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Airlines including Ryanair, Jet2 and easyJet give new updates on when flights will resume

Fingers crossed!



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Ryanair, TUI, easyJet, Jet2 and other airlines have released more updates on the likelihood of holidays going ahead.  

Many people are wondering when they will be able to go on holiday again, especially as we’ve been in the midst of a thunderstorm all week and are craving some sun.

Major airlines are providing new updates to the dates and lifting of travel restrictions each week, and a number are now planning a gradual return. 

This week, easyJet has resumed flights across the UK and France and it looks like many others will ramp up their flights over the next few weeks too.

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However, the UK Foreign Office’s warning regarding non-essential travel remains the same – that all international travel other than essential travel is advised against. 

The government has also now imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine policy for anybody arriving in the UK. 

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was asked on BBC Breakfast why Brits aren’t being questioned for leaving the country. He said: “That is a fundamental misunderstanding of Foreign Office travel advice.

“We – based on the risk to UK travellers abroad because of terrorism or because of Covid-19 or the vulnerability of the systems in the country – give advice.”

He added that the final decision of travel is for the traveller themselves to make. 

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TUI had previously announced that it would be restarting travel on July 1st, however this has been pushed back a further nine days with trips on or before July 10th being cancelled.  

The tour operator has revealed that they are confident things will restart soon with partial operations this summer. They also revealed that winter holidays are up by 6% and summer 2021 looks promising. 

Jet2 has recently pushed back restarting flights from June 17th to July 1st. However, the most recent updates look to July 15th as the date operations will commence. 

The company said in a statement: “Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we’ve decided to recommence our flights programme on 15 July 2020. If you’re travelling before this date, unfortunately, your booking will be affected as our flights won’t be operating.

Ryanair has said that 40% of its regular flight schedule will resume on July 1st, with CEO Eddie Wilson saying: “Ryanair will be offering up to 1,000 daily flights from 1 July, and we have a range of low fare seat sales, perfect for that summer getaway, which we know many parents and their kids will be looking forward to as we move out of lockdown and into the school holidays.”

He continued: “All Ryanair flights will operate with new health guidelines in place, which will require all passengers (and Ryanair crews) to wear face masks at all times in the airport terminals and on board our aircraft, in compliance with EU guidelines.

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easyJet restarted some domestic flights on June 15th within the UK and France. They state that almost half their routes will be open by the end of July and a further 25% by the end of August. 

Between July and September flights will be at a lower frequency than normal, meaning easyJet will be operating at around 30% its normal capacity. 

Virgin Atlantic has announced its plans to restart passenger flights on July 20th, with flights from London Heathrow to Orlando, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York and Los Angeles. More destinations are expected to be added in August.

Norwegian has announced that flights to and from UK airports will begin on July 1st on four main routes that will connect Gatwick and Edinburgh with Oslo and Copenhagen. 

The airline’s chief executive, Jacob Schram, said: “Feedback from our customers has shown that they are keen to get back in the air and resume their travels with Norwegian beyond the current domestic services that we have been operating.”

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Air Malta is set to commence its summer schedule on July 1st flying to 22 destinations within Europe. Flights from Manchester Airport will begin in August.

There will be flights to Rome, Lyon, Marseille, Catania, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Vienna, Zurich, Geneva, and Prague. From July 15th there will also be operating flights to Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, London Heathrow, Lisbon, Madrid, Palermo, Paris Charles De Gaulle and Orly.


Chester Zoo unveils plans for overnight safari lodges with giraffe feeding stations

The grounds will boast an authentic Savannah-style habitat where giraffes can roam freely



Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo has today unveiled plans to open a range of overnight safari lodges overlooking spectacular animal habitats.

The conservationist zoo has resubmitted plans to build the lodges in a grasslands zone next to the A41 Moston Road on the approach to the car park, an area that is currently land owned but not actively used by the zoo.

The original plan for forty-two lodges and tents was submitted and approved in 2019, but never went ahead thanks to issues caused by the 2020 Covid pandemic.

But now, Chester Zoo has submitted a revised plan for sixty-three lodges of varying style and size to be built around the perimeter of a ‘large body of water’, alongside a restaurant, bar and wildlife pond.

