Christmas holidays: Important advice to avoid ‘heart-wrenching’ holiday outcome

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Britons seeking to travel abroad for Christmas must be willing to be subject to an unexpected 14-day quarantine upon return, an expert has warned. Which? Travel editor Rory Boland spoke to about the chances of holidaymakers being able to make an international trip when the UK lockdown ends on December 2. Mr Boland warned that although financial protection was available, there will still other significant factors to take into account.

He said: “You can only operate with what you know when booking holidays at the moment.

“It’s impossible to speculate will look like with the disease in particular.

“My advice at the moment would be, unless you can do two weeks quarantine on your return to the UK, just don’t travel. Don’t book travel even if it’s for Christmas.

“If you look after someone who’s at risk or your boss is unsympathetic to your requirement to quarantine, you can’t travel.”

Mr Boland continued: “Spain being taken off the travel corridors list probably came as a bit of surprise to some people.

“When that happened, we heard some really heart-wrenching stories of people who came home.

“These are people who booked holidays months and months ago, way before the pandemic came about.

“They were faced with a legal requirement to quarantine, people must do it.”

The travel expert added: “They faced bosses who told them, ‘well, we’re going to sack you if you don’t come in for the next two weeks’. That’s a position nobody wants to be in.

“There are numerous different types of stories like that.

“So if you cannot quarantine at the moment, it’s just not safe to back. There is no way to do it.”

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Mr Boland told “I think if you can quarantine, and there are huge numbers of people who can because of their work situation, and you’re confident that that work situation will continue through Christmas or whenever you’re going to book that holiday for, there are ways to book a holiday that protect you against most eventualities of losing your money.

“So if you book a package holiday with a trusted operator who has treated customers well through the pandemic and has been quick with refunds, and you take out the right travel insurance, that should protect you against any sort of eventuality.

“It will protect you against test and trace telling you you need to quarantine, against arriving at a destination and finding that you need to quarantine there for 14 days.

“It essentially means you won’t lose any money.

“So you can book safely in the future, in financial protection terms, if do it smartly, but my advice would be not to do it if you’re unable to do the quarantine period on your return.”

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