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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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MartinSLewis/Twitter & Markus Winkler/Unsplash

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.

Simon Maage / Unsplash

“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…

Call Me Fred / Unsplash

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.

Markus Winkler / Unsplash

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

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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Caspar Rae & John McArthur / Unsplash

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.”

Ethan Wilkinson / Unsplash

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.

Ethan Wilkinson / Unsplash

“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 Gov.uk website.

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Travel

Airline issues warning to Brits travelling to Spain over new alcohol restrictions

Alcoholic drinks will be restricted for tourists in a number of hotels across the Balearic Islands

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@boothyadventures / Instagram & RawPixel

Those planning a boozy all-inclusive trip to Spain this summer might want to rethink their plans thanks to the country’s new alcohol regulations.

A warning has been issued to holiday-makers who have booked all-inclusive trips to certain parts of Spain enforcing a new ‘alcohol cap‘ in a crackdown on drunken behaviour.

Thomas Cook sent out an email to its customers this week to remind them that hotels in Magaluf, Majorca and some parts of Ibiza are enforcing the new rule, which will see Brits be limited to a certain number of alcoholic drinks throughout the day.

The email read: “Please be advised that a decree has been issued by the Balearic Government on a new restriction for All Inclusive meal option.

Piqsels

“There is a maximum of six alcoholic drinks per person per day that can be served and these drinks will be provided only during lunch and dinner ( 3 each).”

The Balearic government has banned pub crawls, the sale of alcohol in shops between 9.30pm and 8am, and advertisements for party boats in some areas.

Balearic Islands Tourism minister Iago Negueruela has previously said on the matter: “We want British tourists – we don’t want this type of tourism.

“British tourism is essential for our islands. We share with the British government the view that some images of British tourists are embarrassing.

RawPixel

“We want to put a stop to bad behaviour. We will increase the police presence in these areas and the number of inspectors – we will have zero tolerance for tourism excesses.”

Plans to stamp down on public drunkenness and antisocial behaviour in the Balearic Islands have been in the works for quite some time now, with Mallorca’s former politician Jose Ramon Bauza slamming Magaluf’s party strip Punta Ballena as ‘500 metres of shame’.

Most of the new restrictions did come into place in 2020, but due to the Covid pandemic, most holiday-goers are only now discovering them.

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Travel

Greece to scrap all Covid travel restrictions this week ahead of summer holidays

Good news for those wanting a summer holiday this year…

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Thomas Oldenburger & James Ting / Unsplash

Greece will be scrapping all remaining Covid travel restrictions this week in a last-minute attempt to boost tourism.

From May 1st, all arrivals in Greece will no longer be required to provide evidence of vaccination, recovery from Covid, or a test to enter the country, regardless of their vaccination status. 

Brits will no longer need to present a Covid vaccination certificate to enter bars, restaurants and other attractions either.

Face mask rules are also expected to be relaxed by June. 

Johnny Africa / Unsplash

Last month, Greece also scrapped the requirement for Passenger Locator Forms, making it easier for Brits to travel to the country.

However, the lifting of these measures will be re-evaluated in September – after the peak tourist season – and could be reintroduced if cases spike.

Minister of Health Thanos Plevris said in a statement: “According to the epidemiological data and the suggestions of the experts, we are announcing the roadmap for the de-escalation of the measures against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“All measures will be reviewed on September 1st, depending on the picture of the pandemic.”

Greece is one of the first countries to drop all Covid travel requirements for tourists this summer, with other popular destinations still requiring proof of vaccination status or Covid recovery.

James Ting / Unsplash

In Spain, holidaymakers will need to show proof of either being fully vaccinated or having recently recovered from Covid.

To be considered as fully vaccinated, travellers will need to have completed a full vaccination course at least fourteen days before travel – if they completed this nine months before travelling to Spain, they will need a booster jab to qualify as fully vaccinated.

Though Spain did recently ease its restrictions on unvaccinated teenagers aged between twelve and seventeen, who now only require a negative Covid test rather than a vaccination certificate.

They have also dropped a number of other restrictions such as mask wearing outdoors.

 

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