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Travel

You could be able to go on a staycation from early July under further lockdown easing

Fingers crossed…

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Brits may be able to visit hotels and holiday parks as early as July 4th as ministers make efforts to start the holiday season.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to make big announcements to lockdown easing on Tuesday, June 23rd, which might include the possibility of ‘staycation’ trips. 

The domestic travel industry which creates, on average, £130bn a year had to close like many other industries due to the coronavirus pandemic. The government has yet to announce an official reopening date for the industry.

However, Whitehall officials have been told to prepare for the announcement tomorrow, according to The Mail on Sunday.

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Former Environment Minister Owen Paterson told the Mail on Sunday: “To have any hope of saving this summer season for our tourist industry, the Government must announce this week what the arrangements will be for reopening on July 4.

Mr Paterson added: “The Government must say this week that there will be a reduction in the social distancing guidance to one metre. Everything depends on that.

“People are not going to go to restaurants, pubs and holiday parks in our beautiful tourist areas unless we cut the rule to one metre. If we don’t, large numbers of hospitality businesses just will not survive. The Government must also say that the quarantine arrangements will end on July 4, too.”

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Boris Johnson is said to be on the brink of easing the two-metre social distancing rule, telling the nation to ‘watch this space’ regarding an announcement. 

Many bosses in the hospitality industry have called for the government to confirm when the tourism industry can return to trading.

Cornwall Council said it would lose £630m by the end of June due to the lack of tourism in just that area. 

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the trade body UKHospitality, added: “We need confirmation of the reopening date for hospitality businesses without any further delay.

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“Businesses need time to prepare and the first step in giving them some much-needed clarity is confirmation of when they can open their doors again.

“This is particularly important for hotels and tourism, where 60% of bookings are made more than two weeks in advance.”

The news also comes as the government is drawing up plans to form air bridges with Spain, Greece, Portugal, France and Australia which will see the 14-day quarantine rules scrapped in each country for visitors. 

The government has said no final decision has been made as of yet but many people are expecting updates on domestic tourism tomorrow. 

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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