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The starting claxon for the resumption of international holidays has sounded – thousands of travel-starved Britons will travel to green-listed Portugal on May 17, with flights also taking off to Iceland and Gibraltar. It’s the first time since mid-January that it hasn’t been illegal to leave the country for a holiday and for many it’s the first opportunity in over a year to escape our home shores. After being locked down in our homes for so long it’s understandable that the prospect of returning to the nation’s airports might feel alien to the majority of us. With a plethora of new rules to follow at check-in, a traffic light system and a complex testing regime in place, the thought of heading to the airport is quite rightly a little daunting. Here we break down the key questions for prospective holidaymakers and reveal what you can expect when flying in the new normal. Do I need to take a test before going to the airport? Most likely, but this depends on where you’re flying to and whether they require proof of a negative Covid-19 test to allow you to enter – it’s imperative that you check the latest entry requirements for your destination before your trip, as they can change at the last minute. Anybody travelling to Portugal, for example, is required to show a negative PCR at the time of boarding. According to the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office’s website: “The test must have been taken within 72 hours of departure. Your airline is likely to deny boarding if you cannot provide this at check-in.” A handful of destinations have adopted a more laissez-faire approach in a bid to welcome back Britons. Germany will remove the need to present a negative test for any fully vaccinated UK travellers, while Netherlands and Spain will allow anyone in without testing or proof of vaccination so long as they come from a country with a low case rate, like the UK. Gatwick Airport's website advises: “Make sure both the type of test and the test provider’s certificate (which could be paper or digital) are accepted by the country you are travelling to.” If you need a test before you depart for your destination there are a number of testing sites that have been erected at the UK’s airports, plus some airlines are also offering services to their passengers. The Government has a full list of approved private testing provider here – you shouldn’t use the NHS service. Will I need to provide proof of vaccination? If so, how? Some countries are set to allow vaccinated travellers to enter, often without the need to also provide a negative test result, including Germany, Greece and Croatia. The easiest way to do this is via the free NHS app on your smartphone – it’s highly recommended to register with the app and get all your documents in check before you travel, to avoid delay. If you do not have access to a smartphone, are planning to travel in the next four weeks and know that the country you are travelling to requires Covid-19 vaccination status, you can call 119 and ask for a letter to be posted to you – it can take up to seven working days for this to arrive, so plan in advance. The Government’s website warns: “The NHS appointment card from vaccination centres cannot be used to demonstrate your vaccine status.” Do I need to fill out a declaration form to explain why I’m travelling? No. From May 17, UK Departures will not be required to complete a Government Declaration form as it will no longer be illegal to travel for non-essential purposes. What other documentation do I need? As per pre-pandemic, don’t forget essentials such as your passport, travel insurance details and any specific documentation that might be required in your destination.
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"Choices were taken away from me for so long"
One word: WHOA 🍑🍑
The couple confirmed their divorce earlier this year
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