Get ready to get away with advice from Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents

We’re all looking forward to the opportunity to jet off to our favourite destinations.

Let your local Travel agent, Terra Travel help you to stay safe and travel with confidence.

Below is some advice on the new travel zones from Terra Travel Director, Damien Murphy & spokes person for Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents (ANITA)

He says full government details will be will be available from next Friday but Damian is happy to explain full details and how the system will work while you book your well earned holiday. So you are well prepared to beat the rush.

Green destinations – Arrivals home will have to take a pre-departure test and another PCR test on or before day two of their return to the UK. No quarantine or additional tests will be needed unless a positive result comes back.

Terra Travel can arrange a special price of £60 (roughly half standard price) contact Terra for details.  

Also

Covid19 testing for returning travellers:

Staff Services has written to some MLA requesting for special price of £30 for health staff why not assist & contact your local MLA too!! http://aims.niassembly.gov.uk/mlas/search.aspx

Amber destinations – Arrivals must quarantine for 10 days, take a pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two and day eight after their return, with the option of a “test to release” on day five to end self-isolation early.

Red destinations – Travel to these countries will be restricted along the same lines as the Government’s current “red list”, meaning returning travellers must stay for 10 days in a quarantine hotel, as well as take a pre-departure test and a further PCR test on day two and day eight after returning.

The Advantage Travel Partnership has agreed a partnership with Covid-19 PCR testing company, Randox Health to support members and provide customers with value for money testing.

The partnership comes after news Randox earlier this month confirmed it had halved the cost of a Covid-19 PCR test to £60 in response to the UK Government calls for more affordability in testing.

The agreement is the first in place with a travel agent consortium meaning members of Advantage can pass this offer directly to their customers.

Using an exclusive code, consumers can access the tests at the reduced price.

Once the Advantage code is passed onto the customer they can access the website, randoxhealth.com, use the code and purchase the test.

The kit will be sent to the customers’ home address where they will do the test and drop it at one of the 120 drop boxes or partner clinics across the UK.

The swabs are collected by the Randox logistics network and taken to one of the labs for processing and results will be sent back to the customer within 24-hours.

Kelly Cookes Leisure Director at The Advantage Travel Partnership said: “We know travellers are not deterred by doing a test if it means they can go on holiday, however for a family of four the cost of testing was prohibitive.

“Providing our agents with this discount code for Government approved tests means travel once more becomes financially viable.”

With the much anticipated International travel ban review now on the horizon the Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents (ANITA) have called on the Northern Ireland executive to urgently review the current travel ban which is still in place here in Northern Ireland.

Damian Murphy from ANITA said: “Government in Westminister has now lifted all restrictions on local travel there and we now call on our executive  to do the same.  The time now seems right to allow people to travel freely within the UK within any restrictions or the need to isolate on their return – this will simply bring us in line with England.

“We also ask that our executive react quickly to the forthcoming changes that we all hope will see the re-start on International travel on 17 May to countries on the green list. They need to be aware that it takes time for tour operators to make all the required arrangements to facilitate foreign travel and even more so now when extra measures are required to ensure passenger safety throughout the travel process.”

1 September 2020

NI Travel Agents’ lobbying group ANITA brings plight of travel agents to ‘sympathetic’ Stormont Executive who “have all agreed to help… get the urgent need for financial help that the travel industry has to the ears of the people who may be able to help.”

The Travel Industry in Northern Ireland has been one of the hardest hit industries throughout the coronavirus pandemic. With borders closed across the globe and most travel being all but ruled out for 2020, the local industry is crying out for help from the government.

ABTA says 39,000 jobs have been lost or are at risk across the UK outbound travel sector since the Covid-19 crisis started, with the number rising to a staggering 90,000 when supply chains are taken into account.

With the Government failing to uphold its promises to the travel industry, many travel businesses have been barely surviving, with the only financial help currently available to employees being the furlough scheme, which is due to end in October.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak previously pledged to do “whatever it takes” to keep people in work by considering “a few months additional support for staff in the travel industry”, however so far this “additional support” has not been forthcoming.

Now, two local travel agents – Damian Murphy of Terra Travel and Richard Cooper of Carefree Travel – have have taken matters in their own hands, coming together to create a new lobbying body, ANITA (Association of Northern Ireland Travel Agents), which aims to be a local voice for the industry in Northern Ireland.

In little more than a week since its formation the group already had 36 agency owners as well as many home workers, travel counsellors and others directly involved in retail travel adding their voice and support to the cause.

Damian Murphy of Terra Travel said: “For too long now the Northern Ireland travel industry has had no single voice to represent them, and with the ongoing Covid 19 situation our industry is having the toughest time in its history.

“Since March of this year we have been left with no income whatsoever and we are indeed in the unique position of having to repay most of what we earned in the previous 6 months back to the tour operators.

“While bookings for 2021 are steady, we simply pass the deposits taken on these to the tour operators for now once again leaving us with no income.

“We decided we must bring the situation to the attention of the Northern Ireland Executive as soon as possible and have been getting everyone involved in our industry to get on board and contact their local political representatives with a view to getting a meeting with both the economy and finance ministers. We are currently making progress in this but the we cannot stress enough the urgency of the matter. We are trying to protect as many jobs as possible in the industry and believe a tailored package targeted to the outgoing travel sector is the only way forward.

“Our industry plays a very valuable part in the local economy and is extremely important to the survival of the local high street. I am certain with the right help we can protect many jobs and and return to helping many people with all sorts of travel plans as we have done for many years.
“Over the weekend contact has been made with John O’Dowd, Carla Lockhart and indeed Arlene Foster. All were surprised at the complexity of our situation and admitted they had not been fully aware of the workings of cancelled holidays and refunds.

“When we fully explained that not only can we not do any business going forward but we have had to pay back a lot of what we have earned over the past 12 months they were indeed more sympathetic to our case.

“They have all agreed to help us get the urgent need for financial help that the travel industry has to the ears of the people who may be able to help.”

Source for article – NI Travel News