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    Traffic light system

Update for Saga Holidays and River Cruise customers

We know you're looking forward to getting back to travelling again, but we also know you may have questions about the traffic light system and what travel will look like over the next few months.

Below we answer some of the key concerns you may have.

Please note: this information applies to Saga Holidays and River Cruises only. For information relating to Saga Cruises, please visit our return to service page.

Following an update by the UK Government on July 8, 2021, it is possible to now travel to amber listed countries without the need to quarantine once home as long as you have received both doses of a UK approved vaccine. This has opened a large number of additional destinations to our guests.

Although quarantine will no longer be required on your return, all other pre, during and post-holiday testing is still a requirement for travel.

The UK Government website lists which destinations are currently green and amber.

There may also be separate entry requirements set by the country you are visiting, and we will make sure that you are aware of these before you travel.

A sandy beach and blue ocean

Let's get travelling!

Discover which green and amber list countries you can book with us.

The iconic Durdle Door in Dorset

UK holidays

Why not choose a holiday closer to home? We have a wide range of holidays right here in the UK.

What does the governments traffic light system for travel mean for me?

The government will place countries into different categories depending on various considerations related to COVID-19, which include things such as the number of active cases and the amount of the population who have been vaccinated. The table below outlines the requirements before you depart and when you return for each of the categories. We would also suggest that you check the latest government information for the UK and your destination prior to departure.

Measure Green Country Amber Country Red Country
Take a test before you depart the UK It is possible a test will be required but which type of test will be destination specific. We will contact you nearer departure to confirm which test you need to take and where you can purchase them
It is possible a test will be required but which type of test will be destination specific. We will contact you nearer departure to confirm which test you need to take and where you can purchase them It is possible a test will be required but which type of test will be destination specific. We will contact you nearer departure to confirm which test you need to take and where you can purchase them
Take a test before your journey back to the UK Yes, you will be required to take a lateral flow test within the three days before returning home Yes, you will be required to take a lateral flow test within the three days before returning home Yes, you will be required to take a lateral flow test within the three days before returning home
Complete a Passenger Locator Form Yes, and must be completed within 48 hours prior to your return to the UK
Yes, and must be completed within 48 hours prior to your return to the UK Yes, and must be completed within 48 hours prior to your return to the UK
Take a PCR test after you get home Yes, one test within the first two days of your return
Yes, if you are fully vaccinated you will only need to take one test, on or before day two once you are home
Yes, two tests – one on day two and one on day eight after your return
Self-isolation period
No
If you are fully vaccinated there is no longer a requirement for you to self-isolate n/a
Quarantine in a hotel on return to UK No
No Yes, 10 days
Test to Release option (pay for an additional PCR test)
This only relates to guests in Amber
If you are fully vaccinated there is no longer a requirement for you to self isolate No

What will happen if a country is in amber status at the time when balance payment is due?

We have moved the date that the balance is due from 75 days to 35 days for all departures before October 2021.

With the changes to the current traffic light system announced by the UK government on the July 8, 2021, all destinations on the current amber list can now be visited without the need for quarantine if you are fully vaccinated.

In addition, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) are removing their advice against all but essential travel to amber destinations. This means that these destinations will be open for leisure travel in the same way that green destinations are.

Given this change in advice, if your holiday destination is on the amber list we will look to operate your holiday. However, if you feel the time is not right for you to travel, we would like to offer you a free amendment to an alternative date or product.

What happens if my chosen destination changes from amber to red before I go?

Should your holiday change to a destination designated a red country, we will of course cancel your departure and offer you the chance to amend or take a full refund.

What happens if my chosen destination changes from amber to red while I am on holiday?

If you are on holiday and your destination changes to red, we will repatriate you back to the UK ahead of the change coming into effect.

Will Saga tell me if I need to take proof that I have had my vaccine on holiday with me?

The requirements for proving you have been vaccinated do differ by destination. We will ensure that you are provided with the correct information for your chosen destination ahead of your holiday.

What happens if I return a positive test prior to travelling or I am asked to self-isolate?

You can amend your holiday or cruise to a later date without incurring any fees.

