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Visa Waver fee of €7 for British Nationals 

Visa Waver fee for British Nationals - 4th August 2021.  The European Commission have announced that British nationals will have to pay a visa waiver fee to enter the Schengen area from 2022

The ETIAS which stands for European Travel Information and Authorisation System is an online platform and is part of a plan to improve border security for the Schengen Area.

The ETIAS authorisation will cost €7 for all applicants between the ages of 18 and 70, and will be a one-off fee which will be valid for three years for multiple entries into Schengen states.

This is set to launch before the end of 2022 and will affect visa-exempt non-EU nationals.

Fortunately, ETIAS is easier to obtain than a visa, the registration process is fully online with no need to visit an embassy or consulate.

Travellers will need to fill in an online application form via an official website or use an app to receive approval.  EU Commission state that “a vast majority of cases (expected to be over 95 per cent) will result in automatic approval”. If further checks are needed, authorisation may take up to 30 days.

It can be used for train, road, ferry, and air travel to Europe as well as to cross land and sea borders.

It will be a mandatory condition for entry to the Schengen States, and will be checked alongside travel documents by the border guards when crossing the EU border. The European Commission will publish the date from which travellers can apply on its official website.

Once a British citizen has crossed an external Schengen border with ETIAS they can move around the borderless travel zone without facing further checkpoints. Like other visa-exempt third-nationals, UK passport holders can stay in the Schengen zone for up to 90 days per 180-day period.

Use this Schengen Visa Calculator to make sure you do not break the rules

Visa Waver fee for British Nationals

Visa waiver fee for British Nationals

The European Commission states:

“This prior verification of visa exempt non-EU citizens will facilitate border checks; avoid bureaucracy and delays for travellers when presenting themselves at the borders; ensure a coordinated and harmonised risk assessment of third-country nationals; and substantially reduce the number of refusals of entry at border crossing points.” 

It added that it will not change which non-EU countries are subject to a visa requirement, and will not introduce a new visa requirement for nationals of countries that are visa-exempt. 

Read further information on ETIAS here.

Find more information on travel in this section of the website 

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Travel restrictions may be eased for Britons who have had both Vaccinations

17th June - Travel restrictions may be eased for Britons who have had both Vaccinations as announced by various UK news papers as ministers confirm they are looking at plans to limit quarantine requirements for those who have been fully vaccinated.

If approved, the new plan, first reported by The Telegraph, could mean that Britons who are fully vaccinated will not need to quarantine upon their return from destinations including the US and countries across Europe.

Under the plans, people who have had two doses of Covid-19 vaccine will be allowed to avoid quarantine on their return from amber list countries, although they will still have to be tested. 

Jesse Norman, the financial secretary to the Treasury, said the government was "certainly looking at all the options here".

“We are trying to move cautiously and progressively in the right direction so I wouldn't write anything off at this point,” Norman told Sky News, adding that the virus was not something that could be controlled, “(So) it would be imprudent to make any carte blanche or... firm statement now.” Norman said it would be important to consider the issues of fairness for those who have yet to be offered shots or are unable to have them.

Asked if Britons should not write off a foreign holiday just yet, the government minister replied: "We are trying to move cautiously and progressively in the right direction, so I wouldn't write anything off at this point.

Travel restrictions may be eased

"But then we are in a situation where the virus is not something we control and we have seen this new Delta variant, so it would be imprudent to make any carte blanche or firm statement now."

Mr Norman also admitted that a perception that under-30s - the majority of whom have only recently had the chance to get a first jab - would be discriminated against if travel restrictions were based on vaccination status was "certainly a consideration to be borne in mind".

"Of course the under-30s do not have anything like the same vulnerability to the disease that people older do," he added.

"The government is accelerating the rollout of vaccinations as fast as it can."

The latest government data shows that more than 30 million people in the UK have now had both doses of a COVID-19 jab.

The relaxing of restrictions for those who have had both jabs may help appease a furious air travel industry.

