How travel is adapting for 2020/21
July 30, 2020
Coronavirus, or Covid-19, has changed the face of travel for the time being. It has stopped and disrupted travel over the past few months, however, as cases of Covid-19 fall we are seeing travel corridors open and guests are starting to travel again. We can take tentative steps towards our first post-lockdown holidays, be that with a ‘staycation’ or one abroad to France, Greece or Italy amongst other countries.
To stay up to date we would strongly suggest checking the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. There is clear advice for your preferred country that is updated regularly and it includes what entry and return requirements there are for your chosen destination.
Something that is key to consider is that whilst many borders have reopened, holidays are not the same as they were before. This is where our specialists can advise and help! We can see changes implemented both whilst travelling and at your final destination. This can include temperature checks, wearing face masks, Covid-19 swab testing on arrival, hand sanitising and the list goes on…
We are lucky that we have reached the point where we can in fact take a domestic or foreign holiday again, but we do want to just draw attention to the fact that this requires flexibility and understanding from travellers as the airlines, hoteliers, chalet and villa owners adapt.
Below are just some of the changes our partners have made to provide safer holidays for guests, we are proud to work with these forward thinking properties and happy to chat to you about any worries or questions you might have.
Villa holidays are innately about as good as it gets for social distancing. Take your bubble abroad and you can enjoy one another’s company in a beautiful setting. Many of our villas have adapted to ensure safety and have made changes such as changing the check-in and out times to enable thorough cleaning between guests and cleaners and staff wearing personal protection equipment (PPE). Cleaning also has a greater focus on ‘high-touch’ areas like the kitchen, bathroom, remote controls etc. Many villas are also providing hand sanitiser and disinfectant wipes for guests use, although we would suggest bringing your own as well. Villas are generally self-catered, self-contained properties with private facilities such as swimming pools and we think are some of the best options for family or group holidays for a summer holiday. They are also getting booked up quickly as we have seen many guests are currently preferring this to a hotel option.
Ski chalets offer a good level of privacy when booked on a sole use basis as there is no external interaction within the property except for your chalet staff. To alleviate concerns around travel restrictions for this winter for Covid-19 many of our ski holiday partners are offering smaller deposits until September, at which point you can pay a full deposit if you decide to proceed, fantastic for not missing out! Speak to us to discuss this further. Many of our chalet operators are also adapting their services and taking additional precautions to aid guest safety and reduce the risk of transmission of the virus or lost holidays.
Some of our chalet owners have adapted to Covid-19 by offering chalets on a self-catered, bed and breakfast or fully catered basis, enabling guests to choose. These include: the Chalet Scirocco in Verbier, the Nidus Penthouse in Lech, the Chalet Alex in Zermatt and the Chalet Tschoder in St. Anton. They are also offering temporary new booking conditions for example if you can not travel due to Covid-19 and government restrictions, or the resort you have booked is closed, 100% of the cost can be rolled over or credited for the following season, or alternatively if a refund is preferred then 25% of the booking cost will be retained to cover costs but the remaining 75% will be refunded.
Three of our favourite chalets in the French resort of Val d’Isère are the chalets Lafitenia, Mistral and La Bergerie. They are also offering a bed and breakfast and flexi-service option to ensure guests are at ease. Flexi-service provides two nights of catering and so for five nights of a stay guests can dine out or get a takeaway and enjoy the comfort of the chalet without having to go out. These chalets also have a similar temporary booking conditions policy as above.
Domes of Elounda:
At the Domes of Elounda there are wide-ranging safety measures which have been brought in to keep guests safe. This idyllic hotel in the Elounda area of Crete has a private beach, multiple swimming pools, restaurants and bars and beautiful spacious accommodation. It has also definitely adapted to Covid-19 with its ‘Domes New Normality’, just some of these measures include:
- Regular temperature checks for staff
- Buffet meals replaced by à la carte
- Extended outdoor capacity
- Contactless dining using QR codes
- Outdoor only fitness-zone
- Digital booking of beaches and pools to ensure guests comfort
- Contactless check-in and check-out
- Temperature checks for all associates and guests entering resort
- PPE available for associates and guests
- Enhanced cleaning, disinfection and use of steam pressure technology
- Compliance with WHO guidelines
- Guest luggage disinfected on arrival in a designated area
On the Greek peninsula of Halkidiki is the Sani Resort. A family-friendly luxury resort that offers everything you could want from a holiday. There are amazing fine dining restaurants, child-friendly activities, children’s clubs, a sports centre, a waterpark, walking trails and five sensational hotels, each with a different ambience and character. The hotels are the Porto Sani, Sani Asterias, Sani Beach, Sani Club and Sani Dunes.
