It is hard to find two people who agree on any aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic at the moment, except the fact that this pandemic has changed the world forever. That might sound dramatic but even as the routines and activities of everyday life return, the new normalcy, as it is being called, that we emerge into is going to look fairly different from the one that we left behind. The effects of these changes are resonating through every aspect of life, nowhere more so than in the travel and holiday sector.
Everything is changing to some degree or other, from how we book our holiday to where and why we travel, from our seat selections on the plane to what financial and safety risks we are willing to put up with. We will emerge from this worldwide crisis different travelers than we were before the pandemic began. And that is not necessarily a bad thing, it is just going to be different and, perhaps, take a lot of getting used to, changing our habits always does.
If Travel Agents were the useful stepping stone between the customer and their dream holiday before the pandemic, in today’s world they are going to be vital. Even if you were a seasoned traveler before, confident in your own ability to trot the globe and wander off the beaten track without having everything laid out for you, for the interim period at least, even those frequent fliers, adventurous tourists, and wandering nomads will need an expert source to help make sense of the ever-changing state of affairs. And who even knows how long that will continue?
In the short term, it is the Travel Agent who will be able to supply you with some very basic and necessary information. Can I even travel to my chosen country? Is there a quarantine rule in place? What facilities will be available to me when I arrive? Are masks required? Has my insurance situation changed at all? And a dozen other fundamental questions and concerns, many of which are changing week-to-week as countries balance health and economic concerns.
You can bypass the travel agent altogether to get a visa for the UK, and the process begins with a simple online application and payment of the required fee. Sites such as will help walk you through the process.
From there you will be asked to attend a biometric appointment, This is to have your photo and fingerprints taken (known as ‘biometric information’).
Once you have your biometrics recorded at the Application Support Centre (ASC) they will stamp the confirmation letter which you will have received when you made your appointment. Once your appointment confirmation letter is stamped at the ASC, you will have 5 days to post this, your application form, current passport, UPS return shipping label, and any supporting documents if required to the address that they provide.
Even with a valid visa, it is advisable to check the requirements to enter any country that you wish to visit as changes can occur at very short notice, quarantines and restrictions may be imposed, proof of vaccines and negative test results and even counties moving into amber or red status can still happen. Always check before you travel.