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Travel in 2021?Wednesday, 7th April 2021
This week we were hoping to bring positive news about how international travel would work for this summer. Sadly, things are still no clearer.
Check out our latest Coronavirus update from the 6th April 2021.
In the UK, we already know that it will not be possible to travel abroad for leisure until 17th May 2021 at the very earliest. The UK Government were due to formally announce plans for how international travel would restart, and what additional rules and controls will be in place for the summer, but sadly, whilst they did mention international travel in their press conference this week, they didn’t add much substance or clarity to what we already knew.
Some positive news: May 17th 2021
The one positive to take away from the recent announcement is that they didn’t push the date of restart back from the 17th May. It’s still a key date, which is good news, as there has been a bit of hysteria in the press that this date is too soon, and there were worries that the date to restart international travel would be pushed back. It hasn't been, thankfully.
Rumours of the future system
Whilst we don’t know anything official, the newspapers have spreading rumours of how the coming system will work: each country will be designated as RED, YELLOW or GREEN, based on the current level of cases in the country, current level of vaccinations there, and the proximity of any unusual or dangerous variants of coronavirus. Then:
- Travellers arriving back from a RED country will be forced to pay for mandatory self-isolation at a Government hotel for 10 days.
- Travellers arriving back from a YELLOW country will be required to self-isolate in their homes for 10 days, with a covid test on days 1 and 5 of their isolation.
- Travellers arriving back from a GREEN country will not require any self-isolation (and can return to work, school, etc… straightaway), but may be required to take a covid test on re-entry to the UK.
Where do sailing destinations sit in this?
At the moment, it’s hard to guess where our sailing destinations will end up on this scale. They say that most of Europe would be YELLOW, but there is still plenty of time for Covid cases to come down and vaccinations to go up in each country, particularly as many of them are now returning to some forms of stricter lock-down (whereas the UK have been in severe lock-down since Christmas).
And travel from outside the UK?
- EU - Travel within the EU will open up sooner, and should be easier than travelling to or from the UK, as the UK is outside the Schengen zone and the single market. Rules haven't yet been announced, but it is likely that travel will be possible from mid-May.
- USA - We have no idea on the legislation or timings in the US, but there are plan to vaccinate ALL adults in the USA by mid-April, so they might be able to get mobile and into Europe from mid-May too.
- Australia and New Zealand - Citizens have already been warned against travelling long-haul this summer (winter for them), but they are about to re-enter an Australia-New Zealand travel bubble in the coming weeks, which will put international travel back on the agenda.