonialism, and a protest against a traditional patriarchal society that predates colonisation.

Travel to Denmark

The Year of Living Danishly: Helen Russell

This is a true tale uncovering the secrets of the world’s happiest country.

When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made?

Helen decides there is only one way to find out: she will give herself a year, trying to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. From childcare, education, food and interior design (not to mention ‘hygge’) to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate predilection for burning witches, The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.

Travel to India

A Suitable boy: Vikram Seth

A Suitable Boy is a novel set in a newly post-independence, post-partition India. With 1,488 pages soft cover, and 591,552 words, the English language book is one of the longest novels published in a single volume. But do not be daunted! It is beautifully written with a light touch so relax and let this book take you on it’s long, colourful journey. You’ll be sad when it comes to an end.

The story follows the story of four families over a period of 18 months, and centres on Mrs. Rupa Mehra’s efforts to arrange the marriage of her younger daughter, Lata, to a “suitable boy”. Lata is a 19-year-old university student who refuses to be influenced by her domineering mother or opinionated brother, Arun.  

 

Her story revolves around the choice she is forced to make between her suitors Kabir, Haresh, and Amit.

The novel alternately offers satirical and earnest examinations of national political issues in the period leading up to the first post-Independence national election of 1952, including Hindu–Muslim strife, the status of lower caste peoples such as the jatav, land reforms and the eclipse of the feudal princes and landlords, academic affairs, abolition of the Zamindari system, family relations and a range of further issues of importance to the characters. The India today is shaped by these events and there couldn’t be a more charming way to get to grips with this important history. Christopher Hitchens gave the novel a glowing review, commenting that the prose “has a deceptive lightness and transparency to it”.

It is no surprise that A Suitable Boy is on the BBC’s list of the 100 most inspiring novels and now it has finally been adapted for TV. Can a TV series ever do justice to such sensitive writing in just 6 episodes? Probably not but who wouldn’t want to see for themselves? It has the perfect slot of 9pm on Sundays and sure to round off the weekend in the nicest possible way. Find it here if you need to catch up!

Travel to Australia

Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country: Bill Bryson

This is a travelogue about Australia written by best-selling travel writer Bill Bryson. Bill Bryson describes his travels by railway and car throughout Australia, his conversations with people in all walks of life about the history, geography, unusual plants and animals of the country, and his wry impressions of the life, culture and amenities (or lack thereof) in each locality.

Australia is iconic as the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The book is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humour, wonder, and unflagging curiosity.

Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book.

Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide.

If any of these books inspire you for a future trip. then please do call 01428 658777 or email gemma@haslemeretravel.co.uk, to see how we can help turn that dream into a reality.  We can wait to help you plan your next adventure.

The lifting of travel restrictions has been promised for over a week, but this afternoon the government announced a list of 59 countries the are now exempt from a 14 day quarantine, when arriving in the UK.

If you are returning to, or visiting England from destinations that have a reduced risk of re-importing coronavirus, then you will no longer need to self isolate for 14 days upon your return.

This new rule change, comes into effect from Friday 10th July (a week today).

The 59 Countries are as follows:

AndorraGermanyNew Zealand
Antigua and BarbudaGreeceNorway
ArubaGreenlandPoland
AustraliaGrenadaRéunion
AustriaGuadeloupeSan Marino
BahamasHong KongSerbia
BarbadosHungarySeychelles
BelgiumIcelandSouth Korea
Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaItalySpain
CroatiaJamaicaSt Barthélemy
CuraçaoJapanSt Kitts and Nevis
CyprusLiechtensteinSt Lucia
Czech RepublicLithuaniaSt Pierre and Miquelon
DenmarkLuxembourgSwitzerland
DominicaMacauTaiwan
Faroe IslandsMaltaTrinidad and Tobago
FijiMauritiusTurkey
FinlandMonacoVatican City
FranceNetherlandsVietnam
French PolynesiaNew Caledonia 

Please note that Ireland was already exempt, as part of the common travel area, as are The Channel Islands and The Isle of Man.  In addition, the government will be exempting the 14 British Overseas Territories. 

This list might be added to over the coming days following further discussions between the UK and international partners.

Please note that if you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, information for you will be published in ‘due course’ by the devolved administrators.

Frustratingly there are some notable absences from the list including Portugal, Sweden, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the USA, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Foreign Office Advice

In line with this, the Foreign Office has changed its advisory against ‘all but essential travel’ to a number of countries from tomorrow (4th July).   You are now safely able to travel to the below countries, knowing your travel insurance is valid and you would be able to access consular services, should you need them.  Slightly confusing however that the two lists do not quite match.

The 67 exemptions are:

EUROPE

  • Austria
  • Andorra
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France (overseas territories of France are listed separately, where included in the exemption)
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • The Netherlands (not including the constituent countries and special municipalities located in the Dutch Caribbean)
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal (only The Azores and Madeira)
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

AMERICAS

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and The Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

ASIA PACIFIC

  • Australia
  • Brunei
  • French Polynesia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Vietnam
  • Wallis and Futuna

AFRICA

  • Reunion

ANTARCTICA

  • British Antarctic Territory

And just to confuse us all even more, there are a couple more anomalies.  

Australia, New Zealand, Greece and Cyprus are all listed (in both categories), despite these destinations already having made clear they will continue to enforce restrictions on British travellers.

Greece recently extended its UK flight ban until 15 July (so not too long to wait), while Cyprus is barring entry to anyone who has been in the UK in the past 14 days. Australia and New Zealand, meanwhile, are not expected to reopen their borders (to anyone) for some time.

As a travel professional, even I’m finding this a challenge to digest, so it would be no surprise if you are too.

If you would like me to try and help with any clarity on your specific trip that you have booked with Haslemere Travel, or with a trip that you are looking to plan, then please do contact me directly on 01428 658777 or gemma@haslemeretravel.co.uk.  As always I will do my very best to help.

This information is ever evolving, so I will keep updating you, when anything new is announced.  Until then, take care.

Gemma.

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