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Preparing for Safe Travel Over the Coming Months

Posted On 17th/Mar/2021 By Sophie

For many across the Country, travel has very much been restricted for well over a year due to the impacts of Coronavirus. This means the opportunity to start travelling again, over the next coming months will be welcomed with open arms. Now the roadmap to the travel reopening for all businesses has been released, the travel industry is seeing an incredible resurgence in plans being put in place from early April.

Although many are looking ahead to future plans, it is also important to look at the pioneering steps that suppliers have put in place to ensure health and safety is at the forefront of the return to travel. Understanding these steps makes it easier to ensure your travellers are safe and secure at all times, whilst having the knowledge they will need to navigate the new requirements for certain suppliers. Check out some of the most important changes below:

Rail Travel

To support the pledge for safer travel, most long-distance train operators are now requiring that reservations are booked at the time of purchase. This means that some long-distance services are now only opening up for reservations as late as 10-14 days before departure as train operators need to wait for timetables to be confirmed. In comparison, for local services the window for booking may be reduced to as little as 2 or 3 days before travel, especially for travel early in a week where timetables are delayed.

With the new restrictions in place for certain reservations, unfortunately, travellers will need to look at booking their tickets closer to the time of departure to run in line with safer travel initiative adopted by many suppliers. Many fares will not be visible until closer to the time of departure, therefore it’s always advisable to check back with arrangeMY closer to the day of your travel when reservations become more readily available.

Further to this, many suppliers are opting towards ‘e-ticket’ only options as another direct response to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. In doing so, travellers are not reliant on using ticket machines to print off tickets, thus preventing the touch points to receive paper tickets and reducing contact to a minimum.

Air Travel

Though many entry requirements depend on the destination, what is clear with every supplier airline is that health and safety remains an absolute priority at all times. At the time of booking, it is always best to check what is required of you as a traveller to ensure you are fully aware of the guidelines and comply with the Covid regulations for both airport and airline. Through arrangeMY, these will be presented to you at time of booking. Further to this, you will need to check the entry requirements for the Country you are travelling to which is continually changing as a response to the pandemic.

Many airports have taken on a set of guidelines to ensure their passengers are safe when travelling. These include wearing a mask in public spaces or when onboard an aircraft, undertaking a temperature check on arrival and at time of departure and making use of the protective antimicrobial screens available at a safe distance at the time of check in. Each airline will ensure safety is paramount onboard each aircraft by offering distanced seating, offering a complimentary hygiene kit and enhancing their already outstanding cleaning processes giving you the peace of mind you are booking with confidence.

Before each trip, it is crucial to understand the specific terms and conditions of the supplier to ensure you can meet these. It is not uncommon for you to require a negative coronavirus test or proof of essential travel both on arrival and departure, so it is important to keep an up-to-date log of these documents. Finally, it is important you keep track of your travel history which will often be an entry requirement for the particular destinations to advise on your quarantine requirements, ultimately ensuring the spread of coronavirus is kept to a minimal.

Accommodation

Overnight stays are very much beginning to boom again after the recent announcements, with business accommodation returning beyond key workers on 12th April 2021. Although hotel groups have taken careful steps to remain open during lockdown for key workers, there are some new guidelines in place across many suppliers which will need to be followed when returning to staying away from home.

One of the most prominent changes will be the catering offering available at each property. Hotels will run in line with UK Government advice on hospitality, however certain groups will restrict their offering to run in-line with social distancing. For example, many hotel groups will offer ‘room service only’ or limited menus at set times of the day to minimize the risks of interaction with others. It’s important to check the guidance from each property to ensure you can plan around these guidelines – information on these can be found directly from arrangeMY either before or at the time of booking.

The enhanced cleansing and disinfecting of both communal areas, restaurants and bedrooms is a key feature among many hotel groups, with additional sanitization opportunities available at all times, giving bookers the confidence to book knowing they are safe when staying overnight. Further to this, hotel groups extend their duty of care to guests even if symptoms of Covid are present. Should a guest fall ill when travelling and remain unable to travel home safely of their own accord, it is important in the first case to alert the hotel reception who will reach out the local authorities for guidance plus arranging case and testing. Where a quarantine period is required, the hotel will ensure the guest is provided with clean linen and linen to guarantee their comfort during their stay.

Whilst the return to normal is not far away, hotel groups are still offering fantastic rates on flexible policies, so there really is no better time than now to start booking your next stays.

Conferences, Meetings & Events

Zoom calls have been an excellent way of keeping in touch over the last year, however it is clear that everyone is missing human contact. With the hugely positive news of pilot events beginning from as early as April for up to 30 delegates in some cases, we can now start looking towards getting together at long last. Business meetings will still feel slightly different from normal for now, with many venues setting out social distancing, a change in catering offerings and the introduction of PPE which will all keep their delegates safe. arrangeMY have a wealth of information on all regulations bought into place to ensure venues are accredited as ‘Covid-Secure’ and can draw upon our excellent relationships with suppliers to provide your business with the most up to date guidelines before your event.

From May 17th 2021, we can look forward to:

  • Indoor Events – 1,000 Delegates or 50% Venue Capacity
  • Outdoor Events – 4,000 Delegates or 50% Venue Capacity
  • Outdoor Seated Events – 10,000 Delegates or 25% Venue Capacity

Widely regarded as the ‘Race for Space’ it is becoming clear that many venues are getting booked up very fast with both planned events that have been rescheduled due to COVID-19 or new business events to catch up on what’s been missed. Similar to hotels, venues are offering extremely favourable rates with excellent cancellation policies meaning the time to start planning your event is now.

arrangeMY remain committed to supporting all of our clients through their return to travel, so please do reach out if you are unsure of any plans in the near future as it would be our pleasure to guide you back to normality. Through our excellent supplier relationships and market leading knowledge of the industry, we are confident that you can be safe in fulfilling your business plans in the coming months. With many businesses re-evaluating their travel policies and looking to make the best savings on their travel, there is really no better time than now to let arrangeMY take the stress out of your requirements.