Demand for travel collapsed in March last year when the UK went into its first lockdown and has yet to recover.

Countries in the European Union (EU) last week agreed to an easing of travel restrictions over summer that will allow fully vaccinated tourists to avoid tests or quarantines and broaden the list of EU regions from which it is safe to travel.

More news will follow when available.

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Covid Certificates for EU Travel

Agreement reached on the Covid Certificate for EU Travel

Covid Certificates latest news 21st May  - A Green light has been given for covid certificates to facilitate travel in the EU this summer - After four rounds of negotiations, the representatives of the Eurochamber and the Council succeed in closing an interim agreement for it to enter into force on 1st July

Parliament and the Presidency of the European Union on behalf of the 27 European governments, have given the Green Light to the Covid passport to facilitate travel this summer. An important measure to boost tourism, which will enter into force on 1st July.

Those who are fully vaccinated, immunized because they have passed the disease or who have a recent negative PCR test may travel from outside the Union. Tests that will not be free, will be borne by the tourist. The European Commission will allocate EUR 100 million, to fund the PCRs of those who have to cross the border for work, studies or medical visits.

The European Parliament demanded that they be free, in order to avoid discrimination with vaccinated persons, to which most governments, including Spain, were opposed by the high burden it would place on national coffers in a country so dependent on tourism.

Finally, the Euro-Chamber has ceded and accepted the solution proposed by the European Commission which undertakes to allocate EUR 100 million of the emergency instrument to the Member States to provide the tests and be "affordable and accessible", especially for those who have to cross borders on a daily basis to work, study, visit family members or receive medical care. The agreement also provides, if necessary, for the trigger of an additional 100 million, but subject to approval by the budgetary authorities.

States may not apply exceptional quarantines unless required by the health situation and always notifying 48 hours in advance.

Covid Certificates for EU Travel

The certificate will not be a passport as such, which is still mandatory to travel, but it will facilitate the mobility of people who meet one of the three requirements to obtain it. The pulse of governments and Euro-Camera in view of the free PCR tests or the possibility of introducing additional restrictions has been resolved by a number of commitments that will enable the processing to be completed and the regulation approved by mid-June.

Justice commissioner Didier Reynders has celebrated. "It is an important step to restart free movement as safely as possible while providing clarity and certainty to our citizens," adds Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides. "The European Parliament has not achieved everything it wanted but we have substantially improved all the articles of the European Commission proposal and the mandate of the Council," said Eurocamera negotiator Juan Fernando López Aguilar, who believes that the document will make a difference this summer and will prevent it from "resemting the nightmare of 2020".

Covid Certificates for EU Travel 

Electronic and paper

The document, which leaves out the "green" collection and will be called the "EU covid digital certificate", will be issued in electronic format, or on paper for people who do not have a smartphone, and will include a QR code with the necessary fundamental information to certify that the traveller is free of the coronavirus. It may be requested by all persons who wish to travel to other European countries and will be temporary until WHO declares an end to the pandemic. In addition, it will be free and bilingual (English and the language of the issuing country) and will only include essential information such as first name, surname and date of birth.

In the case of the vaccination certificate, the vaccine used, the manufacturer, the dose number and the date of injection should be mentioned. All vaccines authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will be accepted: BionTech/Pfizer, Modern, AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson, although each country may decide whether to accept vaccination certificates from other Member States under the World Health Organization(WHO) emergency list.

If the person travelling does so with a test as proof, the certificate will have to mention the type of the test in question, the date, the center where the analysis was carried out and the result. Finally, when the recovery is certified, the document will have to specify the date on which the person tested positive, the name of the issuing body, the date of issue, as well as the validity.

The next step now will be to put the agreement to vote in the European Parliament's civil liberties committee on 26th May and to the plenary meeting during the plenary session from 7th to 10th June, deadlines that will allow the processing to be completed in time so that it can be used this summer. The agreement includes a transition period of six weeks from 1st July so that countries that have not completed the preparations do so and can continue to use their national or regional certificates.