Sani Resort has adapted admirably to Covid-19 with its ‘Only At Sani Protocol’. Not all of the hotels are opening this summer as an adaptation to the pandemic which lessens guest numbers across the amenities. Set across a 1,000 acre eco-reserve there is plenty of space for every guest and they have also introduced these additional measures:
- Staff tested for Covid-19 before hotel opening and periodically during the summer seasons
- Complimentary Rapid Antibody Tests for guests who have not undergone one 72 hours prior to arrival
- Temperature checks at all resort entry points
- Transfers per household or bubble of guests, no shared transfers and transfer vehicles disinfected thoroughly between journeys
- Meals served à la carte with reduced restaurant capacities, increased sanitisation and contactless menus
- Stringent water tests, guest room cleaning, PPE use and air conditioning cleaning
- Open-air gym and fitness spaces
- Beach beds and lounge chairs spaced at least four metres apart
- Enhanced Sani App to reduce face to face contact
The Four Seasons:
We work with a wide number of Four Seasons hotels around the world, from the Four Seasons Resort at Anahita in Mauritius to the numerous Four Seasons offerings in the Maldives and also the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, Four Seasons in the Côte d’Azur.
The Four Seasons have always placed a strong emphasis on guest care, wellness and safety with their ‘Lead With Care’ programme and this has been adapted to assist with Covid-19 changes. It educates and equips staff to care for guests in the safest way and through the use of the Four Seasons App guests can limit their face to face contact with staff should guests wish to. This includes requesting room service, reservations, luggage pickups and more through the app.
The Four Seasons have enhanced their already scrupulous cleaning regimes and hand sanitiser is available throughout resorts. Increased cleaning is taking place, each property has a hygiene officer, rooms are disinfected daily with blacklight inspections and social distancing has been implemented. These are just some of the measures which have become the new norm at Four Seasons.
Club Med is a global hotel group covering a range of destinations from Mauritius to Italy and ski resorts such as Les Arcs. As an Covid-19 related enhancement, guests now received Covid-19 Medical Assistance Cover with all holiday packages which include flights and are travelling between the 1st July 2020 and 31st April 2021.
This offers an additional enhancement to the usual all-inclusive package and should you fall ill with Covid-19 whilst travelling with Club Med all medical expenses relating to this will be covered by Club Med including; hospitalisation, GP appointments, Covid-19 testing, transport to testing facilities and if hospitalised the cost of a stay for a companion, urgent medical care transfer if needed, and accompaniment of a child.
Other safety measures which have been implemented in Club Med resorts include:
- Deep cleaning reinforcement more frequently and hand sanitiser stations across resort
- Dishes served plated as opposed to buffet dining
- Staff wearing face coverings whilst inside, preparing food and cleaning
- Maximum 65% capacity at each resort
- Guest temperature checks at check-in and periodically throughout their stay
- 24/7 nurse or doctor available in resort
- Smaller group children’s clubs with a focus on outdoor activities and temperature checks of children as well as hourly hand washing
- Sport-specific hygiene checklists
- Distancing between table in restaurants
- Increased dining opening hours to offer more flexibility and reduce numbers at peak times
- Swimming pool float sanitisation after each use
If you are thinking about travelling in the not too distant future and want to discuss what might be best for you, or if you have any concerns at all, please do get in touch and we will be happy to talk things through.
Please note policies and details listed above are correct at the time of writing and subject to change without notice. Depending upon the holiday that is booked a refund may or may not be applicable should the holiday become cancelled, please do check prior to booking around what would happen in the event of a cancellation. As such it is a necessary condition of booking to have extensive travel insurance. Please also bear in mind that FCO guidance is regularly updated and can change with little notice. Our specialists will be happy to discuss any details for your trip with you personally so please do get in touch.