COVID-19 & Your Welfare while on Holiday
ECT Travel’s commitment to your well-being every step of the way, from the moment you consider booking a holiday right through to your tour departure and return
We are really looking forward to arranging your future holiday with us and, while we have to adapt our tours to the new world we inhabit, we have worked hard to ensure our programmes are as comprehensive as ever, with added flexibility whenever and where ever needed.
We have prepared the following information so that you know what to expect when you book a holiday with us from the moment you first consider a tour, through the booking process, the new requirements you may need to meet before you travel and the new protocols as you travel. We are here to help you - please call our free phone number 0800 298 0588 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to talk over any concerns you may have.
Before you book
Understanding what to expect before you travel:
Regulations to keep us safe change regularly with National Governments and local authorities updating national or local rules and guidelines.
The UK Government has compiled a comprehensive website detailing ‘Guidance for British people travelling overseas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’, we advise you visit and read through the advice provided: https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/
Please check this website for up to date information on the destination you are considering booking for a holiday. If anything is not clear or you would like to talk over, please give us a ring - we are here to help: 0800 298 0588
Personal travel insurance and COVID-19 enhancement
It is a condition of your booking with us that you have adequate travel insurance in place to cover your specific needs. Many travel insurance companies are offering policies with COVID-19 cover.
If you already have travel insurance but this does not have cover for COVID-19, you may like to consider taking out an additional policy which provides COVID-19 cover.
COVID-19 cover varies between insurance companies, here is a link to the section in our terms of business which detail provisions that should be covered.
Please speak to your travel insurance provider for guidance.
You may also be interested to read the Department for Transport's Passenger Covid-19 Charter. You can read the summary here or the full document here . This charter aims to provide clear information and guidance on your rights, responsibilities and reasonable expectations regarding international travel whilst COVID-19 measures remain in place.
Booking your holiday
At this time, you will be required to wear face masks and carry hand sanitiser during aspects of your tour. We are all slowly getting used to carrying these protective accessories with us in our day-to-day lives and you will need to pack a supply to take with you on holiday.
A number of new health and safety measures have been introduced to help manage the risks of living with the virus. These measures are assessed on a regular basis, both by the UK Government and by Governments worldwide and changes to these measures are implemented as and when required to manage or supress the spread of new variants.
A ‘Traffic Light System’ has been introduced for international travel from England by the Department for Transport to communicate current rules and the tests required for visiting and returning from countries designated Green, Amber or Red.
The devolved UK nations are responsible for health matters, therefore implementation may differ between the home nations.
Current requirements for adults travelling from England include: (Please note, there are separate rules for children)
Please be aware, the tests required for travel are not provided by the NHS, but a range of test providers and must be paid for. The government does not endorse or recommend any specific test provider, but here is a link from the COVID-19 government website you may find helpful. You should do your own research and check terms and conditions. https://www.gov.uk/find-travel-test-provider
Online completion of A Passenger Locator Form 48 hours before leaving England, and again before returning home.
You will need to include your vaccination statue on your Passenger Locator Form.
Proof of a negative result from a COVID-19 test taken 3 days before returning from your destination.
You will be required to take a PCR test on or before day- 2 following your return to England.
If you visit a country on the ‘Amber’ list you will be required to self- isolate for 10 days on your return home if your are not fully vaccinated* and take two PCR tests, one on or before day 2 after return to England and another on day 8.** Please note, you must pay for these tests.
*Fully vaccinated means that you have had your final dose of an approved vaccine in the UK at least 14 days before travel.
**Test to Release scheme: under the Test to Release scheme you can choose to pay for a private COVID-19 test on day 5. If the result is negative ( and the result of your day 2 test was negative or inconclusive) you can end your quarantine. You do not have to do this - it is a voluntary test. You must still book and take your mandatory day 2 and day 8 travel tests, even if your Test to Release result is negative.
If you have visited a country on the ‘red’ list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days on return home. You will be required to take a PCR test on or before day- 2 after return to England and day 8.
You can read the full Government Guidance here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england
You will also need to check the rules for the country you are planning to visit to find out whether:
- The UK government advises against all but essential travel.
- The country you wish to visit will allow people from the UK to enter.
- You need to show proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test to enter, or quarantine when you arrive
Please visit the Government's travel advice page here https://gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Here is a link to our Covid-19 terms of business. Point 4 details questions you may be asked. (Please note, this is not an exhaustive list.)
We will, of course, keep you informed and up to date with local measures and requirements before you travel, and these details will also be included in your tour itinerary. Please also check our tour webpage, local government information or the UK Government Travel Aware Campaign.
