Here, he helps one reader with a query about the entry requirements for Spain, and advises another – who finds the prospect of travelling abroad ‘overwhelming’ – on the best ways to book a staycation.
Q. We have a trip to America booked next month. My children and I had Covid last month and the Centers for Disease Control website says the U.S. accepts documentation of Covid recovery within 90 days. How do we get this? Also, we 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 rigorous regulations
A. Ten days after you register a positive PCR test on your NHS Covid Pass, a Recovery Pass will appear automatically on it, in addition to your Covid jabs.
For travel to the U.S., you must have proof of being fully vaccinated plus having taken a negative Covid test 24 hours before travel or such a proof of recovery.
The latter could be needed as people who have recently had Covid may still give positive results beyond ten days, despite being officially in the clear.
Children under 17 travelling with vaccinated parents do not need to take tests. Within the U.S., rules vary between states. Best to check ‘Domestic Travel During COVID-19’ at cdc.gov.
Q. Will this be a cheap or pricey year to travel?
– Richard Knox, via email
A. All the indications are that travel to Europe will be extremely cheap. Return flights to Rome are as low as £20 from Stansted in February with Ryanair, which also has returns from Manchester to Seville from £53 in March and Edinburgh-Paris returns from £30 in February (ryanair.com).
All the indications are that travel to Europe will be extremely cheap this year, according to the Holiday Guru. February return flights from Edinburgh to Paris (pictured) with Ryanair cost £30
Q. Can I enter Spain without being vaccinated?
– Edward Jenkins, via email
A. No. All visitors to Spain over 12 must be fully vaccinated and complete an online Health Control Form. See Spain’s ‘entry requirements’ at gov.uk.
Q. As we are now out of the EU, I believe when we go to a country in the Schengen Area we need our passport stamped on entry and departure.
Not getting it stamped risks not being allowed back in a country at a future date as you cannot prove you did not overstay the 90-day limit.
We have two cruises booked to Schengen Area countries next year. Will we get stamped?
– Ron Lewis, via email
A. Stamps should be given on entry/exit. Soon, however —probably within the next six months — the EU is introducing a new IT system known as the Entry/Exit System that will automatically record movements. See Entry/Exit System at ec.europa.eu. When this comes in, stamps may not be required.
The Holiday Guru helps out one reader who was forced to cancel their EasyJet flights
Q. My nerves are shattered after making an easyJet booking for Belfast-Lanzarote flights (£653) then cancelling due to my husband’s ill health. I have shown medical certificates but have only been offered a voucher for his flight and the chance to change the date of mine.
We are pensioners. I do not know if my husband will ever fly again and I would not fly without him. Can you help?
– Moyra and Patrick McSherry, Donaghadee, Northern Ireland
A. EasyJet has reviewed your situation and will provide a full refund for both fares.
Q. I am sick of taking tests, do not like bureaucratic forms and find the prospect of overseas travel overwhelming. Do you have any staycation tips?
– Sarah Silverman, via email
A. Yes: book soon. Cottages, holiday homes and hotel rooms are being snapped up. For cottages, try ruralretreats.co.uk, sykescottages.co.uk, cottages.com and originalcottages.co.uk.
For hotels it’s usually best to book direct via hotel websites, which often have the lowest prices and are often running special deals at this time of year.
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If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email firstname.lastname@example.org