'I'm back!' No. It's not the naughty little elf, it's the dreaded red list and return UK testing!
I think in hindsight we would have preferred to be tortured by the naughty little elf than the Grinch that stole Christmas aka Grant Shapps but we MARCH ON!!!
The return of the red list has dealt yet another hard blow to South Africa's tourism but hopefully not for too long this time (we say with fingers, toes, and eyes crossed!)
So what's new with the testing I hear you say? Basically nothing! As from 4am this morning we are back to where we were this summer, but instead of what was 'amber list' rules back then it now applies to everyone coming back into the UK from abroad. In a nutshell pretty much everyone will need a negative lateral flow within 48hrs of travelling back to the UK followed by a negative PCR (which has replaced the lateral flow) on or before day 2 when you get back home. Quarantine until negative result for day 2 is required - but that's it, simples! For those of you that travelled abroad this summer you will know the drill and for those of you that didn't - well, get in touch and we can talk you through the process so you don't get caught out!
What do we foresee going forward? Undoubtedly there will be more bumps in the road with yet more changes along the way - this is inevitable in the height of winter. Who knows, there may even be more full blown travel bans to come in the New Year, but we will always be here for you 24/7 at the end of the line to help and advise - that friend that never lets you down!
In other news. Ben tested positive for COVID mid-November which resulted in 5 days of man flu with 10 days of self-isolation, a cancelled business trip to Dubai, a cancelled Steps concert (a blessing to many) and nearly a divorce in the process! What have we learnt? That you can be vaccinated up to your eye balls and take all the precautions, but if you're going to get it, you're going to get it! Stay safe out there.
Finally. We need you to channel your best positive thoughts for our shortlist at the Aspire Luxury Travel Awards in London on Monday 13th December. Unlike tour operator ceremonies that award individual businesses based on turnover generated for the hosting supplier, these awards are based on the actual business DNA, what makes us who we are, and our creativity and hard work that has got us to where we are today. It's a true honour to have even been shortlisted for such a prestigious luxury event, especially as the competition is UK wide and not regional, but we are certainly going to give it our best shot and promise to party like winners whatever the outcome! hehe.
Keep warm, stay safe, and look out for Storm Barra...it's on it's way! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr