The tiers and the Brexit trade deal are confusing travellers – luckily the Holiday Guru is on hand to steer them through the increasingly murky waters of foreign travel
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week he replies to travellers whose plans have been fogged up by the tiers and the Brexit trade deal.
Q. How do I know which countries are banning British visitors? I am due to visit St Lucia in January.
John Desmond, Salisbury, Wilts.
Awe-inspiring: The Pitons in St Lucia, which is open to British tourists this winter
A. Go to gov.uk and check the ‘entry requirements’ page for your chosen country. For St Lucia, you will need a negative Covid test taken within seven days of travel. Keep checking, though, as rules change constantly. On Twitter, follow @FCDOtravelGovUK for the latest advice.
Q. How will holidays to Europe be different now we have a Brexit trade deal?
A. Uncertainty remains while the 2,000-page document is analysed before next week’s vote in Parliament. However, it seems that a form of the European Health Insurance Card for reciprocal public health care will be arranged, and British driving licences will still be accepted.
Q. Can I still spend half the year in my French second home?
Peter Haslam, via email.
A. British citizens will be allowed in the EU for up to 90 days per 180-day period. For longer stays, a visa is required.
Q. What will happen at border controls in the new year?
Richard Mather, Winchester.
A. British passport holders will have to queue with non-EU citizens, so delays are possible.
Q. How has the trade deal affected the strength of the pound?
Ed, Richmond upon Thames.
From January 1, British passport holders will have to queue with non-EU citizens on European holidays, so delays are possible
A. The pound has jumped three cents since Monday to €1.11. Against the dollar, it was up four cents to $1.36.
Q. Does the trade deal affect bans on visiting countries due to the new Covid strain?
Joceline Smith, via email.
A. No. The trade deal is totally separate from the Covid travel restrictions.
Q. I am confused by the Covid tier rules. I want to visit Barbados. Is this possible?
Susan Morris, Hackney, London.
A. If you live in a Tier Four area, you are not permitted to travel abroad. For lower tiers, travel abroad is permitted.
Q. I live in Tier Four. If I drive in my ‘bubble’ to the airport, surely that is OK?
Oliver Greene, Tooting, London.
A. No. Police checks on home addresses are being made at airports and you could be turned away or fined.
Q. I was bound for Dubai, but now cannot go because I live in Tier Four. Can I get a refund? The flight I had booked is still scheduled.
Sally Purvis, Hertfordshire.
One reader living in a tier four area wants to know if she can visit Barbados (pictured). The answer is no, says the Holiday Guru
A. Ask your airline. BA is offering vouchers/rebooking. Virgin will rebook flights, while easyJet will switch flights/provide a voucher. Ryanair has switched flights fee-free for customers in Tier Four at Christmas. Wizz Air will rebook standard tickets for a fee.
Q. We booked a package trip to Lanzarote for the new year. Can we get a refund?
Anthony, via email.
A. Yes, you will be due a refund under the Package Travel Regulations.
Q. I booked flights to Jersey on easyJet via esky.com in June. These are cancelled, but no refund has arrived. Can you help?
Paul Hunter, via email.
A. EasyJet had refunded esky.com, which had not passed on the cash. It has now. To avoid delays, book directly with airlines.
Q. I Was due to go to Italy, but cannot due to the new Covid strain. Can I get a refund?
Anthea, via email.
A. Yes, probably. When a flight has been blocked, it will be cancelled and refunds paid.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email them to [email protected]
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