Our Ionian Promise Book Your Holiday with Confidence – Update 25th June 2021

Following the recent government announcement, we are experiencing an extremely high volume of calls. We apologise if you are having trouble getting through to us, please be patient and rest assured that we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The uncertainties presented by the pandemic means that it has never been more important to use a travel company that you can rely on and have total confidence in. Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays are committed to providing a personal service, offering you maximum flexibility and the reassurance that your money is protected. Rest assured that you will never lose your money should your travel be restricted. Our ATOL protection and ABTA bonding ensure your money is 100% safe, so you can book with total confidence.

The Transport Secretary on 25 June 21 confirmed that some new destinations would be added on to the UK’s Green Travel List. Red, Amber and Green List guidance is available here . We are extremely disappointed by the news, given that the Greek Islands & destinations we feature all have much lower infection rates than the UK and many of the destinations added and should qualify as a green destination.
We expect the next review date will be on 15 July, unless the government publish an indication of change of status to the Green List sooner or later than this date. Greece has also embarked on a vaccine immunization program which should result in over the majority of the population having been vaccinated by the end of June of 2021. In fact, many islands have already been fully vaccinated and all those working in the tourist sector including restaurant staff have been prioritized to receive a vaccination regardless of age. This has already result in a significant drop in the number of cases and we can see no reason why Greece will not be put on the Green List by the next review date.

We will therefore be contacting all affected customers due to depart on or before the
15-July 21 in departure date order. Please be patient with us and we will be in touch.

For holidays departing after 15 July 21 regardless of when booked, will continue to operate as normal unless FCDO advice changes and isolation is no longer required on your return to the UK or your arrival into Greece.

Contacting Our Customers due to depart on or before the 15-July 21.
We will contact all affected customers about their options. Please note if you chose to travel whilst the status is Amber please see below -: (Can I travel whilst Greece is Amber?)
Customers not wishing to travel will be given the following options-:

* Change your holiday for another date this year or book the same holiday (subject to availability) for 2022. If you chose to change to next year this will be based on 2021 published rates and include a further 5 % early booking discount & loyalty discount where applicable.
If you chose to continue travelling but on a different date or destination, Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays will do everything possible to help provide you with all the new options. However, if the total of your new holiday is more, then you will have to pay the difference, which will need to be paid when the balance becomes due. If the cost of the new holiday is less than the amount you have paid then we will refund the difference.
For holidays that were due to depart up to 1 July that are changed you will not need to pay a new deposit.

*  If you cannot decide at this moment in time but still intend to travel with us, Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays are offering a Refund Credit Note equivalent to the money you have paid us, which is fully protected under ATOL bonding and in line with guidance issued by ABTA, guaranteeing that your money is 100% safe. The Refund Credit Note can be used for any of our holidays travelling before the 31 Oct 22, and we will allow you up to the 31 March 2022 to confirm your new travel arrangements.
If you decide not to rebook a holiday with you will still be eligible for a cash refund at the expiry date of the Refund Credit Note. It also retains the financial protection you had with your original booking.

* Requesting a cash refund for the value of the money paid to date. We would urge you firstly to consider a Refund Credit, which is fully financially protected, is refunded if unused and aids our cash flow in these difficult times for the company. Refunds are being currently taking up to 2 weeks to process.
If you cannot decide regarding the alternatives, we will re contact you 7 days prior to your
original departure to find the most suitable resolution.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
We understand that you may have questions about your upcoming holiday with us:

Q. Can I travel whilst Greece is Amber?
A. While travel from England, Scotland and Wales is permitted to countries on the green list, we are hopeful that Greece will be added to the green list by the next review date.

In the meantime, the UK Government is currently advising people not to make non-essential trips to locations on its amber list, which covers popular destinations such as Spain, France, Italy, and Greece. However, in yesterday’s announcement the UK government also said that vaccinated people will soon be made exempt from quarantining, which may make travel much easier.

There is no doubt that the governments mixed messaging over the traffic light system has created much confusion. As a result, this guidance is being ignored by several travellers who are prepared to isolate on their return. EasyJet, British Airways and Tui have both said that they will operate flights and holidays to countries and destinations classified as amber.

On this basis we have been contacted by several customers who are prepared and willing to travel against Government advice. Where customers are fully aware of the UK Government advice, the quarantine and testing requirements on their return to the UK and still wish to travel. Provided we can find a suitable flight that meet your requirements we will plan to facilitate your holiday.
Please Note that if you do decide to travel whilst the status is Amber, we will require full payment. Once you have consented to travelling under the current advise we will issue tickets and confirm your travel arrangements. At this stage, our normal cancellation charges will apply.

