Welcome to the September edition of the newsletter, with another month of positive news on the travel front.
More countries are going green for travel and the government seem to be sticking with their decisions rather than opening places up and then closing them down two days later! We have a summary of the current state of play later. Regular readers will know that I try not to be political. In fact we have a simple rule on tour: "No politics, no religion and no mucky talk". It leaves some of us with very little to talk about.
We are all very excited here at Crossings as we are finally getting away on an overseas tour. We head off to Provence & The Ardeche at the weekend with a group of very enthusiastic fellow travellers. You can read all about it in next month's newsletter. It will be great to be able to write a tour report again.
We would like to offer a warm welcome to everyone who signed up at the Norfolk Show and to all our regulars who make the event a bit of a reunion. Although the show was not as big as normal in terms of exhibitors, there were lots of visitors, all keen to get out and about after lockdown.
We have another great one-pot recipe and this month's motorhoming tips are all about the GHIC/EHIC health card.
Outlook for travel 2021 and 2022
The news at the moment is very positive in terms of travel for this year and into the 2022 season. The UK vaccination programme appears to be working well and the other EU nations are now catching us up after a slow start, In fact, six European countries have now overtaken the UK in terms of double jabs.
Many countries are now fully open for tourism and have gone green including some of our regular haunts including Austria and Croatia. Even more are going amber. The rules for green and amber countries are in fact very similar.
As things stand, for green and amber countries, tourism is welcomed with no quarantine required. If you are double jabbed you need to prove your vaccination status, which can be done through the NHS app, or an NHS letter. Apart from that you have to fill in a form when you arrive and one when you leave. All of that is quite easy, and free.
At the moment you still need to have COVID tests before you head back for the UK and another one when you get home. The good news is that the price of these has dropped dramatically and will probably continue to so do. We have just booked our two tests for the French trip and they cost £80 per person. Both tests can be self-administered with the results sent by email, so no need to go to any testing centres.
As we move into 2022 we suspect the requirement to test will be reduced, or go away completely. We anticipate almost every country in Europe moving onto the green list. This will probably happen once the world is sure that the vaccination programme is working as well as it seems to be.
So all-in-all, we are feeling very positive about the future. We want to thank our loyal customers who have stuck with us during all of the uncertainty. We would remind you that we will be honouring the prices that you booked at, so even if you transferred from 2020 and are not travelling until 2022, you will only pay 2020 prices. We will also be keeping our COVID Guarantee in place for the whole of 2022 (just in case).
If you have not yet booked for 2022, our tours are are on the website here. Please contact us for availability or feel free to call for an informal chat.
Coq au Van (the amusingly titled recipe feature)
One pot sticky salmon
4 x 200g skinless salmon fillets 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh navel orange juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, halved
2 x 250g packets microwave brown rice and quinoa mix
1 navel orange, halved, very thinly sliced
Fresh mint leaves, to serve
Season salmon with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add salmon. Cook for 3 minutes each side or until browned.
Meanwhile, combine cornflour, garlic, fennel seeds, stock, orange juice and maple syrup in a medium jug. Season with salt and pepper. Add maple mixture to pan. Sprinkle with asparagus. Cook for 4 minutes or until salmon is cooked as desired and sauce thickens.
Meanwhile, cook rice mix following packet directions. Top salmon with sliced orange. Sprinkle with mint. Serve with rice mix.
Since we Brexited a few things have changed (although not that much to be honest). As we exited the EU with a deal, we still have reciprocal agreements with EU nations in terms of healthcare.
Originally we had the E111 card, which became the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card). This is now being replaced by the GHIC (Global Health Insurance Card).
Both cards work in the same way in that you can present them if you need medical help in an EU country. In theory you do not then have to pay for treatment. In practice, you often have to pay and then claim it back when you get home. Either way, it takes the worry out of seeking medical help where you need it in an emergency.
If you have an EHIC it is still valid until the expiry date at which point you need to apply for a GHIC. We recommend doing this well in advance of your trip. Also, the EHIC/GHIC does NOT replace the need to travel insurance, which covers you for many more things than the card.
More information: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-uk-global-health-insurance-card-ghic/
Keep in touch
Please feel free to contact us at any time. When we are away, calls will bounce to our mobiles at no expense to yourself.