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Covid-19 frequently asked questions

Trip planning

Where can I plan a trip to?

We can help you make travel plans for 2021 and beyond by offering the peace of mind that you can rearrange your trip up to 45 days before departure, if needed. We also offer a quibble-free cancellation promise on selected European and Beach destinations for travel in 2021. We’re also maintaining an up-to-date list of destinations you can travel to now, and in the near future.

What happens if I book a trip and something changes, such as the destination requires quarantine or British travellers aren’t allowed in?

We have a dedicated team to manage our own country re-opening process to minimise the risk of this happening. Following extensive research and calls with our local partners on the ground, we’ll only declare a country open for travel once we’re satisfied that all entry requirements can be met, appropriate safety and hygiene measures are in place, and that travel there will be enjoyable and fulfilling.

What if I’m not a UK citizen, but reside in the UK — which travel restrictions should I follow?

Different rules can apply around where and how you can travel if you’re a UK citizen living outside the UK or a non-UK citizen travelling from the UK. Any traveller departing or returning to the UK from their holiday is bound by UK travel restrictions, regardless of their citizenship.

If you’re a UK citizen living in an overseas destination, then it can become a little less clear. In general, you’ll be bound by the travel restrictions of the country in which you reside, so you should check these carefully. You should also ensure your travel insurance policy is valid for this situation.

My Audley booking

I have a trip booked with Audley with a travel date within the next 45 days, but government advice prevents me from travelling. What are my options?

Your specialist should have already been in touch with you to discuss your options if your trip departs within the next 45 days. You can choose to postpone your trip at no cost, take a travel credit for your trip so you can choose a destination and time in the future that suits you, or accept a cash refund.

I have a trip booked with Audley beyond the current 45-day rolling window, but government advice currently prevents me from travelling. What are my options?

We’re currently reaching out to our clients 45 days before they’re due to travel to explain the options available to them. At this point, these options will include postponing your trip to a future date, taking a travel credit for the equivalent value of your trip, to use before 30th September 2021*, or accepting a cash refund.

The situation is very fluid, and we’re amending and reviewing our approach regularly to fit this changing landscape, while always prioritising your safety, comfort and well-being.

* If you haven’t redeemed your credit voucher before 30th September 2021, you can claim a cash refund at this date.

**Any cash refund for a trip cancellation made by us will be processed 45 days before your departure date and will be processed within 14-28 days.

I don’t want to travel until I’ve been vaccinated, can I postpone now even if I’m outside the 45-day window?

If you’ve booked a trip under our 45-day flexibility promise, you can postpone your trip to a date in the future and we won’t charge you any amendment fees to do so. You will, however, be responsible for any changes in cost, for example, due to a change in seasonality, your accommodation choices or routing, or year-on-year increases.

If you wish to cancel now, we can organise that for you. The charges that would be applied are those set out in our terms and conditions.

If you’ve booked an eligible trip on our 14-day quibble-free promise to selected destinations, you’ll have even greater flexibility than above.

I’m due to travel in the future, but want to cancel or postpone now — can I do that?

If you’ve booked a trip under our 45-day flexibility promise, you can postpone your trip to a date in the future and we won’t charge you any amendment fees to do so. You will, however, be responsible for any changes in cost, for example due to a change in seasonality, your accommodation choices or routing, or year-on-year increases.

If you wish to cancel now, we can organise that for you. The charges that would be applied are dependent both on your ability to travel based on the advice of the Foreign Commonwealth Office and on our terms and conditions.

I’m travelling in the future, but have lost confidence in the destination, can I change destination?

We’re happy to accommodate this, but would have to pass on the cancellation charges we incur on your original booking. We’ll then issue you with a credit for the remaining amount for you to spend on an alternative trip. Please be aware that there may be additional costs associated with switching to a different country based on a number of factors, such as availability, seasonality, the general cost of visiting your new destination, etc.

Pre-departure preparation

What about testing? How long before travelling should I get tested? What recognised clinics should I go through?