Several travel insurers including Stay sure, Battle face and Avanti are now allowing travellers to purchase an add on their policy for as little as £5 to cover travel to European countries against FCDO advice.
Irrespectively, the Greek government has confirmed that hospitalisation is free for all UK citizens.

In the rare event that you would be required to quarantine after your intended return Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays will do everything possible to provide you with accommodation in one of our properties for the period you are required to isolate, this will be subject to availability. If this is not possible to accommodate you in one of our properties, the Greek Government have designated hotels on each island where you can isolate free of charge. Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays will also assist in altering your return tickets where possible from our existing flight commitments. If there are any additional costs these should be covered by your travel insurance.

Please see: Current Requirements for Travellers & What We Are Doing to Keep You Safe.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
We understand that you may have questions about your upcoming holiday with us:

Q. What happens if I still want to cancel my holiday and I am travelling after 15 July 21?
A. The situation regarding foreign travel at present is constantly changing. As such until the next government review date we cannot change or refund any holidays departing beyond 15 July 21. We hope to know more in the coming days regarding the future of holidays to Greece and are requesting more information on the testing requirements. For this reason, we have revised our balance due dates (see below) to allow more time to see how the situation will develop. As soon as we receive official advice, we will revise our policy accordingly.
Please note If there is no FCDO advice in place and the flight is still operating most airlines will not allow cancellations or changes, in which case the full cost of the flight will be forfeited if you decide to cancel. If you do decide you still want to cancel, please note that even though the deposit paid is usually less than the actual flight cost we will limit the cancellation charge to the deposit paid, except for where we have purchased additional ad hoc flights* specifically for your booking and you will have had to pay a higher deposit than £150 pp.

Q.I am due to travel after the I5 July 21, & my balance is now due what shall I do?

A. We have revised our Balance Due Dates as follows-:Revised Balance Due Dates
• For departures between 15th July to 28th July- Balance Due = 8 days
• For Departures between 29th July to 10th Aug – Balance Due = 14 days
• For Departures between 11th Aug to 18th Aug – Balance Due =21 days
• For Departures between 19th Aug to 26th Aug – Balance Due = 28 days
• For Departures between 27th Aug to 3rd Sep -Balance due =35 days
• For Departures between 4th Sep to 11th Sep -Balance due =42 days
• For Departures between 12th Sep to 31st Oct -Balance due 56days

Our booking conditions have therefore been extended accordingly for these holidays unless there is a specific ticketing deadline which falls before due before the balance due date. In this case we will contact you before hand to see how you intend to proceed.
However, we are aware that FCDO advice may be extended and if this is the case, we will continue to review and amend our conditions accordingly. For additional info on Requirements on travelling please click here. https://www.ionianislandholidays.com/pdf/covid19/KeepingYouSafe_20210607.pdf

Q. I am booked to travel, and my balance is not yet due, but I have changed my mind & now want to cancel my booking?

A. Provided we can still fulfil all the elements of your holiday, our standard booking conditions and cancellation terms will apply. If at this point the holiday is operating and you chose not to travel, you will need to cancel your holiday in writing. Depending on when you cancel you will forgo your deposit & incur cancellation charges.
If you have specific reasons for not wishing to travel when there are no FCO restrictions in place, we ask you to contact your travel insurers for information about cover.

Q. When Can I Change or cancel my holiday?

A. At least 14 days before your scheduled departure date in the event of a travel restriction affecting your holiday is in place, our expert team will contact you personally to discuss your options. We will always do our best to help you switch destinations or dates and ensure you enjoy the holiday you deserve. Alternatively, we can often provide a credit note for future use.  If none of the alternatives are acceptable a refund will also be available.

Under the following circumstances, you are entitled to change or cancel your holiday:
 The UK FCDO advise against all non-essential travel to your destination.
 Borders to your destination are closed.
 You are required to quarantine on arrival at your destination.
 The destination country is either on the Amber or Red List You are required to quarantine for 10 days on your return to the UK.

In the event of a travel restriction affecting your holiday, our expert team will contact you personally to discuss your options. We will always do our best to help you switch destinations or dates and ensure you enjoy the holiday you deserve. Alternatively, we can often provide a credit note for future use.
If none of the alternatives are acceptable a refund will also be available.

