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Travel

Martin Lewis issues new holiday warning as airlines give travel updates

The Money Saving Expert has issued an urgent warning

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Martin Lewis has issued a warning to anybody planning on booking a summer holiday.

It comes after transport secretary Grant Shapps and Boris Johnson warned last week it is ‘too soon’ to start booking holidays domestically or internationally.

Appearing on his ITV show, the Martin Lewis Money Show, the finance expert dished out some important advice for those looking to book a holiday.

Speaking on the show, Martin said: “So it is up to you whether you book or not but we do not know what the future situation is going to be.

“I can’t tell you whether you will be able to get a refund on that holiday or not. Insurance certainly won’t cover it.

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“It depends on the travel firm or company’s policy. Only book now if you could afford to lose the money.

“I would only book now if you have some travel guarantee that you will get the money back.

“But we will know at the time, it only crystalises if at that time you cannot get on holiday, then the process will come into play.

“But we do not know currently – was it May she was going away in, Angellica? – yes, May. We do not know if we will be able to go on holiday or blocked from travel.”

The Liverpool ECHO has reported the following latest updates from TUI, EasyJet, Ryanair and Jet2…

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EasyJet
The company is planning to operate as many flights as possible at the moment. If your trip is cancelled you will be notified directly and informed of your options. 

They said: “Due to a number of governments imposing travel entry bans on flights arriving from certain countries, or imposing travel restrictions on passengers who are non-residents or non-citizens of the respective countries, we appreciate the uncertainty this may be causing you and understand that you may wish to change your travel plans.”

TUI
Bosses are hopeful that holidaymakers will return for the summer season with plans to operate at 80% capacity this summer.

The travel agent confirmed they have 2.8 million bookings for later in the year. Adding that there will be ‘significant upside anticipated’ should restrictions lift by Easter.

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Ryanair
The £0 flight change fee for all customers has been extended to March 31st 2021 plus two booking date moves until October 31st 2021. 

A Ryanair’s Spokesperson said: “If your plans change, so can your booking. To provide as much flexibility and confidence as possible for Ryanair customers, we have extended our zero euro flight change fee for all bookings made in January, February and March.

“Mindful that Covid restrictions change regularly, Ryanair is now allowing up to two free flight date changes on all such bookings up until October 31 2021.

“Customers can now book flights to see family & friends this Easter or book a well-deserved Summer 2021 break with confidence knowing that if they need to postpone or change their travel dates, they can do so with a € zero change fee until the end of October 2021.”

Jet2
The holiday giant has suspended all flights until mid-April at the earliest following travel restrictions by the government. 

Anyone with bookings before April 14th will automatically have their booking cancelled with a full refund issued. 

Jet2 said in a statement today: “Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and government travel restrictions, we’ve taken the decision to extend the suspension of all flights up to and including April 14, 2021.

“Please note, our flights to Iceland are suspended up to and including April 26, 2021.”

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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Travel

British tourists visiting Spain will need to prove they can spend £85 a day

A number of Spanish resorts are also restricting alcohol consumption among British tourists

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Tourists heading to Spain this summer will need to prove they have adequate spending money under new travel restrictions.

Holiday-goers will now be required to prove they can spend at least €100 (£85) a day for the duration of their holiday. They may also need to provide evidence of a return flight or onward ticket, as well as proof of accommodation while on holiday.

These requirements follow a U-turn on Spain’s decision to ease airport congestion for holidaymakers by allowing all UK passport-holders to use automatic e-gates to enter the country.

British travel firms have criticised the tough new policies, arguing that Brits contribute hugely to the large tourism market.

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The Spanish Ministry del Interior said on the new entry requirements: “Foreigners from third countries must prove – if required to do so by the officials in charge of controlling the entry of people into Spanish territory – that they have economic resources for entering the country.

“This could be through cash, traveller’s cheques, payment letters, or credit cards, which must also be proven to have sufficient funds available on them.”

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

The UK Foreign Office added: “At Spanish border control, you may need to show a return or onward ticket, show you have enough money for your stay, show proof of accommodation for your stay, for example, a hotel booking confirmation, proof of address if visiting your own property, or an invitation from your host or proof of their address if staying with a third party, friends or family.

“The Spanish government has clarified that the ‘carta de invitation’ is one of the options available to prove that you have accommodation if staying with friends or family.

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“Tourists may also be asked to provide evidence that they are able to spend a minimum of €100 each day of their holiday, equating to £85.22 plus an additional minimum of €900.”

British tourists are also reminded to check their passport stamps to see if they enter or exit the EU Schengen area through Spain as a visitor.

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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