What is the deal for Dublin and can I visit France if I am not vaccinated? The Holiday Guru answers readers’ Covid-related travel questions
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week, he helps a reader planning a trip to the Emerald Isle and advises another confused about the Covid tests they should take before a European cruise.
Q. Starting next Tuesday we will fly to Dublin for five days. We are fully encouraged and understand that we need to fill out an Irish Passenger Locator Form. But what about on the way back to England – do we need to fill out a UK Passenger Locator Form? And do we have to do tests on return?
Bob Layard, via email.
Classic charm: Double shot Brits don’t have to take exams on holiday in the Irish capital
A. You do not need to take any return tests. However, you will need to complete a UK Passenger Locator Form, which must be submitted within 48 hours of your return – see gov.uk.
When asked on this form if you have booked a Covid test on return – required for most countries – simply tick the box that you are exempt from testing.
The only Britons who do not need to fill out UK Passenger Locator Forms when returning from Ireland are those who have been in the country for at least ten days.
For travel to Northern Ireland, please refer to the rules at nidirect.gov.uk.
Q. My husband and I are traveling to Las Vegas in late November and don’t know what Covid tests we need. Any advice?
Victor Webb, via email.
A. It is understood that a pre-travel Covid test will be required when travel to the US resumes on November 8 for the fully vaccinated, but exactly what type of test that will be has not yet been explained by US authorities . Best to hold tight until closer to travel.
The Holiday Guru helps a reader heading to Las Vegas (pictured) – but not sure what tests are needed
Q. I would like to take a short trip to France. I am 66 years old, female and not vaccinated. Can I go?
Silvi (last name withheld), via email.
A. Unvaccinated travelers can only enter France if they have ‘essential’ reasons to travel, such as attending a funeral of a close relative or seeking essential medical treatment.
This involves a complicated procedure, described on gov.uk. If you just want a vacation, you can’t go.
Q. I want to go by car via France to Belgium in November. Which tests do I need? I’ve been double stabbed. Does the tax-free beer deduction of 42 liters also apply per person or per car?
Des Pejko, via email.
A. Both France and Belgium will accept fully vaccinated visitors but you will need to complete the paperwork as detailed on their ‘entry requirement’ pages on gov.uk – and Belgium also requires a Covid negative test before arrival.
The new tax-free allowances after Brexit are per person. See all limits under ‘Bringing goods into the UK for personal use’ on gov.uk.
Q. I have a home in St Tropez and have tried to get there via easyJet. Due to medical conditions I was unable to board a flight and was not offered a refund. Is this right?
Kate Sissons, via email.
A. Airlines do not offer refunds when a passenger has medical problems before the trip, unless it is a ‘serious illness’ (which is of course open to interpretation). If an airline declines a request, claim through your travel insurance.
A reader who owns property in St Tropez, pictured, asks the Holiday Guru if they owe a refund for a missed flight
Q. We are going to start a cruise from Southampton, visiting Belgium and the Netherlands. I understood that we could use lateral flow tests for our ‘day two’ test on return from October 24th. So I grabbed a package from the gov.uk site. Now I find that these cannot be used. Is that correct?
Janet Perkins, via email.
A. NHS lateral flow testing is not allowed. You must book one with an official Covid testing provider that meets government standards. See ‘Find a coronavirus travel testing provider’ on gov.uk.
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Need advice? The Holiday Guru can answer your questions. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.