The government is currently reviewing its quarantine-free travel list every week to ensure that holidaymakers don’t bring back the coronavirus from abroad. With France recently removed from the quarantine-free list, holiday hopes for a break across the channel have been dashed for many Britons. Despite the prospect of isolating for two weeks being a deterrent for many, some airlines are still contuining to fly to destinations where the 14-day quarantine rules are in force.
Today, Heathrow Airport announced the development of a new coronavirus testing facility which has sparked hope for future holidays.
The facility will hopefully lead to the end of the mandatory 14-day quarantine for those returning from certain countries and “protect the economy”.
Heathrow executives hope those testing negative could leave quarantine five to eight days after landing, though the airport’s programme needs government approval before it can begin.
Here’s the latest travel advice from Ryanair, Jet2, TUI easyJet and British Airways.
Ryanair recently announced that it would be reducing its flight capacity by almost 20 percent in September and October.
The budget airline explained that the reason for this is because of future bookings weakening over the last 10 days “given continuing uncertainty over recent Covid case rates in some EU countries”.
Ryanair said that most the cuts would focus on countries such as Spain, France and Sweden where an increase in coronavirus cases has led to increased travel restrictions.
A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “These capacity cuts and frequency reductions for the months of September and October are necessary given the recent weakness in forward bookings due to Covid restrictions in a number of EU countries.
“Any effected passengers in Sept received email notification earlier today advising them of their options.
“Similar communications will be issued to the small number of affected passengers in Oct later today.
“Over the past two weeks as a number of EU countries have raised travel restrictions, forward bookings especially for business travel into September and October have been negatively affected, and it makes sense to reduce frequencies so that we tailor our capacity to demand over the next two months.”
The airline added that testing at airports needed to be introduced.
The spokesperson continued: “Proper testing at airports, and effective tracing (as is being conducted in Germany and Italy) is the only realistic and proportionate method of supervising safe intra-EU air travel while effectively limiting the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”
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Jet2 is currently operating a reduced flying programme with some flights not going ahead.
The airline has said that they are contacting any affected customers in “departure date order” who are impacted by the changes.
However, the airline and Jet2holidays are offering a new insurance policy which includes added Covid-19 cover for cancellations and medical claims abroad.
Jet2 has also said that anyone travelling in a party showing symptoms of coronavirus (dry cough, high temperature) will not be able to travel.
Like many airlines, Jet2 is asking its customers to make certain checks before they travel.
Customers are urged to check the entry requirements of the destination they are travelling to, have plenty of facemaks on hand for the journey and fill out a Public Health Passenger Locator Form.
Jet2 also updated its customers in regard to flights and Jet2holidays.
“In line with FCO travel advice, we are constantly reviewing our flights and holiday programme,” the airline said.
The latest update on August 14 said that flights to Cyprus would restart on August 17, flights to the Canary and Balearic Islands would restart on August 23, flights to mainland Spain and Portugal would restart on August 24.
However, this could be subject to change.
From July 11, TUI began operating holidays to a select number of destinations.
Their website reads: “Throughout August, we’ll be operating a reduced summer holiday programme to the below destinations, flying to some with our own airline and to others with our trusted partner airlines.”
It added: “We’re constantly reviewing government guidance and are planning to add more departure airports and destinations to our programme as soon as we can.”
The destinations include destinations in Greece such as Kos, Rhodes, Heraklion in Crete, Corfu, Zante, Chania, Kefalonia, Skiathos, Santorini and Thessaloniki.
Other destinations include Venice in Italy and from August 24, Naples.
Dalaman, Antalya, Izmir and Bodrum in Turkey are also included.
However, a number of holidays to certain countries have been cancelled by the airline.
All the below have been cancelled:
TUI holidays to mainland Spain departing on or before August 28 2020
TUI holidays to the Balearic and Canary Islands departing on or before August 23 2020
TUI holidays to Cyprus due to depart on or before August 22 2020
TUI holidays to Bulgaria due to depart on or before October 31 2020
TUI holidays to Portugal due to depart on or before August 28 2020
TUI holidays to Morocco due to depart on or before September 10 2020
TUI holidays to Malta departing on or before August 31 2020
All holidays to Florida due to depart on or before November 30 2020
TUI River Cruises sailings travelling on or before November 25 2020
TUI Lakes and Mountain holidays travelling on or before September 30 2020
TUI Tours travelling on or before October 30 2020.
British Airways is one of the few airlines who has decided to continue flights to destinations such as France, Netherlands, Malta, Turks & Caicos and Aruba despite them being added to the UK’s quarantine list.
The airline is also continuing to operate its flights to Spain as normal.
BA has also introduced new safety measures for passengers to give them peace of mind while travelling.
Some of the measures include face masks, self-service check-in, hand sanitisers and self-scan while boarding.
easyjet announced this week it will close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports, which will amount to the loss of 670 jobs.
From September 1, no planes will fly to and from 21 destinations using Southend Airport.
A reduced operation will run from Stansted and Newcastle.
easyJet recently said that its flights to France will continue despite the country being removed from the UK’s “air bridge” list.
However, easyJet has cancelled its package holidays to France.
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