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COVID-19 Charter for holidaymakers launched

The Charter provides clear information for passengers outlining their rights and responsibilities when travelling this summer.

The government has yesterday (17 May 2021) published the Passenger COVID-19 Charter, providing a clear and accessible source of information for passengers outlining their rights and responsibilities when travelling this summer.

As first set out by the Global Travel Taskforce, the charter will guide passengers on what to do if their travel plans change, including:

  • what they are entitled to through their passenger rights
  • expectations of the providers they are booking trips with
  • their own responsibilities to ensure a smooth journey

Aviation Minister Robert Courts said:

If you are heading aboard this summer, you need to be aware that travel will be different and prepare accordingly.

That’s why we have developed the Passenger COVID-19 Charter, to simply set out the steps passengers should consider taking as we start to holiday once again with greater confidence.

Some examples of the information the charter will provide customers includes:

  • if your flight, ferry, cruise or package holiday has been cancelled, you have the legal right to a full refund
  • you may not be entitled to a refund if any changes in restrictions or travel advice affect your travel plans but do not result in the provider cancelling the booking, but you should contact your provider to discuss amending travel dates or destinations as soon as possible – travel providers should provide clear terms and conditions when booking
  • travel providers should share their standards and policy on keeping consumers safe – you must be prepared to have the right certifications, vaccines or exemptions for your destination
  • where appropriate, assistance should always be available according to your needs, and airports, ports and train terminals should give clear information about the processes for assistance with travel
  • your provider should make reasonable efforts to inform you where restrictions or changes will affect your plans
  • any personal and health information should only be shared or processed in line with specified purposes

Travelling abroad this year will be different as a result of the pandemic, with longer queues expected at borders and strict testing requirements.

Passengers arriving from all destinations will still need to provide a passenger locator form and show proof of a negative pre-departure test to maintain our robust measures at the border.

Ahead of today’s cautious restart of international travel, passengers are also now able to easily search for different test packages before travelling. Following the launch of a new, user-friendly list, people can use filters to easily find the tests required for ‘green list’ and ‘amber list’ arrivals based on several criteria, including cost.

Passengers should continue to check and sign up to Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice updates to understand the latest entry requirements and COVID-19 rules at their destination. Restrictions will be formally reviewed on 28 June 2021 to take account of the domestic and international health situation.

The charter’s launch follows the government’s confirmation last week that international travel could safely resume to a small number of ‘green list’ countries, including Portugal, Singapore and Iceland, among others. People should not travel to amber list countries or territories.

And from today, people in England who have both vaccine doses will be able to demonstrate their COVID vaccination status via the NHS app; those without access to the app can request a letter from the NHS proving their vaccination status by calling 119, from 17 May. Test results will not yet be stated in the app and the process for booking and presenting test results for travel remains unchanged.

Source:  HM Government Coronavirus, rules, guidance and support dated 17th May 2021