What happens if I do not get my test results back in time?

When purchasing a pre departure PCR test you will be doing so directly with the test provider. Saga are not responsible for any results not arriving in time for you to depart on holiday. Saga will help you source alternative flights to your destination once your test result has been received however any additional costs will need to be covered and claimed via your insurance company.

What will happen if I have to cancel my holiday because of COVID-19 travel restrictions?

If your holiday cannot go ahead due to a local lockdown or change in Government advice, we will be happy to amend your holiday to a later date with no amendment fees or arrange a full refund.

Will I need a test before I travel, if so how and when do I do this?

This will depend on the requirements for both our country and the destination you are visiting. If a test is required, we will let you know and provide you with the information you need to arrange your test. The cost of the test is not included as part of your package.

Will Saga pay for my test?

The cost of your test is not included as part of your package.

To meet testing requirements set by the UK Government, you can book a postal test through different outlets, such as Boots or Superdrug, or at a Saga discounted rate through Wren Healthcare or Randox Health.

Find more information via our Safe Travels page.

I have booked a private car through Saga, what safety measures are in place for the VIP chauffeur service?

All cars will be thoroughly cleaned prior to your collection and each household will be allocated a private car and any government requirements in place at the time will be adhered to. We expect that this will mean you will need to wear a face covering for the duration of your journey so please ensure that you bring one with you. We're asking drivers to wear masks too but only if it doesn't interfere with their driving.

What will happen if some elements of my holiday can’t go ahead due to COVID-19? Will you let me know in advance of me travelling?

We are working closely with our suppliers to understand if there will be any changes to those we have advertised, and we will tell you as soon as we can if we become aware of any changes. However, in some circumstances we expect there may be some changes that we were not aware of, but our resort staff will let you know upon your arrival should that be the case.

What if the country I am visiting has different guidelines to those in the UK?

We will let you know prior to your holiday of any changes that we feel will impact your holiday. However, our resort staff will also let you know the local guidelines when you arrive. We would also encourage you to research the destination you are visiting and can recommend for European destinations.

Will Saga have someone at the UK airport to help me?

Whilst we do not have airport representatives at the UK airport for all of our overseas holidays, we do have our Duty Officers at the end of the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week should you need any assistance. Their telephone numbers are 01303 771999 and 07748 336777. For customers who are travelling on a dedicated solo traveller holiday, flying from London Heathrow, London Gatwick or Manchester, you will be met at the airport by one of our dedicated airport representatives.

Will I need to show proof that I have had the vaccine and a test and if so, who will I need to show this to?

At this moment, proof of vaccination is not required however if this changes prior to your departure we will let you know. For those countries that do require you to have a negative COVID-19 test on your departure from the UK, you will need to show this.

Will I need to wear a face covering at the airport?

Yes, a face covering whilst travelling through all UK airports is mandatory unless you cannot wear one for medical reasons.

Can I still purchase food, drink and duty free?

If at the time of travel, the government have allowed non-essential shops to re-open, then we would expect that to apply to shops at airports to.

How will it work at the boarding gate when everyone gathers prior to boarding?

Any government guidelines will be adhered to. We would expect social distancing measures to be in place which may mean restricted or no seating.

Will I be able to take hand/cabin luggage?

Yes, but there may be restrictions. If your airline notifies us of any changes to this prior to your departure, we will contact you to let you know.

Will I have to wear a face covering for the duration of the flight?

Yes, you will be required to wear a face covering at all times on your flight unless you are medically exempt.

Will I be met at my destination airport by a Saga representative?

This will depend on the local guidelines in place as our representatives may not be allowed in the terminal building. However, our representative will make sure they are positioned outside in a space where you will be able to find them easily.

Will I be required to have a further test or have any health checks when I arrive?

This will depend on local requirements but we will let you know in advance if this is the case.

Will I need to quarantine on arrival?

We will not knowingly operate any holidays where this is a local requirement.

Will social distancing be in place throughout the holiday? i.e. on the coach, in the hotel?

This will depend on the local guidelines, however our resort staff will let you know upon arrival of this.