The timing of the test and proof required varies by country, so it’s important to check the specific requirements for your trip before you travel. You’ll find many private facilities in the UK now offer testing services specifically designed for travellers, providing a quick turnaround time and a certificate that’s acceptable to overseas authorities and airlines. We’ve researched these and have identified a selection of providers that offer a comprehensive range of testing options. You can find a list of our suggestions here.

What if I need to arrange a test in my destination before returning home in order to satisfy the entry requirements in my home country?

We’re working with our local partners in each destination to identify testing options. Many hotels offer these in-house, for example, or we can arrange for a test to be taken at a private clinic or airport facility. Your specialist will be able to provide further details and advise whether any minor adjustments need to be made to your itinerary in order to accommodate the testing timescale.

What if I need to provide evidence of vaccination?

This is an evolving area and is currently dependent on the approach of the UK Government towards developing standardised vaccine ‘passports’ or similar.

What happens to my booking if I fail a Covid-19 test?

Our flexibility promise enables you to get closer to your departure date without committing financially to your trip. However, we strongly advise taking out adequate travel insurance to protect you against the unfortunate event of testing positive for Covid-19 in the days leading up to your trip, which would prevent you from travelling.

A number of travel insurance companies now provide cover for this eventuality, as well as cover should you contract Covid-19 whilst abroad. You can read our travel insurance advice and which companies we recommend during the coronavirus pandemic here. These are only suggestions, though, and you should speak to insurance providers directly about your personal requirements.

What will be different when I travel?

What can I expect at airports?

The safety measures in place at airports will vary between countries. In the UK, you’ll need to wear a face mask and will likely have your temperature checked on arrival. Sanitisation stations will be dotted throughout the airport, and many airlines will ask you to check in for your flight online or via their app. If you’re checking in at the airport, allow more time than usual.

What kind of health and safety precautions can I expect while in country?

We work with our partners in each country, including hotels, guides and drivers, to ensure you’re met with the highest safety standards. We’ve asked our local partners to confirm they comply with all their government’s requirements for dealing with the coronavirus, and where there’s no or limited national guidance, we expect and are helping our partners to undertake their own risk assessments and set best practice.

The health and safety precautions you may be required to take while travelling will vary depending on your destination. Most, if not all, will observe social distancing and require you to wear a face mask in certain settings. Our specialists can advise you on the specific requirements for the destination you’re considering. You can also find up-to-date information on the FCDO’s website.

What if I become ill on my trip?

As always, your health and safety are our primary concerns while you’re travelling. Should you fall ill while you’re away, our partners in country, as well as your dedicated specialist, will be on hand to assist with the appropriate support, whether that’s directing you to medical care or helping you return home.

Before travelling, please ensure your travel insurance will cover you for any incurred medical costs should you contract coronavirus while you’re away. Many insurance providers have updated their policies to cover this eventuality, but each policy will be different.

What if borders close while I’m abroad?

We maintain a close relationship with our local partners in each of our destinations and have ensured they have contingency plans in place to deal with any unforeseen changes. They’re there to help you explore, but also to offer any assistance you need during your trip.

If you’re encountering significant restrictions while you’re away, our partners and your specialist will make any required adjustments to your trip so it can continue as smoothly as possible. We have a dedicated team monitoring the situation in all our destinations to ensure we’re prepared for events that could affect your trip.

We can also assist in your return home should your trip need to be cut short. When the world first tumbled into lockdown, we helped more than 1,600 clients return home from around 50 countries as flights stopped and borders closed, staying in daily contact until we knew people were back home.

I’m concerned about Audley’s liquidity. Should I be?

Audley’s particularly well placed to navigate these uncertain times, with almost 25 years’ experience in providing trusted advice and destination expertise. We have an excellent financial track record, strong cash reserves and a healthy balance sheet, as evidenced in our most recent statutory accounts, which are available to view at Companies House.

All our trips are either ATOL-protected by the Civil Aviation Authority, or, if your arrangements don’t include flights, they’re protected by the separate ABTOT financial scheme.