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Travel

Spain says when UK tourists will be allowed back after lockdown

Big news for holidaymakers…

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The Spanish Government has set a rough date for reopening the borders to UK tourists with no quarantine period. 

As it currently stands, anyone arriving in Spain faces a 14-day quarantine, which has made holidays virtually impossible. 

The government has now announced that it aims to reopen borders to visitors around the end of June, as part of unwinding the lockdown.

Credit: Willian Justen de Vasconcellos / Unsplash

Different regions of Spain are easing restrictions in different phases. Last week Madrid imposed a two-week quarantine on all overseas travellers to avoid importing a second wave of Covid-19. 

Madrid’s move is supposedly temporary, and will eventually phase out in parallel with travel within Spain. 

Spain has been one of the worst hit nations by coronavirus with more than 213,000 cases and 27,600 deaths. However, the country reported last Sunday the lowest daily number of deaths, 87,  since March 16th.

Credit: Drew Graham / Unsplash

Other European countries have begun to reopen their borders, including Austria and Germany who plan to have them fully open by June 15th.

Switzerland, Lichtenstein and some eastern European nations have begun trialling staggered reopening. 

Greece has phased reopenings of ancient sites, high schools, shopping centres and mainland travel. The country has a 14-day quarantine for arrivals still in place.

In other countries, Ireland has begun to reopen stores and Italy and the Vatican have resumed public masses. 

Travel

UK tourists will need to pay to enter popular holiday destinations like Spain and Greece

Here’s everything you need to know

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@raecaspar / Unsplash & Julian Dik / Unsplash

UK tourists will have to fork out to visit a number of holiday hot spots next year thanks to the introduction of a new visa system.

The EU’s visa waiver policy will come into force from May 2023, meaning British visitors will need to pay for an electronic permit.

The European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS), is designed to enhance security and enforce the borders of the Schengen zone, which includes popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Greece, Portugal and Italy.

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.

Eugene Zhyvchik / Unsplash

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.

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.

Julian Dik / Unsplash

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.

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

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

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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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Travel

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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David Švihovec / Unsplash

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.

Eugene Zhyvchik / Unsplash

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.

Marty Sakin / Unsplash

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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