Travel expert Simon Calder answers 17 questions amid latest rule changes

The journey correspondent of The Unbiased likes to journey every October within the fabled Silk Street metropolis of Khiva within the far west of Uzbekistan – the place the normal sundowner is kumis (fermented mare’s milk).

The Central Asian nation was taken off the Overseas Workplace “no go” record at 3pm on Friday 8 October, which gave him simply sufficient time to spend an hour answering your journey questions.

America opens up – however when?

Q: Any rumours of precisely when the US will open up in November? Have you learnt when an announcement is probably going?

Dave 612

A: In current weeks three Western governments have introduced radical adjustments to Covid journey insurance policies with no particular dates hooked up. The UK’s plan to exchange “day two” PCR assessments with lateral move goes to occur, we perceive, someday this month; talking on the BBC on Friday, the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, stated: “Hopefully in time for individuals getting back from half-term holidays probably, and positively by the tip of October.” But with simply three weeks remaining, there isn’t a certainty – which is exasperating for households hoping to plan a half-term escape.

Ten days in the past, the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, stated his nation will calm down its strict border controls for residents and residents at a while in November – once more, and not using a particular date.

And it’s now three weeks for the reason that White Home promised that arrivals from Europe (together with the US) shall be permitted from “early November”.

Initially leaks appeared to counsel the plan was to open up on 1 November, But have been the 20-month ban to be lifted in the beginning of subsequent month, airways would should be ramping up flights now to be able to deal with (and exploit) the surge in journey demand that may accompany the opening. They need a number of weeks’ discover, as after all do potential travellers.

Latest briefings (to which I’ve no direct entry) point out that the White Home announcement was rushed out to placate European leaders earlier than the mandatory procedures had been finalise. There may be now a query of whether or not it will likely be sorted by the Thanksgiving weekend, which this 12 months is 25-28 November.

All I can safely predict is that after we lastly know, the primary few days of transatlantic flights will refill very swiftly. You probably have flexibility, you may need to wait every week or longer to permit the surge in demand to subside. However as soon as we get near Christmas, air fares will soar as soon as once more.

Jab journeys

Q: Is there any information on when Portugal will settle for UK vaccine passport in lieu of a pre-departure Covid check?

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A: This weekend the requirement has lastly been dropped after 19 weeks. The Overseas Workplace recommendation has been up to date with the change to say no check is required for travellers from the UK to Portugal “if in case you have an NHS Covid Move … or an EU digital Covid vaccination certificates displaying you could have been totally vaccinated with an EU-approved Covid-19 vaccine at the least 14 days earlier than you journey”.

The transfer was anticipated as southern European nations compete extra fiercely for autumn and winter arrivals from the UK.

Jet2 warns passengers that correct NHS certification – both on-line or on paper – is required. “Please notice, what you are promoting card-sized paper Covid-19 vaccination file card isn’t an appropriate type of vaccine standing proof and may’t be used to enter,” the agency warns.

Unvaccinated adults and youngsters aged 12 or over should proceed to take a lateral move check within the 48 hours earlier than they’re as a consequence of arrive in mainland Portugal.

Q: I need to know if colleagues overseas can journey to England for a convention in late November, with no need to quarantine if they’re double vaccinated? International locations they’re coming from are India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana, USA and presumably Colombia.

Donna 23

A: The UK nonetheless refuses to recognise vaccines from many of the world’s nations, however I’m glad to say that from Monday 11 October the locations you point out will all be on the record. The arrivals from Colombia will, if the crimson record continues in its current kind, be required to enter resort quarantine at a price of £2,285 for 11 nights. However I shall be very stunned if the record survives that lengthy.

Q: Is the UK prone to begin accepting different vaccinations from travellers – akin to Sinovac from Brazil.


A: Sooner or later the UK’s loopy coverage of rejecting even accredited vaccines in the event that they have been administered within the “mistaken” location shall be corrected, and at the moment Sinovac and different vaccinations could also be accredited. However don’t maintain your breath.

Q: My sister flew in from the States on Thursday and flies out on Monday, beautiful birthday reunion weekend ! Can her pre-booked day two PCR check on Saturday additionally rely as her US pre-departure to fly check?

Jules NW5

A: Because of the beneficiant timing allowed by the US – with a check permitted on any of the three days earlier than journey – that ought to work, as long as the certificates for the day two PCR check incorporates ample data to fulfill the American necessities.

