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Statement on COVID-19

Updated 11 January 2022

As we start the New Year still amid the uncertainty of the Pandemic, we do now look forward more optimistically to increased overseas travel in the months to come, particularly as the testing regime has recently been relaxed for return entry to the UK.  The predictions remain that the Omicron variant, whilst more virulent, appears to be less severe, particularly for those fully jabbed and boosted.
 
Arena Travel have been operating under the current Government guidance and restrictions since last summer, albeit mainly in the UK, but we have also increasingly operated overseas, providing guidance and assistance through the required form-filling and procedures.  It’s our expectation that these formalities will ease as Europe and destinations further afield accept that this will be the new ‘normal’.
 
Whilst we understand and appreciate that some of you are still apprehensive about travelling overseas, for you, we’ll continue to operate our extensive programme of domestic holidays. We also know that even more of you have a greater desire to get back to travelling overseas again.  Having returned from several trips, myself and my colleagues along with many of our customers’, have found the process much less onerous than anticipated.  
 
Arena Travel and our family of brands fully intend to operate our overseas holiday programme in 2022 within any prevailing parameters.  We’re particularly looking forward to the launch of our twice postponed River Cruise ship; Ms Arena, in April.  We also anticipate our ‘no-fly’ rail holiday programme will be particularly in-demand, along with our specialist interest First for Bridge and Stitchtopia Craft holidays, with many of our regular guests excited to return to travelling with us.  Similarly, I know from our expressions of interest that our programmes of exclusive Boxwood Garden Tours and Art Pursuits cultural tours programmes will soon start to fill.
 
Whenever and wherever you’re ready to travel, Arena Travel are here and you can rest assured that as a long-established tour operator with full financial protection and as members of ABTA and our CAA ATOL licence, we take our responsibilities extremely seriously.  It’s our duty to facilitate travel for our customers in a safe and responsible way and we’ll continue to follow government restrictions and guidance and follow the requirements of the destinations we visit.
To set your mind at ease, please see our Customer Charter setting out just what you can expect when you book with Arena Travel.
 
Here’s looking forward to the year ahead and the resumption of travel!
 
Steve Goodenough
Managing Director
 

Updated 28th September 2021

 

On Friday 17th September, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a simplified system for international travel, providing greater certainty and confidence in the ability to make future travel plans.  From Monday 4th October 2021, the rules for international travel to England* will change from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and testing requirements will be reduced for fully vaccinated travellers, who will no longer need to take a pre-departure test when returning to England* after this date. From the end of October, fully vaccinated passengers will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test.

This progress is welcomed by Arena Travel and is a good step along the way to enabling us to operate our 2022 holiday programme with confidence.  So, when you are ready, we are here to discuss your next holiday plans and look forward to hearing from you!  Our friendly Holiday Advisors await your call and with our Flexible Booking promise there is no reason to delay, book now for the best choice and value!

INSPIRE ME

 

Steve Goodenough
Managing Director

*May vary for travel to/from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

Updated 8th July 2021

Future travel with the Arena Travel Group

 

We are delighted that our holidays in the UK have now resumed and we are equally pleased that we will be operating in excess of 100 group tours on our British Breaks programme through to the end of this year. 

We are pleased that there is now more certainty around the resumption of overseas travel within Europe, which is where we operate the majority of our holiday programme.  Now that those that are double vaccinated do not require quarantine when returning from ‘Amber’ destinations we anticipate a resumption of overseas travel with Arena from mid-August onwards. 

We anticipate that this will be an extremely popular and busy time for travel and want to give our existing customers the option to secure their holiday within their original budget safe in the knowledge that we continue to offer our Flexible Booking options.

We have set out the following Customer Charter to make our position completely clear and to allow our customers to plan a holiday with us this year.

 

Steve Goodenough
Managing Director

 

Updated 2nd June 2021

Future travel with the Arena Travel Group

We are delighted that our breaks in the UK have now resumed and we are equally pleased that we will be operating in excess of 100 group tours on our British Breaks programme through to the end of this year. 
 
We appreciate that there is still uncertainty around the resumption of overseas travel, and importantly within Europe, which is where we operate the majority of our holiday programme.  It is now just a question of ‘when’ we will be able to travel overseas under conditions that do not require quarantine and when the respective countries will allow entry from the UK. 
 
We welcome the cautious approach being taken to ensure that the great achievements of the UK are not undone and anticipate that there will be more certainty around a resumption date as we approach July.    
 
Our position is that we will only operate to ‘Green List’ destinations and during July expect most of the destinations we visit to be Green Listed.  Our intention is to resume our European River Cruise operations during August and expect the remainder of our overseas programme to be fully operational in September.  We anticipate that this will be an extremely popular and busy time for travel and want to give our existing customers the option to secure their holiday within their original budget safe in the knowledge that we continue to offer our Flexible Booking options.
 
We have set out the following Customer Charter to make our position completely clear and to allow our customers to plan a holiday with us this year.
 
Steve Goodenough
Managing Director

Updated 23rd February 2021

Future travel with the Arena Travel Group

Now that the Government have announced the ‘Road Map’ out of lockdown, and set the milestones for the opening up of travel, we are now, at last, looking forward with positivity to the resumption of our holidays as soon as we are able, and it is safe to do so.

The Government has set up a Global Travel Taskforce that will report on April 12th. Domestic tourism is expected to open up soon after this date and International travel not expected to be permitted before May 17th, with full restrictions lifted no earlier than June 21st. We will of course be following these guidelines and contacting all of those clients due to travel in this period through to June 21st after the announcement in April or no later than 4 weeks prior to the planned departure date.

We at Arena Travel are pleased with this announcement and welcome this cautious approach with clarity and a degree of certainty. We have already seen a great uplift in bookings since this announcement and expect to see strong bookings for this Summer and into 2022. I am particularly pleased that our team have been able to develop an extensive collection of UK holidays and breaks across our full holiday range. I am also pleased to report that we have our 2022 season holidays on sale much earlier than we would have traditionally had.

When our holidays resume we will of course operate under Covid aware and safe conditions, with vaccinations or negative tests a requirement, as well as reasonable distancing, mask wearing, sanitisation and other protocols as required.

I do hope that, like us, you are looking forward to the resumption of travel. Whether you will look to get away as soon as you are able, wait for a little later this year or even in 2022, now really is a good time to book your holiday and give yourselves something to look forward to, all with the safety of our full Financial Protection and Flexible Booking Policy that allows you to transfer your holiday at no cost.

I would once again personally like to thank all our customers during this difficult time for their patience and understanding, and myself and our entire team look forward to welcoming you on a holiday soon, when you are ready to do so.

 
Steve Goodenough
Managing Director