Will I EVER get to Oz to visit my children and do we have to wear masks in Portugal or Majorca? The Holiday Guru tackles travellers’ queries
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week issues tackled include international travel to Australia and the rules around face mask etiquette in Europe.
Q. Can you tell me when I am likely to be able to go to Australia to visit my children?
Bob, via email.
Australia is likely to remain closed to visitors until next year
A. 2022 at the earliest appears likely. Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister, has said the international border would be closed ‘indefinitely’. But, since then, Josh Frydenberg, Australia’s Treasurer, said he expects international travel to resume next year. Qantas, the national carrier, has grounded its fleet with a provisional re-start of October, which has some people hopeful that travel could begin earlier — but this date could well be pushed back.
Q. Are Covid tests and Passenger Locator Forms required for domestic air travel? Will there be long queues on arrival?
Colin Grover, Biggin Hill, Kent.
A. You do not need to take a Covid test or complete a Passenger Locator form on domestic flights; see ‘Coronavirus: Safer Air Travel for Passengers’ at gov.uk. There should not be queues as you will not have to pass through a border check.
Q. Can you help regarding the post-Brexit rule that you can only be in the European Union for 90 days out of 180 days? We will be in Spain for 25 days up to November 3, then a further 65 days up to March 29 – so, 90 in total. Can we go back in mid-May for three weeks?
L. Jones, via email.
A. Yes. For this rule, you need to count back 180 days from your latest day of departure. In mid-May, this takes you back to mid-November and in that period you will have been in the EU 65 days – so you can add a further 21 days.
You do not need to take a Covid test or complete a Passenger Locator form on domestic flights in the UK
Q. I am thinking of going to either Portugal or Majorca next month. What are the face mask rules?
Arthur Robins, Ringwood, Hampshire.
A. These change regularly. In public places in Portugal, face masks must now be worn outdoors where you cannot maintain two metres social distance, and indoors at all times. In Spain, masks should be worn in public places except when swimming or sunbathing on the beach. Best to double-check on arrival.
Q. We booked travel insurance from Staysure (£788) and a Titan Travel tour of Japan (£8,438) that we had to cancel last year because of my husband’s ill health. We cannot get a refund from our insurer or tour operator despite GP letters. Advice?
Names withheld, via email.
A. As your case is now with the Financial Ombudsman, which adjudicates in such stand-offs, the companies cannot comment. However, the long delay to your case — six months and counting — is a sign the Financial Ombudsman is struggling during the pandemic. Hang on in there and good luck.
In Portugal face masks must now be worn outdoors where you cannot maintain two metres social distance
Q. Is a party of six with each person from different households permitted to share a holiday let in England or Scotland?
Martin Jobling, East Yorkshire.
A. Not as rules stand. Indoors, the rule of six with a maximum of two households applies in England, with four from two households in Scotland.
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If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email us at email@example.com.