Holidays: Simon Calder discusses testing requirements
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Holidays may be back on from mid-May but travel still won’t be as simple as it once was in pre-Covid days. Even for countries on the “green list,” a number of Covid tests will be required while hotel quarantine remains in place for a swathe of “red list” countries. Expert Simon Calder shared his travel advice today regarding what jet-setters can expect next month.
“From May 17 some international travel will be possible,” he told Radio 2.
“[The Government] will have three lists – every country in the world, and maybe individual regions or islands, will be carved up either red, amber or green.
“The idea is: red countries, like the current red list – 39 nations where you are going to have to go into hotel quarantine when you come back.
“The amber list – that’s 10 days of self-isolation and paying for a couple of tests while you’re here and then green, which is the one we kind of all want.”
However, even for the green destinations, two Covid tests will be needed.
These will have to be paid for out of travellers’ pockets, and they don’t come cheap.
“Even then you’ve got to pay for a test before you even get on a plane, or a train or ferry to the UK and finally when you are arriving in Britain in the next two days you’ve got to take a PCR test which is going to involve yet more expense,” Calder explained.
“So, it’s not going to be easy but it is going to be possible.”
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said last week he is hoping to drive down the costs of Covid tests following an uproar about the rising costs of holidays due to the high price of tests.
The minister also said he wasn’t advising against booking travel.
Calder, too, explained today that holidaymakers can get trips in the diary, provided they take the necessary precautions.
He also recommended booking for a later date.
“The later you’re looking at booking the higher the chance you’ll get what you actually want,” he said.
Calder continued: “What I think the Government is going (they’re wanting to be cautious) is, saying we’re going to have a kind of test for six weeks or two months.
“We’ll let all the people who are desperate to see loved ones, we’ll let them go off and jump through all the hurdles… after that hopefully the vaccination roll out across Europe will have improved.”
The travel expert also shared his insight into what countries will likely be on the green list.
“I’m expecting later in the summer, probably from some time in July, but that’s just a prediction, maybe Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Italy, Greece, ad Cyprus will be on the green list and the testing will be a lot easier and cheaper,” he said.
Package holidays are the best type of break to book during these uncertain times.
“At the moment there’s absolutely nothing wrong with booking a holiday so long as you book a proper package holiday,” urged Calder.
“Because then that way you can say, if this doesn’t go ahead, what are my rights? And the travel agent should be able to say, you’ll get a full refund.”
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