A ‘valid’ passport… that won’t let me into Greece! The Holiday Guru tackles readers’ Covid and Brexit-related travel issues
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week, he helps one reader with a query about passport expiry dates in post-Brexit times and advises another on the necessary documentation for a trip to France.
Q. I have heard that some European countries such as Greece are turning away UK passports even though they have an expiry date which is more than three months in the future. Why is this?
Josephine Anderson, Hartlepool.
The Holiday Guru helps a reader who heard countries such as Greece are turning away certain UK passports. Pictured is the Greek capital of Athens
A. This post-Brexit rule could catch you out. Non-EU nationals visiting Europe must have a passport valid for at least three months after the date they intend to leave the EU country. The passport must also have been issued within ten years of that same date.
Some countries are taking the date ten years on from when a passport was issued as its expiry date, even though some British passports will be valid for more than ten years if the passport has been renewed early.
The Passport Office states: ‘If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months may not count towards the minimum period needed [of three months left].’ Note: the rule does not apply for travel to Ireland.
Q. My husband and I plan to visit France from September 10 to 13. What documents do we need?
John and Barbara Barrow, via email.
A. Presuming you are fully vaccinated, on arrival in France you will need a completed ‘sworn statement’ that you do not display Covid symptoms (see French ‘entry requirements’ at gov.uk) and proof of your vaccination status on the NHS app.
On return you must complete a UK passenger locator form (see the ‘Fill in your passenger locator form’ page, again at gov.uk), take a Covid antigen test while in France and book a PCR test from a Government-recognised centre in the UK to take on or before day two of coming back.
Fully vaccinated Britons ‘do not need Covid tests’ to visit Cyprus, the Holiday Guru reveals
Q. We have flights to Cyprus departing on September 7. We are confused because Cyprus has put the UK on its red list and says that those with two jabs, like us, don’t need a PCR test on arrival.
Can you confirm? And do we need to take a test before returning home?
M. Rick, via email.
A. Those who have proof of being fully vaccinated do not need Covid tests.
See cyprusflightpass.gov.cy/en/vaccinated-passengers. For return, check the rules for coming back from an amber country. See gov.uk, gov.scot, gov.wales and nidirect.gov.uk.
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If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email us at email@example.com.