What’s the deal for Dublin? Can I visit France if I am not vaccinated? The Holiday Guru Answers Readers’ Questions About Covid-Related Travel
The Holiday Guru is always available to answer your questions.
This week, he helps a reader who is planning a trip to the Emerald Isle and advises another who is confused about the Covid tests to take for a cruise to Europe.
Q. We will be flying to Dublin for five days starting next Tuesday. We are fully informed and understand that we have to fill out an Irish Passenger Locator Form. But what happens on the way back to England? Do we need to fill out a UK passenger locator form? And do we have to do any tests on the way back?
Bob Layard, by email.
Classic charm: double penetration Brits don’t need to take exams to spend their holidays in the Irish capital
A. You are not required to perform any return test. However, you will need to complete a UK Passenger Locator Form, which must be submitted within 48 hours of your return; see gov.uk.
When this form asks if you have booked a Covid test on your return, required for most countries, just check the box that says you are exempt from the test.
The only Brits who do not have to complete UK passenger locator forms upon return from Ireland are those who have been in the country for at least ten days.
To travel to Northern Ireland, see the rules at nidirect.gov.uk.
Q. My husband and I traveled to Las Vegas in late November and we are not sure what Covid tests we need. Any advice?
Victor Webb, by email.
A. It is understood that a pre-trip Covid test will be required when travel to the US resumes on November 8 for those who are fully vaccinated, but the US authorities have not yet explained exactly what type of test it will be. . It is better to hold it tightly until it is closer to traveling.
The Holiday Guru helps a reader who travels to Las Vegas (pictured), but is not sure what proof is needed
Q. I would like to take a short trip to France. I am 66 years old, I am a woman and I am not vaccinated. I can go?
Silvi (last name withheld), by email.
A. Unvaccinated travelers can enter France only if they have “essential” reasons for traveling, such as attending the funeral of a close family member or seeking vital medical treatment.
This involves a complicated procedure, described in gov.uk. If you just want a vacation, you can’t go.
Q. I want to drive to Belgium via France in November. What tests do I need? I am doubly beaten. Also, does the tax-free beer allowance of 42 liters per person or per car apply?
Des Pejko, by email.
A. Both France and Belgium accept fully vaccinated visitors, but you will need to complete the paperwork as indicated on the ‘entry requirements’ pages on gov.uk, and Belgium also requires a negative Covid test prior to arrival.
New post-Brexit tax-free allowances are per person. See all limits under ‘Bringing Goods into the UK for Personal Use’ on gov.uk.
Q. I have a house in St Tropez and have been trying to get there via easyJet. Due to medical conditions, I was unable to board a flight and have not been offered a refund. Is this correct?
Kate Sissons, by email.
A. The airlines do not offer refunds when a passenger has medical problems before the trip, unless it is a “serious illness” (which is obviously open to interpretation). If an airline rejects an application, claim through your travel insurance.
A reader who owns a property in St Tropez, pictured, asks the vacation guru if he is owed a refund for a missed flight.
Q. We are planning to start a cruise from Southampton, visiting Belgium and the Netherlands. I understood that we could use lateral flow tests for our “day two” test upon our return on October 24th. So I picked up a package from the gov.uk site. Now I find that these cannot be used. Is that correct?
Janet Perkins, by email.
A. NHS lateral flow tests are not allowed. You need to reserve one from an official Covid testing provider that meets government standards. See ‘Find a Coronavirus Travel Testing Provider’ at gov.uk.
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