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Travel

Government issues warning to travellers heading to Greece for a holiday

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The government has revealed new advice for Brits heading over to Greece as restrictions tighten in the country. 

In one of the country’s holiday islands, Poros, there has been a new coronavirus outbreak meaning new strict measures and restrictions have been put in place.  

Around 30 cases of the virus have been reported on the small island. 

Travel between the UK and Poros is currently still allowed, but travellers are warned of a new range of measures which will change your holiday. 

All restaurants and food shops will be closed between 11pm and 7am on the Island. Holiday makers are also warned that groups who can eat together are limited to a maximum number of four, or six if they are all related. 

The number of people meeting in either public or private spaces has also been limited now to a max of nine people. 

The new restrictions also see religious ceremonies, parties and open markets all suspended. 

All holiday makers must wear face masks indoors and outdoors, excluding private areas such as your hotel room.

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The country is still on the ‘safe list’, meaning you won’t have to quarantine when you arrive to the island or return back to the UK currently.

The Foreign Office has warned that large fines are in place for rule breakers, including additional compliance patrols on the islands.

A Passenger Locator Form must be filled in by holidaymakers travelling to Greece at least 24 hours before travel. 

The FCO advises: “Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, €500 (£450) fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.”

You may also be required to take a Covid-19 test when you arrive as part of a health screening process. This may mean you have to self-isolate during the time you are awaiting test results, however this is usually within 24 hours.

Find out more here. 

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Travellers arriving in UK without negative Covid test fined £500 then let in anyway

Anyone arriving in the UK must now show a negative Covid test

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The new rules for travellers came into effect at the start of the week, with people entering the UK now required to show proof of a negative Covid test.

But according to reports, some passengers have been turning up without a valid negative coronavirus test, and are being fined £500 each and allowed to enter the country by Border Force.

Speaking to the Mail Online, the Home Office confirmed that anyone who arrives without the necessary proof will be fined but still let into the country – although they are required to quarantine for ten days.

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People have been facing two hour queues as they arrived into the country due to the new checks, although some passengers claimed there was a complete lack of social distancing.

Gabrielle Rivers, a research fellow at Oxford University, told The Times after arriving from Washington: “I don’t know how they would expect old people to cope. They are crowding people together in tight spaces. If we didn’t have Covid then, we will now. It was very rammed.”

Journalist Graeme Culliford, arriving from Dubai, added: “It took a while because of the queues at customs. I suspected they would not check for negative Covid tests but they did. They were very thorough in the end.

“There were a few altercations between passengers and border officials and at one point I heard one official say he’d fined three people £500 already for not having proof of a test.”

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Following the government’s suspension of travel corridors, anyone arriving in the UK – including British citizens – must now have a negative test and quarantine on arrival.

These measures were brought in to stop the spread of new coronavirus variants, including the ones that have originated in South African and Brazil. 

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Spain’s new tourism plan will let Brits holiday without restrictions in a matter of months

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Spain has revealed when it will be reopening to British holidaymakers with restriction-free travel. 

In a bid to boost tourism and welcome tourists back to Spain the country has launched a campaign that should reassure travellers it’s safe to visit. 

Currently, Spain remains off the UK travel corridor list meaning arrivals from the country will have to self-isolate on entry to Britain (excluding the Canary Islands).

Visitors must present a negative Covid-19 test no more than 72 hours on arrival to enter the country.

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The latest €2 million campaign hopes to welcome visitors without restrictions by the end of March, reports the MEN.

There will be a daily updated ‘Travel Safe’ section on the spain.info website which will have measures in individual regions including, for example, restaurant capacities. 

The Turespaña strategy will continue while coronavirus restrictions remain, already welcome in popular destinations including Menorca and Ibiza. 

The Balearic Islands are expected to be the first to welcome restriction-free travel. The Balearic tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, told local media: “First of all, however, there is the task of positioning, selling and explaining to the world that the islands are a safe destination.”

See the Covid-19 measures in Spain here.  

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Manchester Airport opens brand new Covid-19 testing facility for passengers

It’s set to make travel easier.

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Manchester Airport

Manchester Airport has launched a new Covid-19 testing facility today, as part of a move by its parent company the Manchester Airports Group (MAG) in partnership with travel medical provider Collinson.

This means the full range of tests – RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, Rapid Antigen and Antibody – will be available to all passengers in a brand new facility just outside of the main terminal building.

MAG has also become the first operator to give passengers the chance to book discounted pre-flight testing appointments on the high street, at selected Boots stores in the UK.

Manchester Airport

The news means passengers using Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands Airports will be given maximum flexibility when planning their trips, and comes in the week that the UK Government lifts England’s international travel ban.

Certain governments currently allow pre-departure tests in order to shorten or completely alleviate quarantine requirements in the destination country, while others require them in order to gain entry.  

Passengers will also now be able to book any tests they need to shorten their self-isolation period upon return under the UK Government’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme.

The scheme, announced last week, will launch on December 15th and allows travellers arriving from higher risk countries to reduce their period of quarantine by taking a test five days after they arrive in the UK.

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‘Test to Release’ follows in the footsteps of a number of countries who are already offering quarantine-free inbound travel to those able to provide evidence of a negative test.

Boots offers an in-store RT-PCR Covid-19 testing service – which returns results within 48 hours – from more than 50 stores across the UK, specifically for customers who do not suspect they have Covid-19.

MAG passengers will be able to access a 5% discount, which customers can access through the airport’s website.

Airport testing prices through Collinson start at £40 for Antibody tests, £50 for Antigen tests, £79 for RT-LAMP tests and £99 for RT-PCR tests.

Manchester Airport

Managing Director of Manchester Airport, Karen Smart, said: “As the UK emerges from a ban on international travel, we know our passengers are keen to start flying again, but that many of Manchester Airport’s most popular destinations, such as the Canary Islands, require a negative test before you arrive.

“This new facility will make the process of showing you’re infection-free when planning and booking a holiday as easy and cost-effective as possible in the current circumstances. Our new booking platform makes it easy to select the right test for your destination, and at the location that is most convenient for you.

“Located right by the terminal building means passengers can either opt for a test on the day of departure before they go through security, or visit in the run up to their journey at a time to suit them.

“This also means Manchester is perfectly placed to support the introduction of a UK arrivals testing regime, which will enable travellers to reduce the length of time they need to self-isolate if they test negative after five days.

“This is the latest example of MAG leading the way as we look to work with Government and the rest of our industry to get Britain flying again.”

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