Is the booze cruise sunk? The Holiday Guru answers readers’ Brexit and Covid travel questions

Is the booze cruise sunk and how can you get a Covid test result and fill in a locator form if you don’t have a smartphone and are partially sighted? Readers’ travel questions answered

The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions. 

This week, he tells one reader how much duty-free or undeclared alcohol and tobacco they can bring back to the UK, and helps another who is planning a family holiday in the Canaries. 

Q. What are the new alcohol and tobacco allowances? says I can bring back 18 litres of wine and 250 g tobacco/200 cigarettes. I assume this is the duty-free allowance. But what is the allowance if goods are purchased in local shops where VAT/taxes have been paid?

David Bennett, via email.

Stock up: Travellers to Europe now face restrictions on duty-free shopping

A. You are allowed 18 litres of wine (not sparkling wine), 42 litres of beer, 4 litres of spirits and 9 litres of fortified wine such as port/sherry (or sparkling wine). You can also bring either 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars, 250 g of tobacco or 200 e-cigarette sticks. Anything beyond this, must be declared with duty paid on all items — whether local taxes have already been paid or not.

Before Brexit, the alcohol/tobacco allowance for personal use from the EU was unlimited. Now Britain is a ‘third country’, duty free is back, where it is sold at airports, ferry ports and train stations, but in limited numbers. It is also possible to claim back tax on goods of more than €100 (£86) at other shops.

Q. My partner and I are fully vaccinated and wish to go to the Canaries with our 14-year-old daughter. Do any of us including our daughter (unvaccinated) require a test before going? Will any of us need a test before we return? Will any of us have to self-isolate on return? What tests are required when we have returned and do we need to book them?

Mark Billington, via email.

A. You and your partner will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated via the NHS app or a printed version showing your vaccine dates. Your daughter will have to take a PCR test with a negative result within 72 hours of travel to present at check in. None of you will need to take a test before returning home.

The Guru advises one reader of the testing requirements of the Canaries

The Guru advises one reader of the testing requirements of the Canaries

However, you will all have had to book a Covid test to be taken before ‘day two’ of getting back. See ‘Changes to international travel rules’ at Also see

Q. My husband is partially sighted, does not have a smartphone and can’t use a computer. How does he get a result from a travel Covid test and fill in a passenger location form?

Joyce Grant, via email

A. Not easily, unfortunately. Seek help from a hotel receptionist or another contact abroad, and obtain printouts to show officials. Good luck.


If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email us at