What’s the deal for Dublin and can I visit France if I’m unvaccinated? The Holiday Guru answers readers’ Covid-related travel questions
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week, he helps one reader who is planning a trip to the Emerald Isle and advises another who is confused about the Covid tests they need to take for a European cruise.
Q. We are flying to Dublin for five days from next Tuesday. We are fully jabbed and understand that we need to complete an Irish Passenger Locator Form. But what about on the way back to England — do we need to fill in a UK Passenger Locator Form? And do we need to take any tests on return?
Bob Layard, via email.
Classic charm: Double-jabbed Britons don’t need to take tests to holiday in the Irish capital
A. You are not required to take any return tests. However, you will need to complete a UK Passenger Locator Form, which must be submitted in the 48 hours prior to coming back — see gov.uk.
Where this form asks whether you have booked a Covid test on return — required for most countries — simply tick the box saying you are exempt from testing.
The only Britons who do not have to complete 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, check the rules at nidirect.gov.uk.
Q. My husband and I are travelling to Las Vegas at the end of November and are unsure of what Covid tests we need. Any advice?
Victor Webb, via email.
A. It is understood that a pre‑journey Covid test will be required when travel to the U.S. resumes on November 8 for the fully vaccinated, but exactly what type of test that will be has not yet been explained by the American authorities. Best to hold tight until closer to travel.
The Holiday Guru helps one reader who is jetting off to Las Vegas (pictured) – but isn’t sure which tests are necessary
Q. I would like to make a short trip to France. I am 66 years old, female and unvaccinated. Can I go?
Silvi (surname withheld), via email.
A. Unvaccinated travellers can enter France only if they have ‘essential’ reasons for travel, such as attending a funeral of a close family member or seeking vital medical treatment.
This involves a complicated procedure, outlined at gov.uk. If you just want a holiday, you cannot go.
Q. I wish to go by car to Belgium via France in November. What tests do I need? I am double-jabbed. Also, does the 42-litre duty-free beer allowance apply per person or per car?
Des Pejko, via email.
A. Both France and Belgium accept fully vaccinated visitors, but you will need to complete paperwork as outlined on their ‘entry requirement’ pages at gov.uk — and Belgium also requires a negative Covid test before arrival.
The new post-Brexit duty-free allowances are per person. See all limits at ‘Bringing goods into the UK for personal use’ at gov.uk.
Q. I have a house in St Tropez and have been trying to get there via easyJet. Due to medical conditions, I could not board a flight and have not been offered a refund. Is this right?
Kate Sissons, via email.
A. Airlines do not offer refunds when a passenger has medical trouble before travel unless it is a ‘serious illness’ (which is, obviously, open to interpretation). If an airline rejects a request, claim through your travel insurance.
A reader who owns property in St Tropez, pictured, asks the Holiday Guru whether they are owed a refund for a missed flight
Q. We are due to start a cruise from Southampton, visiting Belgium and the Netherlands. I understood we could use lateral flow tests for our ‘day two’ test on return from October 24. So I picked up a pack from the gov.uk site. Now I find these cannot be used. Is that correct?
Janet Perkins, via email.
A. NHS lateral flow tests are not allowed. You must book one from an official Covid test supplier that meets the Government’s standards. See ‘Find a coronavirus travel test provider’ at gov.uk.
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Need advice? The Holiday Guru can answer your questions. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.