Q. What happens if the airline has cancelled the flight that is on my original booking confirmation?

A. If the airline has cancelled the original flight that is on your booking, it is our responsibility to source an alternative flight option for you, where possible. This could mean a change in the airline operating the route. The cost of the alternative flight will not be passed to you. If we can source an alternative carrier on the same flight date departing from the same or a nearby airport and the flight departure time is less than 12 hours from your original booking, this is not regarded as a significant change. In these circumstances, your booking is still valid.

Additionally, if the destination airport has been changed and the transfer time to your holiday destination is not more than 2 hours longer than your original booking’s transfer time this is not regarded as a significant change. For example, if Paxos is your destination and Preveza airport is substituted for Corfu airport, or if Pelion is your destination and Volos airport is substituted for Skiathos airport, this is not regarded as significant change. In this event, we will of course be responsible for arranging your onward transfers and ensure that these operate as smoothly as possible.

A significant change occurs when.
• We cannot source a replacement flight.
• A change of outward departure time or overall length of arrangements by more than 12 hours.
• A change of UK departure airport except between: 1) The London airports: Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted and London City; 2) The South Coast airport: Southampton, Bournemouth and Exeter; 3) The South Western airports: Cardiff and Bristol; 4) The Midlands airports: Birmingham, East Midlands and Doncaster Sheffield; 5) The Northern airports: Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds Bradford; 6) The North Eastern airports: Newcastle and Teesside; 7) The Scottish airports: Edinburgh and Glasgow.

If there has been a significant change, we will contact all affected customers about their options, including how to amend bookings to a later date or an alternative destination. We will be in touch as soon as we can. Please do bear with us and thank you in advance for your loyalty, understanding and patience.
If there has been a significant change your rights are as follows -:

• Accept the alteration.
• Choose to take an alternative holiday with us (if it is more expensive you must pay the difference, but if it is cheaper, we will make an appropriate refund), or
• (in the case of a major alteration – see below) Cancel the holiday and receive a full refund of the monies paid.
• A change of outward departure time or overall length of arrangements by more than 12 hours.

Please see: Current Requirements for Travellers & What We Are Doing to Keep You Safe. Here https://www.ionianislandholidays.com/pdf/covid19/KeepingYouSafe_20210607.pdf

Q. Is Greece a Safe Destination to go on holiday?

A. Greece has also embarked on a vaccine immunization program which should result in over most of the population having been vaccinated by the end of June 2021. In fact, many islands have already been fully vaccinated and all those working in the tourist sector including restaurant staff have been prioritized to receive a vaccination regardless of age. This is expected to result in a significant drop in the number of cases and we are confident that Greece will be put on the Green List by the next review date.

In addition, Greece was one of the only European countries to have successfully operated holidays for the whole season during the summer of 2020. The experience gained from welcoming millions of visitors during 2020 was invaluable. Greece’s enhanced safety measures, now tried, tested, have proven to offer the highest levels of protection and reassurance. This experience has inevitably placed Greece in a very favourable position for being the best choice for your 2021 holiday.
For more details regarding what to expect and how we are keeping you safe please click Here.https://www.ionianislandholidays.com/pdf/covid19/KeepingYouSafe_20210607.pdf

Q. What Do I need to be insured against COVID-19?

A. It is essential you have the correct travel insurance to cover you both for any Covid-19 related issues as well as providing you with cover for any other medical conditions.

Q. Are EHIC cards still valid?

A. UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) are still valid and offer the same cover as GHICs in the EU. Once your EHIC has expired, you will be able to replace it with a GHIC. You can get a provisional replacement certificate (PRC) if you need treatment abroad and do not have a card. Most people can apply for a GHIC online, but some people need to apply by post. Beware of unofficial websites, which may charge if you apply through them. An EHIC or GHIC is free of charge. Your card will normally arrive within 10 days. You can apply here-: https://www.ghic.org.uk/Internet/startApplication.do

Q. Is my UK driving licence valid post Brexit for Greece?

A. Yes. From 1 January, most UK drivers will still be able to use their normal driving licence to drive in EU countries. There are some exceptions and what is called an International Driving Permit (IDP) may be needed. An IDP can be bought at Post Offices for £5.50. The exceptions are people who only have a paper licence, not a photocard one, as well as those with licences issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man.
The above information is correct as at 25th Jun 21. We reserve the right to change our policies in light of new information or travel restrictions.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.