And for our next trick, we’ll turn 18 days of paid annual leave into a whopping 45 days off…
Updated on 11 August: Holidays may have become something of a distant memory thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, but things are slowly but surely getting better; indeed, the government’s latest traffic light review has seen many more countries added to the quarantine-free travel register.
Which countries are on the green list?
All of the countries now on the green list are:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- Israel and Jerusalem
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn Islands
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- Turks and Caicos Islands
What are the green list rules?
These changes mean that holidaymakers returning from the above countries need not quarantine; instead, they must take just one post-arrival PCR test – although, as ever, all of the above is still subject to change.
Of course, Brits should absolutely check the entry requirements of green list countries, as the agreement for quarantine-free restrictions is not reciprocal: Austria, for example, is still banning British holidaymakers, along with Norway, Australia and Bulgaria. Croatia and Malta, meanwhile, require all visitors to be fully vaccinated in order to avoid quarantine.
Are the rules subject to change?
Speaking to Sky News, travel secretary Grant Shapps said: “It is possible in this pandemic for things to move and change quickly… [however, these changes also] mean there is a little bit of relief for the travel industry and for people who wish to get away.
“It won’t be quite like it was in 2019 and the old days, but we are moving in a positive direction.”
As reported on 4 June: Considering the uncertainty still involved in booking a holiday abroad for 2021, it’s understandable that so many are looking ahead to 2022 when it comes to booking vacations and time off.
Now, before we jump forward in time to 2022, we’d like to stress that it’s important to use your annual leave this year, even if you can’t jet off somewhere sunny. Because, just as psychotherapist Lucinda Gordon Lennox explains to Stylist, we still need to sit back, relax, recharge, and stop treating life like a sprint.
“We’ve been making everything work exactly as it would have done had we not been in a pandemic. That works for a sprint period, but it’s now becoming evident that perhaps we’re in a marathon, not a sprint. And what’s the first thing we change when we’re in a marathon instead of a sprint? We slow down,” she says.
With this in mind, then, we have some very good news for you: thanks to a perfect alignment of bank holidays in 2022, you can transform just 28 days of annual leave into a whopping 45 days off.
That’s 45 days to slow down, 45 days away from the stresses of the workplace, and 48 days of rest and recovery.
Above all else, though that’s 45 days of sweet, sweet freedom.
So, what do we need to do to achieve this?
Let’s break it down.
How to maximise your Easter break in 2022
Next year sees Good Friday fall on 15 April, and Easter Monday on 18 April. If your employer closes on weekends and bank holidays, this means that you can land yourself 10 days off work – using just four days of your allotted annual leave allowance.
How? By booking off 19, 20, 21 and 22 April, of course.
Check it out:
- Friday 15 April: Bank holiday
- Saturday 16 April: Weekend
- Sunday 17 April: Weekend
- Monday 18 April: Bank holiday
- Tuesday 19 April: Annual leave
- Wednesday 20 April: Annual leave
- Thursday 21 April: Annual leave
- Friday 22 April: Annual leave
- Saturday 23 April: Weekend
- Sunday 24 April: Weekend
Lovely stuff, right?
Now, let’s maximise the May bank holiday…
Next year’s Early May bank holiday falls on 2 May, which means savvy holidaymakers can transform four days of annual leave into a delicious nine. How, you ask? By doing the following…
- Saturday 30 April: Weekend
- Sunday 1 May: Weekend
- Monday 2 May: Bank Holiday
- Tuesday 3 May: Annual leave
- Wednesday 4 May: Annual leave
- Thursday 5 May: Annual leave
- Friday 6 May: Annual leave
- Saturday 7 May: Weekend
- Sunday 8 May: Weekend
Got it? Go, go, go!
How to make the most of the Platinum Jubilee bank holiday
A four-day bank holiday weekend will mark the Queen’s platinum jubilee next summer to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years on the throne. So, yes, booking in three days of annual leave means you can max that out to a sweet week off work.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Monday 30 May: Annual leave
- Tuesday 31 May: Annual leave
- Wednesday 1 June: Annual leave
- Thursday 2 June: Bank holiday
- Friday 3 June: Bank holiday
- Saturday 4 June: Weekend
- Sunday 5 June: Weekend
And what about the August bank holiday?
The summer bank holiday falls on 29 August next year, so you know what that means…
- 27 August: Weekend
- 28 August: Weekend
- 29 August: Bank holiday
- 30 August: Annual leave
- 31 August: Annual leave
- 1 September: Annual leave
- 2 September: Annual leave
- 3 September: Weekend
- 4 September: Weekend
And, just like that, four days of annual leave becomes a sweet nine days off. You’re welcome.
How to boost your Christmas holiday allowance
We’re not done, folks; 2022 sees Christmas Day fall on a Sunday, which means we get a substitute bank holiday the following Tuesday (just after Boxing Day on the Monday). This, combined with the fact New Year’s Day is on a Saturday, means that all you need to do is book off 28, 29, and 30 December.
This will grant you a pretty nifty 10 days off in a row (for the price of three): you’ll head home for the holidays after work on Friday 23 December, and you won’t need to be back at your desk until Tuesday 3 January.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Saturday 24 December: Weekend
- Sunday 25 December: Christmas Day (weekend)
- Monday 26 December: Bank holiday (Boxing Day)
- Tuesday 27 December: Bank holiday
- Wednesday 28 December: Annual leave
- Thursday 29 December: Annual leave
- Friday 30 December: Annual leave
- Saturday 31 December: Weekend
- Sunday 1 January: Weekend
- Monday 2 January: Bank holiday
Perfect for some much needed R&R after the decadence of the festive season, eh?
A word of caution; before you rush to book all these days off (and you should rush, because we bet plenty of your co-workers will want to take advantage of these bank holiday bonanzas, too), please do check your employer’s policies on annual leave.
It’s worth remembering that they don’t actually have to give you paid leave on bank or public holidays. Find out more about what you’re entitled to on the Gov.uk website now.
Please be aware that this article was originally written on 4 June, but has been updated throughout to ensure all information is up-to-date and correct,