Chester Zoo

According to the planning documents, an authentic Savannah-style habitat will be created within the grounds, meaning many guests will be able to see giraffes grazing right by their windows.

To maintain this habitat, trees appropriate for the African savannah landscape will be sporadically planted, while a denser and greener islands zone will be created to provide greater species diversity for wildlife.

Read More: Chester Zoo officially crowned best large visitor attraction in the country

There will also be two giraffe feeding stations extending out to the Bachelor Giraffe paddock, with one being accessible to all guests and the other a private viewing and feeding area for two of the lodges.

An ‘island’ space in the centre of the new lake would act as a focal point for events, social gatherings, functions and storytelling.

Chester Zoo

The on-site restaurant would seat up to 120 people and have breakfast, lunch and dinner services, with the first-floor views overlooking the lake and the giraffe enclosure.

Guests will be able to stay overnight in a number of four and six-person lodges, all of which will include a variety of king size beds and bunk beds.

Chester Zoo has since been given the green light for its revised proposal, and it is hoped that the lodges will be complete by mid-2023.

Make sure to head over to the Chester Zoo website for news and updates.

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UK tourists will have to pay to visit Europe next year under new visa rules

The new system will come into force next year



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UK tourists will have to pay to enter Europe next year thanks to the introduction of a new visa system.

Travellers will have to pay a fee for a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), an electronic permit designed to enhance security and enforce the borders of the Schengen zone.

The ETIAS will be required for anyone over the age of eighteen and under the age of seventy travelling to a European country, whether it be by airplane, boat or car.

It will even be required for those only transiting through Europe.

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The visa applications will ask questions regarding identity, passports, education, jobs, recent travel and any criminal convictions.

This new visa system will also replace the current system of passports being stamped, with the new visa documents to be scanned electronically instead.

Read More: Airline issues warning to Brits travelling to Spain over new alcohol restrictions

ETIAS registration is set to become mandatory in 2023, though there will be a six month transition period to allow travellers to become familiar with the new entry requirements.

The application form is said to be relatively straight forward, and it estimated to take around ten minutes to complete online. It must be completed at least ninety-six hours before departure.

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An ETIAS will reportedly cost €7 (£5), with successful applicants being permitted to travel within the Schengen Zone for up to ninety days per 180-day period.

The visa will remain valid for three years and for multiple trips to Europe, with people who apply during the transition period being permitted to use the permit for the next three years, unless their passport expires.

For more information and to see if you’re eligible to apply for the new ETIAS visa, visit the official ETIAS website here.

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Passport warning issued as travellers told not to book holidays

Thanks to the pandemic, people are experiencing massive delays on their passport renewals



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Hopeful holidaymakers have been urged to check their passports as ‘one million holidays’ hang in the balance.

During the Covid pandemic, millions of British passports expired, meaning that many families are now being made to wait much longer than the recommended 5-6 weeks to get their renewed passports back.

Because of this, the government has issued a warning to those planning on getting away this year, stressing that people should not book any holidays until they have their passports back.

The website states: “It is important to stress, you should not book travel until you have a valid passport – your new passport will not have the same passport number as your old one.”

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The Home Office has also warned Brits to leave more than the recommended ten weeks to get their passports back due to the increased demand.

The website says: “Customers can also help to ensure there are no delays with their application, such as using a high quality photo with a digital code, applying online and applying for a new passport more than ten weeks before they are due to travel.”

Recent reviews on Passport Waiting Time, a site that tracks consumers’ waiting time during applications, has demonstrated the inconsistent and lengthy wait times for a new passport.

One user’s review from last month says she had to wait for more than twelve weeks for two of her family’s passports to be renewed.

She wrote: “Applied for my two children’s renewal 17 Jan and currently still in the processing stage.

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“I made four applications in Jan and have received two out of four of them. The two I received came within a few weeks, so I don’t understand why it is taking so long.”

And the issue has only been exacerbated further by a rule enforced by a number of different countries requiring travellers to have at least six months left on their passport. 

Under this guidance, passports must be valid for another six months before they depart for international travel to countries such as the UAE, Saint Lucia, Singapore and Thailand. 

For more passport rules and information, visit the website.

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