Covid-19, FAQs & Travel Advice

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COVID-19
Restrictions now vary within the UK and may change at short notice, so please check the relevant country on the Government website HERE prior to travel. For Ireland, click Entry Requirements

Whilst the world feels in many ways ‘back to normal’, it is worth bearing in mind that the hospitality industry has taken a battering over the pandemic, and still is to a degree with Omicron and absences, therefore, staffing levels may not yet be back up to 2019 levels. Hotels, restaurants and bars are doing everything they can to deliver the expected service, but we do urge patience and understanding.
For Government guidelines on Hotels/Accommodation, please see HERE
Travel to other countries, including Ireland, still requires certain criteria being met, but these are changing frequently, so please continue to check before travel and ensure your customers are informed.

Coronavirus Update | Your Questions Answered

January 2022

The ongoing threat of COVID-19 is still cause for concern for many travellers, particularly abroad, and will undoubtedly be continuing to impact your business, especially as we head through the winter months. We continue to work closely with our suppliers to understand their on-going challenges and our staff are on hand to help and support you and answer any questions or concerns that you may have.

The following frequently asked questions may also be of assistance:

Will we be charged if we cancel our tour outside of normal cancellation terms?
If you are forced to cancel a tour with us, outside of the normal cancellation terms, then of course you will not be charged.

Will we be charged if we cancel our tour within cancellation terms?
If you are forced to cancel your tour with us due to coronavirus, and the tour is within cancellation terms and/or non-refundable deposits have been paid on your behalf in advance of travel, we will work with you and our suppliers to limit your liability as much as possible. For full cancellation details please see here

Will we be charged if we are forced to cancel a tour due to a Foreign Office travel advice within cancellation terms?
If Foreign Office travel advice is such that as the legal tour operator you forced to cancel a tour, and it is within cancellation charges, again we will work with you and our suppliers to limit your liability.

We have tours travelling to Europe in the next 2-3 months. Should I cancel?
Given some ongoing restrictions, entry to and through some European countries, and social contact across many European countries, it is possible you may be forced to cancel tours to areas directly affected by the spread of coronavirus, due to traveller cancellations, Foreign Office travel advice or the complexities of entry requirements. If you are forced to cancel your tour with us and the tour is within cancellation terms, we will work with you and our suppliers to limit your liability.

If feasible, while there remains a reasonable chance that your tour(s) could yet travel, our advice is to wait until closer to the cancellation date. We will not let you pass any deadlines or enter any cancellation charges without notifying you giving you the chance to make an informed decision. If you are forced to cancel your tour with us, outside of normal cancellation terms, then of course you will not be charged.

Can we change a tour to depart on a later date?
If you wish to consider postponing a tour to a later date in 2022 or 2023, please contact us to discuss your options. We can’t guarantee that we will be able to change your arrangements, as it is dependent on future availability, but we will do everything we can to assist you.

Is Albatross Travel cancelling any tours?
Albatross Travel will only cancel a tour at your request. Unless you have been contacted otherwise, your tour remains contracted to travel.

How will we know whether the spread of coronavirus is affecting a destination we are due to travel to?
We continue to monitor the situation closely and take our own travel advice directly from the Foreign Office. If we believe there is a change in the travel advice that affects one of your contracted tours, and we have not heard from you, we will contact you.

You can find further information on local lockdowns & restrictions here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-restrictions-areas-with-an-outbreak-of-coronavirus-covid-19#areas-with-local-restriction” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>UK

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-countries-and-territories-exempt-from-advice-against-all-but-essential-international-travel” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>International

What happens if one of our tours is directly affected by coronavirus?
Albatross Travel provides support for every tour we have in operation 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We also have a fully-trained Incident Response Team ready to help you deal with any major incident or situation that affects one of your tours, including any direct impact from coronavirus.

What happens if the UK enters into another national lockdown?
In the event that travel restrictions and movements of people are imposed by the Government (or devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), we will work with you to minimise the impact on your business as much as possible, including limiting your liability on any tours you are forced to cancel.

What happens if a guest contracts COVID-19/shows symptom before departure or contacted by Track & Trace?

We are currently asking our suppliers to be flexible with their terms and conditions, and to allow late cancellations due to COVID-19, to cancel free of charge. We cannot commit to this across the board, but we will work on each case individually working with the suppliers to minimise any cancellation fees.

What happens if a guest becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms while on tour?

If a guest develops COVID-19 symptoms, they should self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if their symptoms are mild. They are required to self-isolate while the test is booked and wait for the results. If the guest tests positive they are required to continue to self-isolate for a period of 10 days that includes the day their symptoms started.  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/

If a guest tests positive for COVID-19 and is required to self-isolate, we will work with you and the supplier to facilitate the required period of self-isolation.

What to do if a guest is told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, i.e. they are “pinged”.

If a guest is told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus (COVID-19), it is a legal requirement to them to self-isolate and they should alert their driver. The passenger could be fined if they do not do this. Guests do not need to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since a final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS.

What happens if a local lockdown occurs, either in your departure area or in the destination area?

If your area in which you are based goes into lockdown, we will work with you and our suppliers to cancel all services and limit your liability as much as possible.

