The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
Here he helps one reader with a question about the entry requirements for Spain, and advises another – who finds the prospect of traveling abroad ‘overwhelming’ – on the best ways to book a staycation.
Q. We have booked a trip to America next month. My kids and I had Covid last month and the Centers for Disease Control website says the US accepts documentation of Covid recovery within 90 days. How do we get to this? We also aim to fly from New York to Florida during the trip – what are the rules?
– Becky Metcalfe, via email
Strict: Visitors to America, including Miami in Florida, above, face strict rules
A. Ten days after you register a positive PCR test on your NHS Covid Pass, a Recovery Pass will automatically appear on it alongside your Covid shots.
For travel to the US you must have proof of being fully vaccinated plus a negative Covid test or such proof of recovery 24 hours before departure.
The latter may be necessary, as people who have recently had Covid can still give positive results after ten days, despite being officially clear.
Children under 17 traveling with vaccinated parents are not required to take any tests. Within the US, the rules differ between states. It’s best to check ‘Domestic travel during COVID-19’ at cdc.gov.
Q. Will this be a cheap or expensive year to travel?
– Richard Knox, via email
A. Everything indicates that traveling to Europe will be extremely cheap. Return flights to Rome cost just £20 from Stansted in February with Ryanair who also have return flights from Manchester to Seville from £53 in March and Edinburgh-Paris returns from £30 in February (ryanair.com).
All indications are that travel to Europe this year will be extremely cheap, according to the Holiday Guru. Return flights in February from Edinburgh to Paris (pictured) with Ryanair cost £30
Q. Can I enter Spain without being vaccinated?
– Edward Jenkins, via email
A. New. All visitors to Spain over the age of 12 must be fully vaccinated and complete an online health check form. Check out Spain’s ‘entry requirements’ at gov.uk.
Q. Since we are now out of the EU, I believe that when we go to a country in the Schengen area, we must have our passport stamped on entry and exit.
If you don’t get it stamped, you risk being banned from entering a country at a later date because you can’t prove that you haven’t exceeded the 90-day limit.
We have booked two cruises next year to countries in the Schengen area. Do we get a stamp?
– Ron Lewis, via email
A. Stamps must be given on entry/exit. But soon – probably within the next six months – the EU will introduce a new IT system known as the Entry/Exit system that automatically records movements. See entry/exit system on ec.europa.eu. When this comes in, stamps may not be needed.
The Holiday Guru helps a reader who had to cancel his EasyJet flights
Q. My nerves have been shattered after I made an easyJet booking for Belfast-Lanzarote flights (£653) and subsequently canceled it due to my husband’s ill health. I have shown medical certificates but was only offered a voucher for his flight and the chance to change the date of mine.
We are retirees. I don’t know if my husband will ever fly again and I wouldn’t fly without him. Can you help?
– Moyra and Patrick McSherry, Donaghadee, Northern Ireland
A. EasyJet has reviewed your situation and will refund both fares in full.
Q. I’m tired of taking exams, don’t like bureaucratic forms and find the prospect of traveling abroad overwhelming. Do you have any staycation tips?
– Sarah Silverman, via email
For hotels, it is usually best to book directly through hotel websites, which often have the lowest rates and often have special offers this time of year.
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