Transit journey

Q:  Right here’s a query which I’ve not been capable of reply from any supply. You’re my final hope. I’m coming from a non-crimson record nation and my vaccine standing just isn’t at the moment recognised by the UK. I’m arriving from overseas to the UK and leaving on the identical day, however with a change of airports from Newcastle to Edinburgh. In different phrases, I’m making a “landside” transit, however crossing the Anglo-Scottish border.

The query is: will I have to guide day two and day eight assessments?

Yan U

A: As somebody whose vaccinations are usually not recognised by the UK, you have to to take a check (lateral move will do) earlier than travelling to England. However after working via the method my interpretation is that you needn’t guide any Covid assessments. You would want to take action provided that you meant to remain.

The transit guidelines for altering planes (or worldwide practice or ferries) wholly inside England are clear. While you transit in England between worldwide areas, you needn’t quarantine on arrival or take a Covid-19 check on or earlier than day two and day eight should you “journey straight out of your port of entry to a different port of departure in England”.

Nonetheless Britain’s passenger locator kind doesn’t permit for this risk, as a substitute having a field to tick known as “Change flights within the UK inside 24 hours, with out going via UK border management”. I like to recommend you tick this field as a result of the choice could be “I plan to remain within the UK” and also you then have to guide assessments.

I’ve labored via your complete passenger locator kind course of for you, making a dummy utility, and there was no downside raised when coming into Newcastle and departing from Edinburgh. As you say it’s all on the identical day, I can see no downside.

I’ve studied the relevant laws and may see no reference to Anglo-Scottish transit in any of the laws. You may be travelling via Scotland solely to board a global departure. You need to, although journey direct from Newcastle airport to Edinburgh airport – sightseeing in both metropolis is out.

Q: I’m flying from Cape City and land in Dublin on 20 October – although my closing vacation spot is Northern Eire. Once I land in Dublin do they let me go via and proceed my journey to Northern Eire or do I’ve to self isolate earlier than going to NI? I’m totally vaxxed.

Scott In SA

A: So far as I can see quarantine is not required on arrival from South Africa to Dublin. Final 12 months I made a few “transit” visits by way of Dublin to Northern Eire, and on every event it was a simple matter of filling in a kind and declaring my plans to the border officers.

Purple record

Q: Disgrace concerning the Dominican Republic staying on the crimson record. I don’t see any logic in bringing Mexico off crimson record while the positivity price remains to be I consider 40 per cent and the Dom Rep is round seven per cent. Ought to we hope for a turnaround in three weeks or is that this it for the remainder of the 12 months do you assume?

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A: Many individuals are upset that the Dominican Republic stays on the crimson record. Primarily based on the information I had seen, I used to be fairly assured it will be eliminated. I shall be stunned if the crimson record survives very lengthy. The subsequent evaluate is due on 28 October, taking impact (presumably) on 1 November. I’ve virtually little doubt the resort quarantine for arrivals from the Dominican Republic.

Q: Why the variations between Overseas Workplace recommendation towards journey and the “crimson record”?

Snoozing Badger

A: There are a lot of discrepancies between FCDO recommendation towards visiting a rustic primarily based particularly on Covid-19 considerations and the Division for Transport (DfT) evaluation of the coronavirus dangers.

In keeping with the newest Overseas Workplace bulletins, these variations are being ironed out.

After all there are various dangers past coronavirus in these nations, and the Overseas Workplace is anxious concerning the total degree of hazard.

Street accidents represent the largest threat.

Testing occasions

Q: I reside in Wales. I’ve two kids, aged 14 and 13. Each have had a single dose of Pfizer vaccine, which is the total really helpful course for kids their age. Nonetheless, they aren’t capable of obtain a vaccine certificates from NHS Wales as they haven’t had two doses; nor does the NHS App assist you to get a QR code as they’re below 16.

So regardless of being vaccinated, they can’t “show” their standing – and therefore must have a PCR check earlier than coming into Spain. Any approach round this that you’ve discovered?


A: I agree it’s a ache. They’ll take a Lamp check as an alternative choice to a PCR forward of coming into Spain, which needs to be swifter if not cheaper.

About easyJet …

Q: Actually silly query, however I haven’t flown for ages and am not sure about this. I’m flying with easyJet to Berlin subsequent week. I’ve checked in on-line and printed off my boarding go. I shall be travelling with hand baggage solely.

