Boris Johnson's government measures to tackle the new Omicron variant have left tour operators and holidaymakers scrambling to rearrange travel plans.

Anyone entering the UK must now take a PCR test by the end of the second day after arrival and self-isolate until they have received a negative result.

Flights have also been suspended from a selection of African countries, while popular holiday destinations, including Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, are also re-introducing restrictions on UK visitors.

Switzerland has mandated 10 days of quarantine for all new arrivals and Spain has put a ban on non-vaccinated arrivals, while Portugal has also brought in new precautions.

A public health message displayed at Heathrow Terminal 5
A public health message displayed at Heathrow Terminal 5

Essential Living has issued some key advice for holidaymakers in the emerging Omicron variant affects any travel plans.

What to do if stuck abroad

Anyone overseas whose trip is hit by new regulations or if the location is set to be added to the UK red list, contact your airline to arrange the first available flight home.

Then check travel insurance documents because it may be possible to claim for the costs of extending a stay if stuck abroad or compensate for any unused accommodation if plans have had to change at the last minute.

Should I cancel my upcoming Christmas trip?

If the Foreign Office has warned against travel to a holiday destination, travellers are able to cancel any package holiday and still be entitled to a full refund, even if the travel company hasn’t cancelled the flight itself.

However if plans change and a customer wishes to cancel there is no automatic right to a refund.

Some tour operators and airlines do operate dedicated Covid refund policies. Anyone travelling in the coming days will be contacted by their travel firm if plans are changed. But if a trip is scheduled some time ahead, it is best to wait because the situation may change and a refund could be possible.

Despite increasing uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, UK travellers continue to book vacation rentals and travel as normal - for the time being.

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Meanwhile, Guesty, the short term rental management platform, has reported no significant change in average daily cancellations this week compared to the past two months.

However, it has also seen a decrease of 22 per cent in the average number of new reservations created this week, compared to those created in the past three months.

This suggests that whilst those who have already booked look set to travel, UK travellers are becoming more reluctant to create new bookings amid increasing uncertainty around Omicron.

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