UPDATED 22 September 2021

Things are changing – fast. And while there’s still much uncertainty, we’re here to guide you through it. And there’s a lot of good reason for hope. Many of us have already begun to hit the road. Others are making plans. For today, tomorrow, or even a year in advance.

Right now, we’re doing everything we can to ensure you can book with confidence and true flexibility.  We’ve designed State of Flex to provide the most flexible terms available. Wherever possible, this will include 100% refunds and fee-free postponements should any Covid complications arise between booking and travel.

Ultimately, we want you to have peace of mind when you come with us. And we’ll do everything we can to secure that.

Below are just some common questions but if we haven’t answered yours, then please drop us a line at info@blacktomato.com which we are constantly monitoring and will be quick to respond.

FAQ

How do the recent changes to the UK traffic light system affect where I can go?

We were so pleased to see the government simplify the regulations around international travel in late September. In brief, countries now fall into two categories based on current COVID-19 risks: high risk ‘red-list’ countries that require returning residents and visitors to undergo hotel quarantine on return to the UK, and all other countries. Fully vaccinated travellers (and their children under 18) returning from non-red list countries will no longer need to undergo testing prior to their return, but do still need book and take a PCR test on or before Day 2 after their arrival in the UK. Sometime in October the mandatory day 2 PCR test will be replaced with a (cheaper) antigen test.

Unvaccinated adults will need to pre-test prior to their flight to the UK, undergo a 10-day home quarantine and take tests on day 2 and day 8 after their return (taking an additional test on day 5 allows non-vaccinated travellers to shorten the home quarantine period).

Note that these new regulations only apply to returning to the UK – travellers must still abide by all entry requirements of the country they are visiting, which may include a combination testing, proof of vaccination, health screening and completion of a digital passenger locator form. Our team is constantly monitoring the changing entry requirements for the destinations we offer, so can answer questions around your specific situation and provide guidance and support in satisfying the requirements. Please speak to your Travel Expert for bespoke advice.

What are the rules around travelling with children if they haven’t been vaccinated?

Each country has different rules around unvaccinated children under 18, and we can provide advice specific to your chosen destination. Generally we have found that children do not need to be vaccinated to travel to our key destinations, but may need to take an additional test pre- and/or post-arrival.

I have not had a COVID-19 vaccination; what are my options for travel?

For those who are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated against COVD-19, there are still some options for international travel and we can advise you on which destinations are open to you based on your specific circumstances. Some countries are only allowing vaccinated visitors to enter for tourism purposes; other countries will allow unvaccinated travellers to enter with proof of a negative covid test. Domestic travel also remains a wonderful option; we can arrange epic cross-country US road trips, adventures in the Scottish Highlands, and a huge range of other domestic adventures wherever you might call home.

How do I know where I can go?

We’re here to advise on the particular destinations open to you based on your residency and passport; there are a variety of considerations to take into account, including the official advice of your home country (e.g., US State Department, UK Foreign Office), insurance considerations, flight availability, entry restrictions to your destination country.  Beyond this, we can also advise on what the actual experience will be like when you get there – open status of restaurants, attractions, any restrictions in terms of curfews, crowds etc.

I’m keen to book a trip, what if the FCDO or State Department Travel Advisory advice changes?

We constantly monitor changes in travel advice to the destinations in which we operate – should this advice change in the lead-up to your trip we will communicate this to you immediately and at that time can discuss the right course of action, as detailed above.

I really want to plan a future trip, but I’m worried about the uncertainty around foreign travel while Covid-19 is still around. What flexibility can you offer me in case I want or need to change plans?

Feel free to read our full details on booking with confidence and true flexibility here.

What will Black Tomato be doing to look after my health and safety if I choose to travel?

You can find full details of our health and safety policy here.

Can you help organise travel insurance for my trip?

Whilst Black Tomato don’t sell travel insurance, we can certainly help make a few recommendations. When travelling with us, it is essential that you have the appropriate coverage and you can find recommendations for our top providers here.

How do you get an understanding of what I’m looking for?

We’re fully bespoke, so when you call us we’ll have a chat about what you’re comfortable with and how you want to travel. Some of the questions we might ask include: are you happy to use commercial flights? Do you want to stick to your car? A private jet charter?  Where do you want to stay – a full-service hotel with rigorous standards, a self-contained villa with screened staff? We’ll take into account anything you’d like to bring up.

We also understand everyone’s needs for flexibility are different – postponements are generally easy to arrange, but if you need to have your arrangements be fully cancellable that might limit your options.  Our team of experts can work with you to find the right solution for your needs.

If I do choose to travel, what are the benefits of going now? 

Our clients and staff who are travelling at the moment all come back saying the same thing: ‘I felt incredibly safe’. ‘It was wonderful to experience the destination without the crowds’. ‘The COVID protocols and crowd restrictions actually improved my experience’. ‘Hospitality staff were so warm and welcoming.’

Many of our clients are eager to seize the opportunity to travel now.  With many of us currently working from home, travel can be an opportunity to continue working full time while enjoying a new place – we have clients taking a villa for a month, working for 3 weeks (with evenings and weekends to indulge and explore) and enjoying one week of holiday.

I’m due to travel with you, how can I understand border restrictions and travel advice?

The circumstances around Covid-19 are evolving on an daily basis; at this point, our recommendation would be to continue to monitor the situation in the hopeful expectation that your chosen destination will be safe for travel at that stage. Our travel experts are constantly reviewing official guidance and are on hand to advise you on everything from entry restrictions to testing protocols. We currently have clients travelling to a wide range of destinations across the world so can give you an accurate picture of the experience on the ground.

Given the current trends of the world reopening, we will usually aim to make a decision on whether or not your trip can go ahead 6-8 weeks prior to departure. During this time, we simply ask that you please review your travel insurance and ensure it remains valid for your intended trip. If however you would like to consider pre-emptively postponing your trip, we would be happy to review the possibilities with you.

What happens if I choose to postpone my dates to a season when rates are higher or lower?

If you wish to consider travelling in a season when rates are higher than you originally booked, we will calculate and communicate to you the increase in the price of the trip, which you would then need to pay as a supplement according to our normal payment terms.  If you choose to travel in a season when rates are lower, we would be able to offer you a refund of the difference between your original booking and your new booking.

I need a negative PCR test to return home – can you help with that while I’m travelling?

Absolutely. We recognise that requirements are forever changing, both to travel away from home and to come back again, and are committed to helping you stay on top of any testing requirements. Across the world, we work with trusted partners and hotels who can help facilitate pre-departure testing in your destination. Some of our favourite properties are now offering on-property testing whilst elsewhere, we can arrange for healthcare professionals to come to you, ensuring you a safe and efficient journey home.

Useful links

Based in the UK? We strongly recommend that all clients monitor the FCDO travel advice page. Sign up to receive email alerts for the country you’re visiting: GOV.UK Foreign Travel Advice.

Based in the US? Please check the latest Government travel advice and CDC advice: US State Dept travel advice and CDC advice.

Based elsewhere and have a question? See below or read more about Coronavirus: World Health Organisation (WHO).

How to contact us

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your travel arrangements, please contact your Black Tomato Travel Expert, who will be happy to assist or send any question to info@blacktomato.com, an inbox we are constantly monitoring.

Can't find it? Don't worry. Just because it's not here, doesn't mean we can't do it.
Call us on +44 207 426 9888 or +1 646 558 3644 or tell us what you're looking for here.
We'll make it happen.

Go to top