Where will I need to wear my face covering?

This will depend on the local guidelines.

What will happen if I become unwell with COVID-19 during my holiday?

Our resort team are on hand to help you if you become unwell due to any illness and they will liaise with our Duty Officer in the UK who is on hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Will everything be open in the areas I am visiting?

This will depend on local guidelines.

Are my excursions likely to go ahead?

We will let you know if your excursion cannot go ahead as planned but there may be changes depending on local guidelines.

What will happen with food arrangements whilst I am on holiday?

This will depend on the destination and the local guidelines but you should expect there not to be any buffet food.

Will all the facilities in the hotel be open?

We will let you know if they are not prior to your departure. However, we can advise that Saga Lounges will not have any magazines or items that may usually have been in available such as libraries.

If there is an outbreak of COVID-19 amongst my group whilst I am away, what will happen?

We will work with the local authorities and as always, our team will be on hand to make sure you are well looked after.

Will I need to have a test before I come home? If I do, who will arrange and pay for that?

This will depend on where you have been on holiday and the UK requirements. If this is the case, we will advise you before you travel, and help you arrange your test. Please note that we will not cover the cost of your test.

If the country I am in is put on the red list whilst we are away, will I need to quarantine at a hotel when I get back? If so, who will pay for it?

Any entry requirements into the UK for arrivals from countries on the RED travel list must be adhered to. Please note that we any related costs will not be covered by Saga. We will not knowingly operate any holidays where the destination is on a UK Government red list at the time of departure from the UK.

Will I need to quarantine when I get back?

This will depend on the UK Government guidelines in place at the time.

If someone within the group or someone on the plane tests positive for COVID-19 within a few days of our return, will I be notified by Saga?

The airline or NHS Track and Trace will contact you directly should this be the case.

Will I need to wear a face covering at the station and on the train?

This will depend on government guidance at the time of travel however we would expect this requirement to be in place.

Will there be social distancing measures in place on the train?

This will depend on government guidance at the time of travel. Further information can be found on the Eurostar website.

What safety measures will have been taken prior to me getting on the coach?

Your coach will have been thoroughly cleaned by the coach provider prior to your journey.

How can I stay safe during my journey?

You will be asked to wear a face covering throughout the journey unless you are medically exempt from wearing one. You will be asked to remain in the same seat for the duration of the journey and hand sanitizer will be available for you to use.

What safety measures will I need to take prior to joining the vessel?

You will be asked to complete a health questionnaire prior to joining the ship and we will contact you closer to your departure with details on how to do this.

Will social distancing be in place on board?

This will depend on local guidelines however you should expect social distancing of at least 1.5 metres to be in place wherever possible.

What additional safety measures will be in place once on board?

Clear instructions will be visible throughout the ship outlining steps everyone should take to keep themselves safe. You should expect to find hand sanitizer available throughout the ship along with more regular cleaning taking place during your holiday. You may also be asked to have your temperature taken when joining the ship and will be asked to sanitize your hands each time you step onboard.

Will I need to wear a face covering whilst onboard?

Face coverings are required to be worn when moving from or to public areas and from or to the cabins. In places where the minimum distance cannot be met on a temporary basis, passengers are advised to wear face coverings.

Will safety measures will be in place for the crew?

Each crew member will join the ship having completed a health questionnaire or with a medical certificate. They will be regularly tested and have their temperature taken daily. All crew will undergo additional training for hygiene measures both on board and for themselves. Crew will also be asked to wear PPE when not protected by a partition.

What will be the arrangements at breakfast and dinner?

As social distancing is expected to be in place, there may be times when two seatings are required at meal times and further information about this will be provided onboard. No shared items will be available such as salt and pepper, cutlery, baskets or butter pots.

Will tea and coffee be available?

Tea, coffee and water will be served to you in the lounge.

Will I be able to sit and order a drink from the bar?

No. Sitting at the bar will not be permitted. Drinks will be served to you at your seat.

Will live entertainment still go ahead?

Yes it will under the guidance of social distancing.

Will a library and games area still be open?

No, books and board games will no longer be provided.