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Travel

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.

Manchester Airport

‘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.”

Travel

You can hire a huge party house with its own nightclub and games arcade near Manchester

The property can sleep up to 26 people across 13 en-suite bedrooms

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The Travel Chapter

If you’re looking for a quick getaway with your mates, look no further.

Just a stone’s throw away from Manchester in Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, stands a secluded party house complete with its very own nightclub and games arcade.

The property, available from just £75 per person per night, can sleep up to twenty-six people across thirteen en-suite bedrooms, all of which are accessible from an external and spacious courtyard.

The Travel Chapter

The Travel Chapter

The courtyard boasts a pond and picnic areas for the warmer months, and hot tubs for the chillier winter evenings.

Inside, there are a mix of double and twin bedrooms, with the en-suite bathrooms featuring luxury toiletries and a rainfall shower.

Concierge service can also be arranged, with a whole host of services ranging from a private chef, live entertainment, spa treatments and even a Turkish barber available to attend the property.

But the undisputed selling point of the property is its own private nightclub, which comes complete with a built-in sound system, disco lights and a bar area with a fully-functioning beer dispense system.

The Travel Chapter

The Travel Chapter

There’s also a fully-functional games room boasting classics like air hockey, pinball, driving games and two retro arcade machines.

The property’s listing page describes the property as being the perfect venue for stag-dos, hen parties, or company team-building events, as well as for family and friend getaways.

To see the property’s availability and to get it booked, click here.

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Travel

New date set for when UK tourists will need to pay to enter Spain, Greece and Portugal

Here’s everything you need to know…

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The date for when British tourists will have to pay to enter European holiday hotspots has changed, the European Union has confirmed.

It was originally announced that anyone from the UK travelling to one of the twenty-six countries in the Schengen States will have to apply and pay for a visa from September 2023. 

However, the launch of the new European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) has been delayed, with it now being expected to come into force from November 2023.

From then, any British tourist travelling to any of the twenty-six Schengen State countries will have to apply via an official website and/or app for mobile devices with a fee of €7.

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The ETIAS has been designed to enhance security and enforce the borders of the Schengen zone, which includes popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy.

They will be required for anyone over the age of eighteen and under the age of seventy travelling to one of the countries, whether it be by airplane, boat or car.

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

Tourists will need a passport or equivalent document to apply, and it’s estimated that for the majority of people, ETIAS will be approved within minutes.

However, those who are flagged as a potential risk could face a wait of up to ninety-six hours.

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

There are 26 countries in the Schengen Area, all of which will fall under the new visa system:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

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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Travel

Spain issues update on £85 a day rule for British tourists

According to officials, it isn’t a new rule…

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Spanish officials have addressed the controversy surrounding the country’s new policy regarding British tourists’ spending money.

According to various reports last week, holiday-goers are now required to prove they can spend at least €100 (£85) a day for the duration of their holiday.

It was also suggested that tourists will need to provide evidence of a return flight or onward ticket, as well as proof of accommodation while on holiday.

A number of British travel firms criticised the alleged new policy, arguing that Brits contribute hugely to the large tourism market.

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But now, Spanish officials have dismissed these reports and clarified which rules British tourists need to be aware of.

A statement on behalf of the Spanish Tourist Office said the rule was not new and had in fact been in force since January 1st. It added that the regulations were not confined to Spain and applied to visitors from most nations outside the EU-Schengen border-free travel area.

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

Manuel Butler, the Spanish Tourist Office director, said: “The requirement for UK travellers to be able to illustrate sufficient means for the duration of their stay and the return is established in the Schengen Borders Code and is not a Spain-specific requirement.

“This is not a new requirement and has been in place for some time for visitors from outside of the European Union or Schengen area. When entering Spain, these checks are not systematically carried out for every traveller.

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“Likewise, travellers coming to the UK are also required to show that they have specific means to support themselves and any dependents for the duration of the trip and the ability to pay for the return or onward journey.”

The UK Foreign Office guidelines states: “Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area.

“If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.”

Read more about the government’s entry advice for Spain here.

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