This article has been translated from Spanish to English so some detail may be slightly lost, read the original article here and HERE

More details will follow.  Keep up to date with all the travel news HERE 

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Returning to the UK from Spain

Returning to the UK from Spain - official guidance

Returning to the UK from Spain - Updated 8th August - Red, amber and green list rules for entering England

Applies to: England (see guidance for WalesScotland, and Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland)

What you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive.

This page lists countries and territories as red, amber or green and tells you what you must do if you have been in those countries or territories.

Returning to the UK from Spain

The risk posed by individual countries and territories is continuously monitored and the green, amber and red lists are reviewed every 3 weeks.

14th August - UK holidaymakers will benefit from cheaper travel testing packages, with the price of some tests to fall by a fifth from today.

  • Cost of travel tests from NHS Test & Trace will be reduced from £88 to £68 for one test and from £170 to £136 for two.
  • List of private testing providers to be reviewed to ensure pricing is accurate and transparent.
  • Any misleading pricing will be clamped down on swiftly and we will urgently remove listings found to have misleading prices.

SPAIN is currently on the Amber list 

What you must do if you have been in a country or territory on the amber list in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

Before travel to England

Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England

If you are fully vaccinated

After arrival in England you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2.

This applies if you’re fully vaccinated under either:

  • the UK vaccination programme
  • the UK vaccine programme overseas
  • an approved vaccination programme in Europe or the USA - not all are recognised in England

Find out how to prove you are fully vaccinated, which European countries this applies to and approved vaccination programmes for Europe and the USA.

It also applies if you are:

  • taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial in the UK or the USA
  • under 18 and resident in the UK, a UK Overseas Territory, the USA or one of the specified European countries

If you will be in England for less than 2 days you still need to book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test. You only need to take the test if you are still in England on day 2.

Returning to the UK from Spain

If you are not fully vaccinated

If you do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules, on arrival in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8

Read about the fully vaccinated rules, quarantine and taking COVID-19 tests after arrival in England.

If you are in England for less than 10 days, you need to quarantine for the time you are here. You need to book day 2 and day 8 travel tests. You only need to take the tests if you are still in England.

*Additional travel advice 13th August

Does COVID plus one dose of a vaccine counts as being “fully vaccinated” for entry into England on the basis that you will have natural immunity. Some countries relax their entry rules if you have natural immunity. England does not. You will need to follow the rules for those who are not fully vaccinated if you have natural immunity and haven’t had a full course of an approved vaccine. There is further information on what fully vaccinated means, as well as details on quarantine and testing when travelling from an amber list country at - Quarantine and testing if you've been in an amber list country

Testing for people travelling to England. If you have recently recovered from COVID, but are not longer infectious, you should use a lateral flow device test - Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing before you travel to England

Rules for travel to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are very similar, but please do make sure you check out their specific pages. Links to all three can be found here - Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.*

France

The amber list rules for France changed 4am Sunday 8th August. The normal amber list rules now apply to France, including the rules for people who are fully vaccinated. If you arrived in England before 4am on Sunday 8th August, you must follow the rules that applied when you arrived.

Test to Release scheme

If you need to quarantine, you may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.

Read about making a transit stop in a red list country or territory.

Returning to the UK from Spain

Red list rules

What you must do if you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK.

You must follow these rules even if you have been fully vaccinated.

Before travel to England

Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England

On arrival in England you must:

Returning to the UK from Spain

Green list rules

What you have to do if you travel to England from a country or territory on the green list. You must only have been in or travelled through a green list country or the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man in the previous 10 days.

You must follow these rules even if you have been fully vaccinated.

Before travel to England

Before you travel to England you must:

On arrival in England

You must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive.

Children aged 4 and under do not need to take this test.

You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

You must quarantine if NHS Test & Trace informs you that you travelled to England with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If you have been in a country or territory on the red or amber list

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you must follow the red list rules.

