ABTA releases new resources for agents navigting COVID-19
by Laura Gelder
ABTA has introduced two new resources to help agents and their customers to understand the latest travel advice from the FCO.
An FCO exempt countries guide and customer information leaflet is aimed to help agents and their customers navigate the changing travel advice and guide them through what to expect from their holidays.
The FCO exempt countries guide illustrates the various mandatory COVID-19 entry requirements, health checks, and quarantine rules for the countries that are exempt from the FCO’s global advisory against all but essential travel.
Its designed as an easy-to-digest snapshot of the current travel landscape, detailing the FCO exempt countries in alphabetical order, using six different icons to illustrate entry restrictions and clearly marking whether travellers from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are exempt from quarantine on their return to the UK.
The six icons indicate whether British nationals are currently permitted to enter that country, whether a negative COVID-19 test is required on entry, what quarantine rules and booking information are required on arrival, any transit rules regarding connecting flights, and other restrictions to consider such the rules regarding face coverings and closed borders between neighbouring countries.
The guide will be updated on an ongoing basis to reflect the mandatory COVID-19 related changes to the travel advice, with new countries added or removed as per the latest advice from the FCO. However, ABTA continues to advise its members to refer to the FCO directly as their primary source of travel advice.
The guide is complemented by a new customer information leaflet entitled ‘Get ready for travel: customer tips and information for going on holiday or travelling abroad’, which provides handy tips and considerations for anyone who is preparing to travel overseas for either business or leisure, tackling considerations like packing a sufficient supply of face coverings, researching any changes to check-in procedures and being aware of local policies regarding social distancing.
Members are encouraged to share the leaflet with their customers, which is available as a printable A5 leaflet or as a PDF that has been optimised to view on a mobile phone and can be embedded into eTickets. It’s also hosted on the consumer advice page on ABTA’s website.
Angela Hills, ABTA’s Head of Destinations, says: “In these unique circumstances, it’s important that we continue to support our Members with the required resources to guide them and their customers through the changing travel experience. The varying rules, regulations and restrictions for overseas destinations can seem quite complicated, and we hope that these new tools will help our Members to answer questions from customers so they can book with confidence and look forward to their holidays.”