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Kirker bookings and coronavirus

03 September 2021

Thank you to all our customers for your patience and perseverance as we have been dealing with the pandemic and associated travel restrictions – your support and continued enthusiasm for travel is very much appreciated. 

The latest updates to the international travel rules have made the logistics of travel much more straightforward and the very good news is that it is now possible – even practical – to begin to plan short breaks to a much wider range of destinations.  The key destinations Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, indeed most European countries, are now on the ‘green’ and ‘amber’ lists and available for quarantine-free travel to all those who are fully vaccinated.  

As ever, we need to keep a close eye on the FCDO advice Click here to check the Government website for the latest updates about safety for travellers in particular destinations. And do telephone our office for first-hand advice from members of the Kirker team who have been travelling over the last 6 weeks – they would be delighted to share their knowledge of the current situation with you. Of course, there remain some caveats: testing is still required on your return, and before your arrival in some countries, and certain destinations are not yet fully open - but please do speak to the Kirker team who are expert at deciphering the different requirements. In recent weeks we have been travelling ourselves, and members of the Kirker team have already visited Paris, the South of France, Lisbon, Oporto, Mallorca, Gibraltar and Malta & Gozo to assess the testing systems and remind ourselves of the joy of travelling to some of our favourite destinations – with a fraction of the normal crowds. You can watch some short videos of our recent travel experiences on our YouTube Channel. 

In general the travel process is becoming smoother, especially if you have the NHS app on your mobile phone confirming your vaccination status - if you don't already own one, now is the moment to invest in a smartphone. The app is generally accepted as proof of vaccination, and is now valid in many countries where it is compatible and aligned with their own app, including Italy and France. As ever, it is important that you are appropriately insured, and a number of specialist travel insurance providers, such as Campbell Irvine (click here), have made a positive assessment of the risk and they are currently offering a full cover travel policy (including protection against Covid interruption before your departure and during the holiday): as an example, individuals aged 65 years can purchase a comprehensive policy for just £37.50 to cover a 5 night holiday. 

Each overseas destination requires a slightly different set of testing protocols – and we have first-hand experience of the processes from colleagues who have travelled this summer, please do call to ask us for details. There is a wide range of new companies offering COVID testing, and they offer a range of services – from about £25, up to £250 for an ‘at home’ deluxe service.  We have negotiated special prices for PCR and other tests with Randox Health, who offer individual tests or packages for 'green' or 'amber' destinations: enter Coupon Code KIRKERRANDOX at https://www.randoxhealth.com

In terms of looking after clients who have booked, it is Kirker’s responsibility to ensure that we keep you up-to-date and informed of all relevant aspects of travel procedures – including testing and quarantine – for any holiday that you have already booked, or are planning to book in the near future.  We can reassure you that, in the event you are unable to travel due to a Coronavirus related challenge, you will be able to amend to a later date or different destination, or we can provide you with a Kirker voucher for future travel or a full refund if you prefer.  (There are some very rare occasions where we have been obliged to make a financial commitment on your behalf which is non-refundable, but even in these circumstances, Kirker agrees to subsidise any uninsured loss so that any costs are reduced by mutual agreement.) This year Kirker celebrates 35 years in business, and although the last 18 months have been tricky, we are a mature and well-funded business that will bounce back strongly in the coming months ahead – we are in it for the long-term, and look forward to providing clients with the sort of personal service that discerning travellers expect.

For those who do travel in 2021, it will be vital to pre-book restaurants and other venues such as museums, theatres and opera houses many of which have reduced capacity to fulfil social distancing requirements – just contact the Kirker Concierge to make your reservations.  Speaking to an expert human being is the best way to ensure you get the latest advice – and the reassurance that Kirker will be here to liaise with you at every step of the way – before, during and after your holiday.  In many ways a number of aspects of the post-pandemic era will enhance the travel experience, such as the introduction of more disciplined aircraft boarding, increased testing processes, and peaceful, socially-distanced visits to world class museums – and we sense that clients are already more inclined to take things at a slightly slower pace and add a night or two to extend their stay.  

Whilst the Coronavirus crisis may have left an indelible mark on many of us, we are all now increasingly aware what an extraordinary privilege it is to be able to travel – and you can rest assured that Kirker will be doing its utmost to help you savour every moment of your holiday, and nurture the wonderful network of our friends and associates who are responsible for making sure that you are properly looked after on every step of the journey.

We shall be doing our best to exceed your expectations, every time you travel on a Kirker holiday – and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Ted Wake & Andrew Layard
Joint Managing Directors

N.B. Some useful tips:

Some of the Kirker team continues to work from home on normal office hours Monday to Friday (0900 – 1800hrs), so please don’t hesitate to get in touch by telephone 020 7593 2288 (or via your travel agent), or email directly to the individual who is looking after your enquiry This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – please provide us with your preferred telephone contact number and someone will call you back as soon as they can.

Please remember that you must always make certain that you have adequate travel insurance. We can recommend a new Coronavirus insurance policy provided by Campbell Irvine who are a recommended, independent insurance provider with a new policy to give you reassurance to book with confidence: click here for details.

If you would like further guidance on travel, Kirker is a member of ABTAAITO and we also have an ATOL licence – please do look at their websites for supplementary information.

If your query is about a Cultural Tour or Music Holiday please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or telephone 020 7593 2284. New tours for dates throughout 2021 and 2022 are being added all the time, so please click here for details.

General Enquiries: 020 7593 2288
Cultural Tours: 020 7593 2284
Operations: 020 7593 2280
Finance: 020 7593 2285

To make an enquiry please speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 1899, or enquire online

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.