If you have also been in or through a country or territory on the amber list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, and have not visited a country on the red list, you must follow the amber list rules.

Read about making a transit stop in an amber or red list country or territory.

Ireland, the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

You do not need to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine on arrival in England if you are travelling within the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, (the Common Travel Area), and you have not been outside of the Common Travel Area in the previous 10 days.

Transit stops in amber or red list countries

When you arrive in England you need to follow the rules for the highest risk country or territory that you have been in or passed through in the previous 10 days. That can include transit stops.

A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off the same part of the transport in which you are travelling. It can apply to ships, trains or flights. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.

The rules of a country or territory that you make a transit stop in could apply if:

  • new passengers get on and are able to mix with you
  • you or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again

Making a transit stop would not affect what you have to do on arrival in England if, during the stop:

  • no new passengers, who are able to mix with you, get on
  • no-one on-board gets off and mixes with people outside
  • passengers get off but do not get back on

Private vehicles or coaches travelling through amber or red list countries and territories

If you are travelling to England in a private vehicle, the rules of the countries and territories you drive through apply. For example, if you drive through an amber list country, then you must follow the amber list rules when you arrive in England.

This applies whether you stop in the country or territory or not. You need to record the countries and territories you drive through on your passenger locator form.

Transiting through airports in England

See what you need to do if you are transiting ‘landside’ or transiting ‘airside’ through England.

Job and medical exemptions

Some people are exempt from some or all of the requirements:

Travelling abroad from England

Read an overview of all the things you need to do to:

You should not travel to red list countries or territories.

Demonstrating your COVID-19 vaccination status when travelling abroad

An NHS COVID Pass shows your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination details or test results. This is your COVID-19 vaccination status.

You can use the NHS COVID Pass to prove your vaccination status when you:

  • enter another country while travelling abroad
  • return to England if you have been in an amber list country or territory

Find out:

The UK government is working with the British overseas territory governments to agree what form the proof of vaccination should take.

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice continues to advise against all non-essential travel to some countries and territories. Many other countries have rules in place about who can enter and what you can do when you are there. These rules are not related to which colour list that country is on. Before you travel, you should read FCDO travel advice for the countries you will visit.

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On The Beach pause sales until September

On The Beach announce that they are pausing holiday bookings until September, this also includes holidays to countries included on the UKs GREEN list.

On The Beach, one of the UKs biggest online travel agents, said it won't be selling any holidays for June, July or August due to "continuing uncertainty around international leisure travel".

Simon Cooper the firm´s chief executive said: "There's nothing we want more than to be able to send customers on holiday, but with the current number of unknowns, we don't think that now is the right time for customers to book new holidays departing in the next few months."

Mr Cooper from On The Beach also stated that the company would not be offering foreign holidays to "green list" countries because "it is very likely that we will see regular fluctuations in destinations' traffic light classifications".

"Given this, there is too much uncertainty for us to take new bookings with confidence that they will go ahead, or for us to know the potential inconvenience or incremental costs that customers might experience or incur," he said.

"Unlike many of our competitors, we have no interest in selling holidays that are unlikely to happen, as our business model enables us to put customers first, rather than needing to get cash in the door to contribute to high fixed costs, and offering refunds in the form of a voucher when holidays get cancelled."

This is a very different stance to some other companies such as EasyJet who have said it would let people "make up their own mind about their holidays" and Tui who will begin offering holidays to countries classified as amber, despite government advice remaining not to travel for leisure.

 

Last September On The Beach and LoveHolidays made the headlines when they announced their resignation from ABTA, in a move to avoid paying full refunds to some customers hit by coronavirus cancellations,  this decision had an impact on people chasing refunds for package holidays which they themselves had to cancelled due to the Foreign Office advising against non-essential travel to certain destinations, such as Spain, yet the firm itself had not cancelled the holiday.  On the Beach and Sunshine Holidays did however reassure customers that package holidays booked with Loveholidays remain financially protected by the 'gold standard' Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) scheme.

Find more Travel News HERE

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