If the area you are travelling to goes into local lockdown there will be no charges as the hotel supplier is deemed to be unable to fulfil their contract.

If you are staying in a destination that is not in lockdown, but due to travel to an attraction or other destination that is, we will work with you for find suitable alternatives.

What happens if an area goes into lockdown while we are there?

You will be able to leave the area with immediate effect in line with government guidelines. We will then work with our suppliers to obtain a refund for the outstanding services that were not provided.

What are we doing at Albatross Travel to ensure your tours can travel as contracted?
We are in continual contact with all of our hotels to review arrival and check-in procedures, porterage, ongoing sanitation, bedroom cleaning, socially-distanced dining and the availability and use of hotel facilities. If there are restrictions that are likely to substantially impact the tour and your guest’s experience, we will update you in line with departure dates.

For attractions, we will endeavour to ensure they are all following guidelines and putting customer safety first. As a result, some visits or excursions may have new or different procedures for looking after groups.

What if the hotel or attraction that we have contracted is not open or accommodating groups?
If the hotel, visit or attraction is not open for group business, we will advise you as soon as we are aware, and work with you to find a suitable alternative and help you make any changes as a consequence.

TRAVEL ADVICE & USEFUL LINKS

Other Useful Information:
It is natural that your guests will want assurances that you are following all the current rules and regulations for travel in the wake of the pandemic, therefore we have included some useful links below, with information regarding operating coaches and tours. These do get updated regularly, so we recommend that you bookmark them and check them ahead of any departures, to ensure you have up-to-date information at your fingertips.

UK Government

FCO pages for individual country advice – Click FCO HERE

Coronavirus information – Click Coronavirus HERE

Health & Safety Executive

Information on managing risks and risk assessment – Click HSE HERE

Confederation of Passenger Transport

CPT details rules and regulations on coach operations – Click CPT HERE

Visit Britain

‘We’re Good to Go’ campaign, supporting business recover – click Visit Britain HERE

International Road-Users

Guideline for the safe return of passenger transport – click Guidelines HERE

ETOA

Information, networking site for information about travel throughout Europe – click ETOA HERE

Re-Open Europe

Information from the EU on cross-border travel plus health & safety guidance – click Re-open EU HERE

NHS COVID PASS
Details of how to get an NHS COVID Pass can be found HERE

 

The following websites might be useful when planning your tours:
Foreign Office – Travel Advice
See further below for quick links to our featured European countries
NHS – Healthcare Abroad

UK Passport Service

TRAVEL TO IRELAND
GOV.UK – IRELAND

All passengers must complete a Passenger Locator Form with 72 hours of arriving in Ireland. Please click the web link below:
Passenger Locator Form

In order to complete the form, you will need a mobile phone which you will also be taking with you, and which you will need to complete the form, receiving a text with a Verification Code in order to continue. The form will ask for the following details:
Mobile number
Full name
Email address
Name of the hotel you will be staying in
How you will be arriving in Ireland
Details/date of your 2nd vaccine
Type of vaccine

On arrival at the UK port
In order to board the ferry, everyone on the coach will need:
1. Passenger Locator Form email confirmation
2. Evidence of full vaccination from the NHS in the form of either a mobile QR code or Paper/card version
3. Photo ID in the form of passport or photo driving licence/bus pass

The driver will need
A passenger manifest including dates of birth

Please note
Coach operators are responsible for checking that all your clients have the correct documentation prior to boarding the coach. Staff at ports are likely to do spot checks, and should anyone fail, it is likely that the whole coach would have to be pulled aside and checked, which could lead to delays.

Return to the UK from Ireland
Currently there are no documentation requirements for returning to the UK

UK GOVERNMENT EUROPEAN TRAVEL ADVICE
See below links to the Gov.uk website for individual countries for the latest travel advice:
AUSTRIA
ANDORRA
BELGIUM
CROATIA
FRANCE
GERMANY
ITALY
LUXEMBOURG
NETHERLANDS
POLAND
PORTUGAL
SLOVENIA
SPAIN
SWITZERLAND

 

DRIVING IN ITALY – ZTL PERMITS & FINES

If you are touring in Italy, you need to be aware of the restrictions that exist entering towns and cities. These can vary considerably across the country.

ZTLs (Zona Traffico Limitato) are zones which restrict entry and circulation at certain times and affect all vehicles including local ones. In order to avoid unexpected fines, you need to get a permit ahead of crossing a ZTL. Signage for these zones is not always clear, so we recommend you find out ahead of travel, where they are and if you are likely to cross them.

Click HERE for information for individual Italian zones

 

DRIVING IN EUROPE – REGULATIONS

For information about driving regulations, low emission zones and access regulations across Europe, click HERE

 

SEA CROSSING TERMS & CONDITIONS
If a ferry/sea crossing forms part of your tour(s), please note that individual operators’ terms & conditions apply. These may vary and apply to all coach passengers. For the most up-to-date information, please see the links below:

P&O Ferries
DFDS
Irish Ferries
CalMac
NorthLink Ferries
Isle of Man Steam Packet
Wight Link
Condor Ferries
Stena Line
Brittany Ferries
Eurotunnel – Le Shuttle
Eurostar