Once I get to the airport can I simply go straight via safety to departures, or do I have to go to the check-in desk first? I’m not sure as I’m wondering when/the place somebody checks that I’ve accomplished the German passenger locator kind.

Ursa Minor

A: Actually good query! Anybody checking baggage in with a human agent (versus self-service bag drop) is prone to have their paperwork examined at that time. However with cabin baggage solely you’ll be able to nonetheless fortunately go straight via safety to departures – simply count on to be checked there.

Q: When are easyJet introducing their cabin baggage add-on product? I learn of their newest monetary outcomes that they may shortly permit passengers to purchase the power to take a trolley case on board as cabin baggage no matter the fare paid or every other bundled product.


A: As with all funds airways, easyJet is searching for to extract some income from the privilege of bringing a decent-sized bag on board a aircraft. (A few of us bear in mind the great days while you have been allowed two items of hand baggage, together with a very chunky case, at no further value; Jet2 nonetheless provides this courtesy).

I agree the present easyJet coverage appears a bit daft. You possibly can carry a bigger bag provided that “you could have booked an upfront or further legroom seat”. I’m certain it will likely be supplied as a standalone add-on quickly.

EU passport guidelines for British guests

Q: Are you able to make clear the EU passport guidelines please? We’re off to Tenerife for half time period and son has till 18 February 2022 left on his passport. I did the passport test which stated it must be renewed after 18 August 2021.

I assumed that you just simply wanted three months left past your return, i.e. if we returned earlier than 18 November then that may be effective?

Lenny G

A: As I’ve instructed the House Workplace – which runs the passport checker – many occasions, it’s wrongly programmed and delivers many false outcomes.

You don’t say how previous your son is, but when he has a baby’s passport (legitimate 5 years or so) then your evaluation of returning earlier than 18 November is precisely proper. If he has an grownup passport issued for 10 years or extra, it’s trickier.

Q: I’ve booked flights to the Algarve from 26 October till 19 December – a complete of 54 nights. I can’t get my head around the 90/180 day rule. When would I be capable of return within the New Yr for a interval longer than the 36 days that I’ll have remaining?


A: How beautiful to be within the Algarve for the primary half of winter. You’ll capable of keep for a most 5 weeks (35 days) moreover to 26 April. At that time you’ll be able to return in as a result of your unique 55 (days, not nights is what counts) will begin to be erased.

This is without doubt one of the many adjustments that Brexit has delivered to journey. I’m very eager to listen to of any advantages past duty-free.

Journey with kids

Q: Simply questioning whether or not there’s prone to be any leisure of journey restrictions for kids in EU nations anytime quickly? Germany and the Netherlands (and others I feel) have nonetheless obtained quarantine guidelines in place for unvaccinated kids reasonably than permitting them entry with a unfavourable PCR check.

Do you assume this may increasingly change quickly? We’ve written off a half-term journey to Germany as our 10-year-old must quarantine for 5 days. So we’re questioning when to vary it to?

Dan 75

A: The inconsistency of admission insurance policies for kids at nations throughout Europe is inflicting a variety of considerations for households. I’m afraid that, with very excessive charges of an infection within the UK, there’s little prospect of a change within the brief time period.

Spain and Portugal, although are amongst a number of the nations comfortable to confess British households if the youngsters have been examined.

Q: I’ve a daughter aged 14. She is due her first vaccination shortly. We have now a cruise booked, however the cruise line says individuals aged 12 and above should be double vaccinated. Do you assume the UK authorities will give her a second dose or will the cruise line let her journey as a consequence of her being unable to get a second dose?

James 75

A: The cruise business is being extraordinarily onerous line when it comes to testing necessities. I’m afraid it’s unlikely that your daughter shall be allowed on board and not using a second jab.

Will probably be fascinating to see how, in future, cruise strains will search as soon as once more to draw households on board.

Indian winter

Q: We’re planning to journey to Goa in December. It’s not clear what vaccination proof we have to enter India. Are the Indian authorities imposing quarantine on UK travellers?

Devans 66

A: An formidable plan, if I’d say so. As a result of the UK has such exceptionally excessive charges of Covid, many nations impose necessary quarantine. For India, it’s “at house or on the vacation spot deal with for 10 days after arrival”.

You additionally want a unfavourable PCR check end result taken not more than 72 hours “previous to enterprise the journey”.

“Every passenger shall additionally submit a declaration with respect to the authenticity of the report,” advises the Overseas Workplace.

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