NEWS & OFFERS: New Avios bonus, Spain & UK Quarantine plans, Virgin’s 2021 routes and increase to Tel Aviv

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Spanish Quarantine plan

Just when we were starting to get some hope and Europe are reopening, gradually countries are now introducing quarantine plans for arrivals. Obviously, if you were going to book a villa with a pool, that could actually work depending on the exact requirements. Obviously there is the EU travel ban as well, but this could be the way they decide to lift restrictions. 

From Friday 15 May new arrivals will have to agree to self-isolate within their home or booked accommodation for 14 days. You will be allowed to leave to buy essential supplies such as food and medicine or to seek medical assistance as long as you wear a mask at all times. 

This applies everywhere in Spain, despite different stages of lockdown easing in different areas. 

However, once you have left your lovely villa holiday, then you need to face:

UK Quarantine plan

 There has been a lot of confusion around the UK’s 14-day quarantine plan, even from Willie Walsh himself. The government’s original statement for some reason gave the impression that the quarantine plan, would only apply to arrivals by air. In fact, they later qualified that this does apply to ALL arrivals into the UK by any method. How they plan to police this is yet to be confirmed, although it may be by the track and trace and supplying a home address that someone will stay at. The quarantine plan is due to start at the end of May at the earliest but the exact details are still to be confirmed.

There are two get outs proposed – one with France where Quarantine plan, will not apply on either side. Because of course, there is no Coronavirus in France right? Also, Ireland will be exempt but not necessarily going the other way. So legally assuming other travel restrictions were lifted there is nothing to stop you flying to Dublin or Paris and then flying back to the UK from there. However, at the moment it’s all completely immaterial since you pretty much can’t go anywhere you are not a citizen of.


New 50% Avios bonus from Heathrow Rewards

Avios bonus

Heathrow Rewards have teamed up with British Airways Executive Club to offer a 50% bonus when you convert your Heathrow Rewards points to Avios.  Until 2 June 2020, you’ll receive 375 Avios for every 250 Heathrow Rewards points you convert.

So the question is, should you? The best value from Heathrow Rewards points is usually parking as you get double the cash value so £5 voucher is worth £10 of parking. However, Avios bookings are currently one of the least risky travel purchases as they don’t require much cash outlay, are fully refundable up to 24 hours before and there is decent availability on many routes. If you need Avios, then I would say this is a good deal.

You can find the page here. 


Virgin Atlantic routes and double daily to Tel Aviv from next year

Tel Aviv

Virgin has now left Gatwick for the foreseeable future and are operating from Terminal 2 at Heathrow, so no Clubhouse lounge sadly. They have now announced the routes they will operate next summer from Heathrow (assuming they are around). The plan is to gradually increase services to get to the full capacity by next summer. 

From Heathrow for summer 2021:

  • Antigua
  • Atlanta
  • Barbados
  • Boston
  • Cape Town
  • Delhi
  • Grenada
  • Havana
  • Hong Kong
  • Johannesburg
  • Lagos
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • Montego Bay
  • Mumbai
  • New York JFK
  • Orlando
  • San Francisco
  • Seattle
  • Shanghai
  • Tobago
  • Tel Aviv
  • Washington

Virgin Atlantic have also announced plans to double the capacity on its recently launched Tel Aviv to London Heathrow with it reached double daily capacity by next April 2021. The rest of the route frequencies are unknown. 

From Manchester, they will have flights to:

  • Atlanta
  • Barbados
  • Los Angeles
  • New York JFK
  • Orlando

If you are sitting on some Virgin miles, there is excellent availability next year so far to many places. SeatSpy are great for being able to see a whole year of Virgin availability in all classes in one go!

8 Comments on "NEWS & OFFERS: New Avios bonus, Spain & UK Quarantine plans, Virgin’s 2021 routes and increase to Tel Aviv"

  1. I am a big fan of your blog but actively encouraging people to find a get around for the quarantine plans by going through France or Ireland is deeply irresponsible. I would encourage you to amend this blog to recommend that people follow the spirit of the new regulations rather than searching for loopholes.

    • She’s not encouraging people to find loopholes, but highlighting the fact it is full of loopholes and is more window-dressing than a medically-driven risk reduction step

      • ALDO JAWORSKI | 14 May 2020 at 10:31 am | Reply

        Michelle is not trying to find loop holes or exploit the system in any way. If you are a savvy traveller – which most of us are, you will have figured out a way of getting around by now. Using France or Ireland seems the obvious choice, ohh and you can add the Netherlands to the list too – just saying!

  2. I assume that the relatively few Brits entering from France and Ireland will have their passports swiped upon arrival, which will define EXACTLY where they have come from and when. Unless they have a very good story as to why they arrived back in the UK in a convoluted way, then hopefully they will face a hefty fine for being so stupid as to put the health of the country at further risk.

  3. I have a family holiday in a villa with a pool booked in February for the end of July……from your comments it will be interesting to see what transpires.

  4. ClaytonTheCruton | 13 May 2020 at 11:16 am | Reply

    IMHO the entire ‘France will be exempt’ aspect of this ( in itself, now pointless) quarantine rules makes a mockery of the entire concept. I imagine it boils down to longstanding free movement agreements regarding the channel tunnel between ourselves and France’. I also agree with Michele on the “..because france doesnt have any covid…” statement

    Ignoring the fact that whilst all locked in our own homes 10s of thousands have been allowed to fly in unimpeded whilst the pandemic was more pronounced on a global scale the mere policing of the entire thing is effectively not enforceable anyway. We would require a VERY draconian law quite literally enabling the police ( already guilty on many occasions of overstepping the mark/ their authority during this whole mess) to demand: ‘Show me your papers’ a law that should NEVER be allowed to exist in this country.
    Example 1: ‘Q’ is put in place exempting anyone ‘arriving from France’ – result. We boost the French economy by encouraging the entire world to route via their shores however said person could come from literally anywhere in the world including places without developed health care and/ or monitoring systems placing the UK general population at more risk.
    Example 2: It only applies to persons resident in France. Well with EU Free Movement / Schengen rules there are of course Poles, Italians, Spaniards, Hungarians etc etc living in France who may not be citizens and have ID matching their home country. If you start excluding them then of course there will be immediate calls of discrimination
    Example 3: To combat the risk of being called nasty people as per E2 above a simple document showing your resident in France is needed – which can easily be faked and HM Gov / UK Border Force would have no way of verifying making the entire exercise one in utter futility.

    Again imho the ONLY thing this quarantine serves to do is further damage our economy and restrict our, hard fought for, liberties.

    Just some points. re above

    ITS NOT POLITICAL, this is not a politics blog, its a travel one
    I am not anti-police, im very pro but im also aware of personal / civil liberty issues of late.
    Im still locked up as im on the ‘you will die’ list if anyone has anything to lose from freeing up movement then tbh its probably me, that thing is potentially my own life and even

  5. ClaytonTheCruton | 13 May 2020 at 11:20 am | Reply

    … Cont from prev ( opps missed the last bit off) ….. and even I think the quarantine thing is bloody pointless!

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