Holidays: Thomas Cook launch quarantine-free holidays to Dubai and the Caribbean

Dubai: Airport CEO outlines restrictions for travellers

Dubai and the Caribbean are among two new long-haul routes to be provided by the newly revived online travel agent Thomas Cook. In a further boost for holidaymakers, both destinations remain on the travel corridor list at the time of writing, meaning there is no need for quarantine upon return.

The holiday firm has said it is approaching new routes “with caution” and is only serving “covid-ready” holidays.

So far, Thomas Cook has been keen to offer flights to only quarantine-free destinations.

Now, with the partnerships with 20 major airlines, the company can sell direct flights to winter sun hotspots including Dubai and St Lucia that are all on the travel corridor list.

Among the big-name carriers are British Airways, Aer Lingus, Air France, Lufthansa and KLM.

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Britons who hope to visit Dubai can do so without the need for a long quarantine.

There are, however, some entry requirements they must follow.

The FCDO explains: “Individuals travelling from the UK to Dubai now have the option to undertake a PCR test on arrival at Dubai airport.”

Those who test negative will be allowed to enter.

“If you test positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Dubai, depending on your symptoms and your accommodation plans, you may be required to self-isolate in a government-led facility, a hospital, your hotel or privately arranged accommodation,” the FCDO adds.

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Similarly, while Britons can visit St Lucia, there are entry requirements in place.

Visitors must complete a pre-arrival registration form and undergo pre-testing prior to travel.

“All travellers must provide certified proof of a negative PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) COVID-19 test taken seven days or less before travel to St Lucia. Passengers will be refused boarding if they do not have proof of a negative test,” adds the FCDO.

All arriving passengers will be screened, including temperature checks, at the airport.

Thomas Cook has also announced plans to launch routes to 43 destinations overall, including the US and China as soon as travel restrictions allow it.

The firm says it hopes new routes will give customers something to “look ahead to”.

Once they are able to provide quarantine-free holidays, Thomas Cook will jet customers off to Cancun and Punta Cana, as well as major North American cities including New York, Las Vegas and Vancouver.

So far they are eyeing May 1, 2021, as a launch date for North American flights.

Alan French, CEO, at Thomas Cook said: “We know how much our customers love holidays to places like the Caribbean and Dubai and we’ve been working hard to add in new airline partners that mean we can offer those as holidays with us.

“Now, with more than 30 airlines to choose from, customers can take full advantage of quarantine-free destinations this winter and look ahead to those exotic long haul breaks for next year.”

The holiday provider is also looking to boost regional connectivity.

“Our next focus in opening up more regional flying from across the UK so more people can book their holidays from their local airport with Thomas Cook once again,” Mr French added.

Thomas Cook fell into administration in October last year, leaving thousands of holidaymakers with shattered plans and travel firm workers without jobs. However, in September 2020 the Chinese conglomerate which purchased the firm helped relaunch it as an online business.

Unlike the previous travel agency, though, Thomas Cook no longer operates its own flights.

Instead, it works as an online travel agent, outsourcing aspects of the holiday from other travel providers.

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