News How to use Skyscanner to plan travel during COVID-19

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How to use Skyscanner to plan travel during COVID-19

We know that travel is especially difficult right now. But alongside the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates, we want to continue to inspire you with new travel content so that when the world opens its doors again, you'll be ready.

Would-be travellers across the globe are running into the same issue. They’re ready to get back out there and explore another corner of the world, but they’re hesitant to plan travel during the COVID-19 pandemic. They want to feel reassured that they’re as safe as possible when travelling and that they have some flexibility if they want to cancel. More information is key to helping travellers plan and book a trip with confidence, and Skyscanner is delivering.

Our newest features are aimed at providing transparency and relevant details so you can plan safer, smarter travel. Read on to learn about these new tools and how to use them to book your next getaway with confidence.

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“Where can I go?” map               

With entry requirements changing so frequently, it’s difficult for travellers to keep tabs on which countries are actually open for tourism. We’re making it easier for travellers with a colour-coded global map that’s checked daily. 

Based on your origin country, we’ll show you which countries are open, partially open and closed for now, as well as those that haven’t made any information available. At the end of October, we’ll be changing these labels to inform you which have low, moderate and major restrictions. You can also click on a specific country to see its case count, entry requirements and quarantine details. 

You can also subscribe to travel updates for any country you want to visit. We’ll send you an email as soon as we discover changes to entry or quarantine requirements. We highly recommend doing this if you already have an international trip planned, so you’re prepared with the most recent information before you step on the plane.

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Coronavirus travel advice

Whether you’re searching for domestic travel details or the latest airline policies, our coronavirus travel advice page has all the latest information for planning travel during COVID-19. You’ll find information on the UK’s current travel corridors, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice, and flight cancellation and policy news from major airlines. 

We’re updating this page daily, so you can feel confident that you’re accessing the latest details, travel requirements, and links to official sources.

Flexible policies 

Flight cancellation policies and hotel cancellation policies give travellers the confidence to book a trip. When you use Skyscanner to search for flights or accommodations, our Flexible Ticket options will show you which providers are offering more-accommodating booking terms, so you won’t lose out if your flights need to be changed or cancelled.

For example, filters will let you browse only hotels that offer free cancellation, and when searching for airfares, you can narrow results to show only airlines that offer flexible tickets. We also link directly to the airline’s booking policy in case you want to dive into the details. Our Flexible Ticket filter is available on desktop, mobile web and the Skyscanner app.

Try it out by searching for hotels or browsing airfares.

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Cleanliness and safety ratings

A recent Skyscanner survey revealed that 44% of travellers are prioritising superior hygiene and cleanliness when considering travel. Since this is just as important as flexible booking options, we added cleanliness and safety ratings to our airline and hotel search results, to give Skyscanner users peace of mind when booking and travelling.

Airlines

Skyscanner’s COVID-19 safety rating filter allows users to search for and choose airlines based on ratings sourced directly from an exclusive partnership with AirlineRatings.com. An airline’s overall score (up to 5 points) is based on how many of the following five health and safety measures are in place in the wake of COVID-19: 

  • Face masks mandatory 
  • Plane deep-cleaned daily 
  • Flight crew wearing PPE 
  • Passenger sanitation packs provided 
  • Changes to food service 

By tapping on the purple badge icon that appears on all search results, you can see the at-a-glance health and safety measures being taken by each airline in the given itinerary, as well as what’s expected from travellers. Search for a flight to see how it works. 

Hotels

To instill confidence and differentiate themselves, many hotels are responding to consumer concerns by implementing and improving hygiene standards. Now when you look for a hotel on Skyscanner, you’ll see a new hotel cleanliness rating displayed on some search results. These accommodations had to score a 4.5 (out of 5) or above in order to bear the distinctive hotel cleanliness badge. The ratings are updated in real time and based on direct guest feedback through our partnership with TripAdvisor. Browse hotels now to see which ones have earned this badge.

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The latest news for planning travel during COVID-19

Are you wondering when you can travel to Spain again? Or do you need inspiration for a Christmas holiday? Our travel blog and newsletter will answer those questions and more. Seasoned travel writers and Skyscanner staff are continuously researching and writing about the latest in travel, including news, trends and destinations. Here are some of our readers’ favourite articles:

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From identifying which countries you can visit to booking flights with a flexible change policy, Skyscanner has your trip covered. Use our new features to plan your next adventure and book with confidence. We are continuously updating the information we provide, but it’s always wise to double check government guidelines directly from the source before you make a travel decision. As we’ve learned throughout the pandemic, things can change very quickly.   

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Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to plan travel during COVID-19?

Being in any public space with other people, including while travelling, will increase your risk of exposure to the coronavirus. There are ways to reduce your risk and make travelling safer for yourself and others, such as wearing a mask and maintaining a distance of two metres from others. You should postpone travel if you or a travel companion feel unwell.  

Should I avoid travelling internationally during the pandemic?

The FCDO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel to all countries not included on its travel corridors list, which is under constant review. Non-essential travel to any international destinations not on the list is not advised.

Am I required to quarantine after travelling?

Since 10 July, people arriving in the UK from low-risk countries do not need to quarantine. Countries with high infection rates, including the USA, are not included on the travel corridors list, meaning quarantine measures are in place. To see the countries where you can currently travel to from the UK, you can visit our map with the latest travel restrictions.

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