Before you travel, we will be in touch to ask you to complete a health questionnaire. Please be aware that if you have had symptoms in the past 14 days we may ask you to provide proof of a negative test. Please review list of symptons provided here by the NHS.
While on holiday
During the preparation of your tour we have worked closely with all our suppliers to ensure that they are all complying with local health and safety measures. Our Tour Managers will be monitoring and reporting back to us on a regular basis and we will be working behind the scenes to ensure the safe and smooth running of your holiday. All our Tour Managers have received training in enhanced health and safety, including social distancing and will be wearing face masks and using hand sanitiser. (They will also carry a small pack of accessories if required). They are also on hand to assist you should you feel unwell.
Here is a link to the section in our terms of business which details monitoring arrangements with suppliers.
Changes to your travel experiences on holiday
Below is an outline list of the changes to your travel experiences you may encounter on holiday. These reflect both the measures the supplier requires of you and also details of the work suppliers are undertaking to support your well-being and to provide you with a safe environment.
These measures are evolving and changing as guidelines change both in the UK and abroad. We will continue to monitor the situation and will communicate with you before you travel.
Departures/Arrivals at Airports:
- You may be required to wear a face mask in airports. As a guide each mask lasts up to four hours.
- If we have not arranged your flights, you should check in online or use the self-service kiosk. You may need to check in baggage at a Bag Drop area.
- Please observe safe distance markers and other Covid-19 safety protocols
- Hand sanitisers are regularly positioned.
- When boarding self- scan where possible.
- You may be required to wear a face mask on the plane
- Most airlines will offer a pack containing an antibacterial wipe and hand sanitiser gel
- In-flight food options will have been adjusted to reduce physical contact with the airline crew
- Every key surface will be disinfected after every flight
- Key surfaces will be sanitised before each flight - ie seat, seat buckle, tray table and screen
- The air will be regularly replaced passing through HEPA filters. These filters remove microscopic bacteria and virus clusters and are considered equivalent to hospital operating theatre standards.
- Your coach will have been sanitised and thoroughly cleaned ready for you to board. This includes daily cleaning of all floors, seats, glass surfaces and disinfecting all hard surfaces, handrails, hand grabs, seat buckles and arm rests.
- The coach driver will wear a face mask whilst loading luggage and arranging your seating, but not for driving.
- There will be a screen fitted between the driver and travellers. This will be in place when the coach stops.
- We recommend the continued use of a face mask during your coach journey, unless you are exempt
- Will be familiar with the latest public health guidelines for this destination
- Will avoid shaking hands or any other physical contact with members of the tour
- Follow hygiene practices, washing or sanitising hands regularly. Will also wear a mask as required.
- Will monitor supplier adherence to local public health rules and liaise with the office on a regular basis
- Will assist and support you if you feel unwell
- You may be required to wear a face mask in public spaces, including the lobby, lifts and corridors
- All public areas will have been deep cleaned to reflect guidance from local and national health authorities
- Reception staff will have front desk screens where necessary and may be wearing a face mask
- Sanitised key-cards will be issued along with touch-less transactions for hotel extras
- You may be asked for approval for your luggage to be wiped over with a disinfectant wipe where porter service is provided or requested
- Sanitiser stations will be available in the lobby
- Bedrooms may have a limited range of toiletries; we will let you know what your hotel is providing.
Restaurants/Museums and Visits:
- Ensure social distancing rules are maintained with tables and numbers entering complying with local guidelines
- Provide hand sanitisers at several locations.
- All tables/chairs/laminated menus will be cleaned after/before every service
- Ventilation - open windows/doors
- Staff will wear face masks where required to do so
- You may be required to wear your face mask at museums and other indoor visits
- Your entry may be different to your exit
- Social distancing markers may be in use
- Toilets will be kept extra clean with guidance on the numbers who can enter at any one time
Our financial commitment to you:
Please be reassured your payments to us are 100% secure and are held in an independent Trust Account. This means, where a refund is due, we will refund in full without question.
If you have chosen a tour and then decide you wish to transfer to an alternate tour or departure date we will transfer your booking without charging our usual administration fee of £50. This will cover all bookings made through to end 31st December 2021.
Booking conditions / COVID-19 - supplementary terms to our booking conditions:
Our standard booking conditions remain unchanged. We have introduced supplementary terms to our booking conditions reflecting the impact COVID-19 has had on our business, on how we can best serve you the customer and support our suppliers and the heightened requirements of our new situation.
We will monitor developments as our industry comes to terms with changes and we will update and reflect any changes we feel need to be made to our Booking Conditions. We will inform you if this takes place. (Please see point 7 of our Booking Conditions.)