Travel column with Katie Butler: Austria and Vietnam have become the latest countries to announce an end to Covid-related entry restrictions

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Still no change from Spain!

Katie Butler writes: As restrictions around Europe and indeed around the world continue to relax we were hoping that Spain may look at allowing un-vaccinated travellers to enter the country with a negative test. However, news in on Monday confirmed that Spain will continue to ban non-vaccinated adult holidaymakers who haven’t recently recovered from Covid for at least another month. Children aged 12-18 years who aren’t vaccinated must have a negative PCR test. There are no restrictions for under-12s.

Austria and Vietnam have become the latest countries to announce an end to Covid-related entry restrictions, meaning you will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination status or present a negative Covid test result.

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How long does my NHS Covid Pass last for - it says it expires this month?

Austria has lifted all Covid travel restrictions. Photo: AdobeAustria has lifted all Covid travel restrictions. Photo: Adobe
Austria has lifted all Covid travel restrictions. Photo: Adobe

The NHS have recently announced that they have extended the validity of the NHS barcodes to six months, replacing the previous 30 day validity. This started from May 12, so if you ordered your pass prior to this date, then your pass will still have a 30 day expiry date on it. If you order a new one or are downloading from the NHS app or NHS online, then your expiry will now show six months’ validity if ordered after May 11. You no longer need to order or download a Covid pass every 30 days, which is a huge improvement and makes it much easier for those passengers who are lucky enough to have more than one holiday or are staying for a longer duration.

I am travelling to Portugal and need a test before travel, what happens if I test positive and I’m unable to fly?

Some destinations and most cruise-lines may need proof of a negative test before you travel, regardless of vaccine status. If you test positive before you travel, you will not be able to continue with your holiday plans and will need to either change your holiday dates or cancel the booking. You may be able to change your dates depending on who you have your holiday booked with. If you need to cancel the holiday or that is the only option available to you, this is where your travel insurance kicks in. When taking out travel insurance, make sure that it does cover for cancellation. Most insurers now include cancellation cover if you catch Covid but it is best to double-check before you purchase the policy.

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Last week was all about late deals, with June being our top selling month to depart, taking a whopping 20 per cent share of our total bookings. The busy airports don’t seem to be putting you off, and our weekly call rounds to returning customers are still pretty mixed with most advising us that the airports have not been bad at all.

However, I will be able to report back first-hand soon as I am taking my first overseas trip this year early next month… watch this space!