Travel column with Katie Butler: Update - countries lifting or easing Covid travel restrictions
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Katie Butler writes: It is fantastic to once again see the shop busy with excited passengers checking in for their flights ready to jet off to sunnier climes.
It’s getting easier as more destinations ease entry requirements and restrictions!
A huge announcement from Spain last week, who announced that they will lift all Covid-related entry requirements for all arrivals including those from the UK.
The country announced last Monday that from May 2 visitors will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test.
Greece has also announced that from next month it is suspending use of its Covid pass, meaning that travellers will be permitted entry to bars and cafes without being required to hold proof of vaccine status.
Greece has already scrapped its passenger locater form from March 15. However, the UK Foreign Office has not yet updated with this information, and until entry requirements are officially dropped, passengers will be subject to current restrictions, which is to show proof of being fully-vaccinated or a pre-arrival test. Watch this space!
The country of Jamaica also announced last week that it will drop its Covid testing requirements and now international travellers will no longer be required to do any pre-arrival tests, there will be no quarantine and a travel authorisation form will no longer be required.
I am travelling this month, how are things at the airports?
We are still calling on our returning customers for feedback on the queues at the airports and it seems that most of our customers have been lucky and not experienced mayhem.
We still recommend to arrive earlier than you normally would, and ensure you are familiar with what you can and can’t take through security.
To help reduce delays with hand baggage at security, remember that liquids must be 100ml or less and placed in a clear resealable bag. Also, you must remove large electrical items from your bag.
In addition, Terminal three at Manchester will fully re-open this week to meet increased demand.
Last month the airport advised that Terminal three would not be opening until the end of the year. However, from April 22 all passengers scheduled to fly with British Airways, Vueling and Ryanair, to name a few, should now check in at Terminal three. Food and drink outlets as well as shops will also be open. Hopefully this will also help with queuing times at security.
Our first passengers to Spain without the need to complete a passenger locater form have this week returned and so far the feedback has been positive. If you are fully-vaccinated you no longer need to complete the time-consuming form, and simply join the “orange” lines on arrival with proof of your vaccination status.
With the main summer season almost upon us we expect to see more restrictions easing. Are we back to pre-pandemic levels? We are not quite there but it certainly feels like we won’t be waiting too long.