Boost for family holidays as new EU rules mean children who have recently recovered from Covid will be welcome in Europe without testing
- People who have had Covid in the last 180 days can enter the EU without testing
- Those who received their second dose of the vaccine within 270 days can also do so
- Move will make it easier for children who have not yet had their second dose to travel
Families have been boosted by new EU travel rules which will allow children who have recently recovered from Covid to enter without testing.
The rules will allow people who have had Covid in the past 180 days to enter EU member states without additional swabs.
And those who received their second dose of the vaccine within 270 days or a booster will also get a free trip to the block.
Previously, countries like Spain only let in people who had been boosted, while France required everyone to show a negative test on arrival.
The change means that children who have received a dose of the vaccine and then caught the virus will now be able to enter countries more easily.
Under UK rules, children aged 12 to 15 must wait 12 weeks between their second dose if they become infected after the first.
Families have been boosted by new EU travel rules which will allow children who have recently recovered from Covid to enter without testing
Britain has a lower rate of Covid cases than most EU member states, with Denmark currently the worst hit by a wave of infections
WHAT ARE THE NEW TRAVEL RULES?
What have been the changes this week?
From February 11, fully vaccinated arrivals to the UK will no longer need to take a coronavirus test.
The obligation for people who do not belong to this category to isolate themselves will also be removed.
Grant Shapps has also confirmed that young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be able to prove their vaccination status via the NHS digital pass for international travel abroad.
What does this mean for children going to the EU?
Children will be able to view their infection history on the NHS app when entering EU countries.
Member states will now allow those who have had an infection within 180 days to enter the country without having to be tested.
How will this affect them when they return to the UK?
All under-18s returning to Britain have the same status as fully vaccinated travellers.
They will not have to isolate themselves upon arrival.
Are there exceptions to EU rules?
Although all member states have signed on to the changes, they are still allowed to impose their own testing rules.
This means they can change which tests are needed and for whom at any time.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced on Monday that children aged 12 to 15 will now be able to show proof of previous infection on the NHS app from February 3 to travel.
Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of Advantage Travel Partnership, hailed the move as “good news” for families.
She said The temperature“The fact that the NHS pass now shows the recovery of children is very good news and will allow families not only to visit more countries, but also to enjoy the facilities, such as bars, restaurants and museums, in those who require a pass.”
But she urged the UK to follow suit and accept Covid recovery as a reason for not having to have a second day of testing when she returns to the country.
She said: ‘Under the current rules, someone who has had a dose and Covid is still classed as sting-free.
“This means that even when the rules ease next month, they will still have to take a test on the second day.”
It comes as travel companies brace for a surge in summer vacation bookings this weekend, with one firm predicting it will be the busiest two-day period in its history.
Demand has been high in recent days after Monday’s announcement that coronavirus testing for fully vaccinated travelers arriving in the UK will be scrapped from February 11.
But holiday sales are expected to rise significantly this weekend as they follow the first payday after Christmas for millions of workers.
Simon Cooper, chief executive of online travel giant On the Beach – which launched in 2004, said he thought the next few days would be “the busiest we have ever been in our history”.
He said: “We are expecting it to be a stellar weekend, with people researching holidays throughout the month and booking.
“Overall volume has warmed throughout the month.”
The removal of the requirement for fully vaccinated arrivals to take a pre-departure test earlier this month triggered the surge in demand.
Mr Cooper said he believed the number of people going on holiday abroad this summer would be ‘as large, if not greater’ than before the pandemic.
The Greek Islands, Turkey and Dubai are among the best-selling destinations.
The UK’s biggest tour operator, Tui, has predicted it will be its busiest weekend for bookings since the start of the pandemic.
Marketing director Katie McAlister said the boost in confidence is “unleashing pent-up demand for sun holidays”.
She added: “The appetite to travel is stronger than ever and customers who may not have been abroad in over two years are now enjoying flexible booking and payment options, as well as ‘excellent offers, to book a well-deserved summer break. .’
EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren announced on Thursday that the easing of coronavirus restrictions means the UK is “leading in bookings compared to Europe for the first time since spring 2020”.
The low-cost airline plans to operate its highest number of summer flights between the UK and beach destinations this year.