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Kirker bookings and coronavirus

12 January 2021

Although it will be a little while before travel returns to a more normal footing, with several approved vaccines, and a vaccination programme that is well underway, our expectations for 2021 are now very positive.  In addition, there is a comprehensive virus testing procedure in place, and our expectation is that the majority of Kirker clients should be vaccinated by Easter, and some of these customers are amongst the most enthusiastic and determined travellers who are very keen to set off as soon as they can.  Now could be the perfect time to start planning an escape for late spring or early summer whilst we are able to secure availability and prices are currently very reasonable – however, when the travel bounce back comes, a number of our favourite hotels are suggesting that they expect to be fully booked by the time the peak autumn short break season comes, and we do expect prices to rise later this year. 

We would encourage you to think about booking sooner rather than later as there is only one thing worse that being prevented from travelling due to an unexpected pandemic… and that is not being able to travel because your favourite hotel is already full.  We also know that capacity is being cut in hotels, trains, planes, restaurants, opera houses and museums to fulfill social distancing protocols – so please do call 020 7593 2288 to speak to an expert human being, or speak to your favourite travel agent. Perhaps you had a special birthday or anniversary in 2020 and can now look forward to planning a proper celebration, or maybe you just need a revitalising short break having been stuck at home since last March?

There are some excellent ‘early booking’ offers, with excellent value British Airways’ Club Europe, but only limited seating in this category.  Whilst a careful read through the hotel and destination descriptions on the Kirker website is a very good starting point, most clients prefer to speak directly to an expert human being for advice; it is certainly the quickest and most effective way to work out the plan that best suits your personal needs.

We continue to monitor the FCDO travel advice, designated ‘travel corridors’ and of course local entry requirements closely so that we can give you the most up-to-date and relevant advice for your chosen destination. Please do call 020 7593 2288 to speak to a member of the team if you have any queries about an existing booking or a destination that you are considering visiting. Over recent months a number of the Kirker team and many Kirker clients have been away travelling in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Turkey and Germany amongst other destinations – and the feedback from both clients and colleagues has been very positive, confirming that airlines and airports are well-organised and operating with a disciplined approach to boarding and security which is reassuring, and helps to make the journey a more civilised experience.  We are confident that travel in the post-lockdown era will have all the appropriate measures already in place, including the welcome introduction of pre-departure Covid19 testing. Whilst we all look forward to obtaining our ‘vaccine certificate’, until that process is fully established, many destinations will require visitors to provide evidence of a negative test result prior to travel – something which will become routine in the future. There are a growing number of providers of the gold standard ‘PCR’ tests, including the high street chemist Boots, the Corona Test Centre in London which members of the Kirker team have used recently, and Nomad Travel Clinics, where, as members of AITO (The Specialist Travel Association), Kirker clients will benefit from a special 10% reduction on tests (book online here and use the code AITO10).

We shall continue to offer a very flexible approach regarding amendments and postponements, and whilst we will always find a way to make an adjustment to your holiday in line with the latest FCDO advice, we will consult with each individual customer to make sure that you are happy.  There will no doubt be some occasions when there may be unavoidable charges imposed by the airlines or hotels, but the Kirker team will always do our utmost to mitigate additional costs.  If you decide to cancel you may need to claim for lost costs from your insurer, but we will keep any cancellation charges to an absolute minimum.  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.

As you would expect, the majority of the Kirker team continues to work from home on normal office hours Monday to Friday (0900 – 1800hrs), and 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.

Whilst the Coronavirus pandemic has been a challenging time for all of us – we can assure you that we shall continue to do our utmost to look after every client according to each individual’s needs. If you would like further guidance, Kirker is a member of ABTAAITO and we also have an ATOL licence – please do look at their websites for supplementary information.

Finally, if your call 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 telephone 020 7593 2284. New tours for dates throughout 2021 are being added all the time, so please click here for details.

If you don’t have the relevant email address, please telephone one of the numbers below (office hours Mon-Fri 0900-1800):

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

We wish you a happy and healthy 2021, and very much look forward to hearing from you.

Ted Wake & Andrew Layard
Joint Managing Directors

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.

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