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The risk of facing 14 days of mandatory quarantine upon return to the UK has been one of the driving factors putting holidaymakers off the idea of international travel this year. In fact, according to Virgin Atlantic, a whopping 66 percent of Britons said they avoided booking a holiday this year due to “fears changing travel rules will force them to self-isolate, cut a trip short or have it cancelled.”
Furthermore, 54 percent of holidaymakers surveyed said they “would be more likely to book a holiday if they knew there was a 100 percent guarantee they wouldn’t have to self-isolate when they return home”.
With travel corridors seemingly here to stay, for the time being, Virgin Atlantic has come up with a new holiday offering which vows to combat these concerns.
The new “Escape Pass” is designed to help travellers avoid self-isolation on their return home.
Boasting plenty of winter sun, the new holidays are all destined for the Caribbean – where coronavirus figures remain low and travel corridors are currently in place.
The aim is to only fly holidaymakers to destinations were quarantine on the return home is not an option.
However, in recent month’s the UK Government has been known to rapidly switch rules and regulations regarding travel and quarantine.
In order to alleviate concerns as a result, all holidays booked through Virgin Atlantic’s “Escape Pass” programme will benefit from Virgin Atlantic’s Covid Cover.
This newly developed protection works alongside customers’ existing travel insurance to ensure any issues or changes related to the coronavirus crisis are covered.
The airline says the aim is to provide “peace of mind” to holidaymakers.
Holidaymakers will be able to select a holiday to one of four stunning Caribbean islands which currently are featured on the UK’s travel corridor list.
These include Barbados, Antigua, Grenada and Tobago.
Virgin Atlantic has hoped of including Jamaica and further Caribbean islands as soon as Boris Johnson’s government gives them the green light.
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Customers can select their desired length of stay, hotel rating, board basis and aircraft cabin which Virgin Atlantic will use to concoct their dream holiday.
Adding an element of excitement to the trip, as well as ensuring everything is good to go without quarantine, holidaymakers will be notified of their destination and holiday details two weeks before the departure date.
All “Escape Pass” holidays are additionally ATOL protected.
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: “We know customers are keen to get away on their next adventure after a difficult year.
“Top of the list is an idyllic holiday to the Caribbean, where the COVID-19 pandemic has been managed extremely well, allowing holidaymakers to enjoy sun, sea and beaches safely.
“The Escape Pass has been created to take all the stress and uncertainty out of booking that dream Caribbean trip. Through this ATOL protected package, we will ensure customers are sent to a beautiful island with the peace of mind that they won’t need to quarantine on their return.”
If, for any reason, an “Escape Pass” holiday must be cancelled or UK quarantine is reinstated for the chosen destination, customers will be offered a full refund or the option to select a voucher for future travel.
Packages start from £759pp for a 7-night Caribbean holiday with direct flights, a 3V hotel on a room only basis with transfers included (based on two people sharing).
However, customers can choose higher rated hotels, as well as all-inclusive board, and seats in economy, premium or upper-class cabins.
Adding further security, Virgin Atlantic’s bosses also emphasis the major protocols they have put in place to ensure the safety of all passengers and crew onboard their flights.
“We have implemented a comprehensive set of measures including enhanced cleaning of our aircraft, individual health packs for all our customers with medical-grade face masks, and an improved service which minimises contact between our cabin crew and customers,” continued Mr Jarvinen.
“Our teams have been working hard to ensure our customers can Fly Safe and Fly Well on their next trip and we look forward to safely welcoming our customers on board soon.”
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