NEWS: Hotel quarantine to be ditched? and Oman Air wants to join oneworld

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England hotel quarantine to be ditched?

Yesterday I  wrote about Ireland ditching hotel quarantine, which will effectively make it much simpler for people to illegally skip quarantine by routing via Ireland which does not require going through the UK border on return (although there are random checks).

Today the Telegraph is speculating that the red list hotel quarantine may be skipped altogether in England shortly. I had wondered the same but then they have recently introduced a hardship scheme in the UK for hotel quarantine which does not suggest they are about to abandon it.

I have always been in favour of protecting the UK from new variants and if there was a dangerous new variant, I could perhaps understand hotel quarantine for that. However, most of the 54 strong red list is now countries that should not even be on the list, and the ridiculous cost and poor conditions in quarantine hotels are not justified. The delta variant is swiftly wiping out most other variants which despite its ability to spread quickly, may actually be a good thing, given that vaccines work against it to a reasonable extent.

A DHSC spokesman told The Telegraph: “We are committed to protecting our country and the progress of our phenomenal vaccine rollout against the risk of new coronavirus variants and there are no plans to end the Managed Quarantine Service.

“We have taken decisive action at the border with our managed quarantine system and every essential check we’ve introduced has strengthened our defences.”

“We recently simplified the travel rules to make them easier to understand and follow, opening up tourism and reducing the costs to go abroad.”

Apparently, both the DHSC and Grant Shapps are in favour of ditching quarantine, so let’s hope they bring in something sensible. I personally like Barbados’s system of enforcing home or hotel quarantine with GPS tracking given the state of enforcing it in the UK which mainly involves calling people’s mobile to check they are home! 

 

Oman air wants to join Oneworld

Oman air business class

Oman air business class

According to Reuters Oman Air announced yesterday that they are keen to join Oneworld. The airline has apparently approached Qatar Airways to help them achieve this. If they did it would be great news as they sometimes do some super cheap fares to the Far East and their business class product is almost up there with Qatar in my opinion. You can read my business class review here. 

They currently have a fairly small route network but hopefully if they joined Oneworld this could help them expand. 

“As the industry recovers from COVID, airline alliances are going to be more important than ever,” the airline said in a statement to Reuters. “This will provide us with excellent global connectivity, a seamless travel experience and more valuable loyalty offerings for our guests.”

Joining Oneworld can often take at least a year but they do also have their Connect partners which require less scrutiny and can happen more quickly. Though Connect partners do not offer the same status benefits as a full member airline. 

5 Comments on "NEWS: Hotel quarantine to be ditched? and Oman Air wants to join oneworld"

  1. On quarantine, I think if a new varient were identified it may be justified to continue hotel quarantine, until then the Delta varient is now endemic in the UK and as such the continuation of quarantine except perhaps for those who are not yet vaccinated is foolish.

    On Oman, I’m delighted they are joining an alliance but given the strength of Qatar in the region I’m surprised they are opting for Oneworld, there will be little room for them there. My hunch is that they would have been better off with either of the other alliances, for my own preference Star.

  2. Hotel quarantine? If the government is dropping this I do hope it’s because they’ve found people are generally good at self isolating at home. Oman joining OneWorld? Yes please. They fly (or at least did fly) direct from Manc and I’m told the new airport is lovely and usable (as was the old airport, in my direct experience).

  3. Oman Air have the worst customer service I have ever experienced. We had to get Amex involved at the onset Covid. They blatantly lied, replied with conflicting advice and at times they were nasty to myself and my wife. I would never fly with them again even if the flights were a tenner.

  4. On quarantine: The cynical side of me still believes this is all about revenue and keeping as much of it as possible in the UK. Make it difficult/challenging for people to spend their money abroad so they decide to holiday in the UK, make sure all the world can enter the UK and spend their money. I can’t see the red list and hotel quarantine disappearing this year, but I hope I am wrong.

    On Oman Air: Some work colleagues have flown with them to Oman and rate them very highly. I have been out to Oman a few time for work (Qatar and BA though, not Oman Air) using both the old airport and the new and IMHO the new airport is far superior to the old one. Lounges are VERY nice. Getting to and from the airport is much easier, driving into the old airport was a bit of a nightmare !

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