With overseas travel set to resume shortly, check out my top tips if you are thinking of travelling overseas this summer.
Are you dreaming of beach days and balmy nights? Can’t wait to get on a plane again? Well the time has finally arrived, overseas travel will resume for non essential reasons on the 19th of July! I have highlighted some top tips for travelling overseas below which you might find useful if planning a well needed break away.
1. The Digital Covid Certificate only applies to EU countries.
The Irish government has agreed to implement the Digital Covid Certificate which will allow us to travel freely within the EU if we have been fully vaccinated, recovered from Covid, or have proof of a negative test result. We should also be able to travel to other countries outside the EU with a similar model, but there may be exceptions in place for countries considered as ‘ high risk’.
2. If you are fully vaccinated there are no travel restrictions within the EU
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While testing will be required for non vaccinated visitors and children, if you are fully vaccinated ( two weeks after second dose), you can jet off without any testing requirements.
3. If you travel against government advice, your travel insurance will be invalidated
If you travel against government advice, it is important to note that your travel insurance will be invalidated. This could have serious financial repercussions if you travel outside of the EU.
However, if travelling within Europe, you can get the European Health Insurance card which will give you medical treatment for free, or at a reduced rate, in all European countries. See more here. Note, this will only cover you for medical treatment, and not for cancellation or curtailment, or for expenses occurred should you have to remain in a country due to a Covid-19 outbreak.
4. Modern aircraft have air filtration systems similar to hospital operating theatres.
While the plane journey is just one of the components associated with travelling overseas, it is one that many are concerned with. However, it has been widely stated that the risk of catching an infection on an aircraft is typically lower than in crowded shopping centres or pubs.
The main reason is that modern airplanes have cabin air filtration systems equipped with HEPA filters. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air filters) have similar performance to those used in hospital operating theatres, and can capture 99% of the airborne microbes in the filtered air. You can read more on HEPA here.
5. Check entry requirements of the country you wish to travel to.
If you are thinking of travelling overseas, is important to check the entry requirements to the country you are travelling to. Some countries will require you to fill out Passenger Locator forms or health screening questionnaires online before you travel, (currently Greece require this to be filled out 24 hours in advance of travel), while others will accept paper forms on arrival.
Many European countries require negative tests to be taken before arrival if you are not vaccinated, and the child ages vary from country to country. Ireland requires anyone over 7 to produce a negative PCR test on entry, while Spain and Portugal allow rapid Antigen tests and children under 12 are exempt.
It is imperative that you check with the country you are travelling to before your departure to ensure that you are following the correct entry guidelines.
6. Countries have individual policies in tourist resorts.
It is important to check the guidelines in the resort / city that you are going to. Some holiday resorts and hotels will require you to pre-book pool times, beach space and even breakfast times. If there is a particular restaurant or theme park that you wish to visit, book it in advance to avoid disappointment.
Masks are mandatory in many countries and you may get our temperature checked on arrival. Holiday hot spots like Spain and Portugal depend on tourism, and you will find that they will do all possible to ensure protocols are being obeyed.
7. Flights are and will operate from Irish airports regardless of government advice and refunds wont be given.
If your flight operates, and government advice against non-essential travel is still in place, you are NOT entitled to a refund if you wish to cancel. Many airlines will allow you to change your dates for free, however terms and conditions to apply.
8. You ARE entitled to a refund if your flight is cancelled
If your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to a refund under EU261. These are taking longer than usual to get processed, but you should receive one if you apply. Note EU 261 is an Air Passenger law, and applies to flights originating from Europe, not hotels, package holidays etc.
For more information on the latest travel updates, how best to secure a refund and travel insurance, check out the travel tips section of my website.