Travel column with Katie Butler: Australia to ease its Covid travel restrictions and reopen its borders from February 21

Bondi Beach: Australia to re-open its borders from February 21. Photo: Getty ImagesBondi Beach: Australia to re-open its borders from February 21. Photo: Getty Images
Bondi Beach: Australia to re-open its borders from February 21. Photo: Getty Images
It seems to be getting easier, it is certainly getting busier and holidays are most definitely in high demand.

Katie Butler writes: In fact, it is almost like panic buying has turned from toilet rolls to holidays!

This week, we saw a number of positive announcements relating to overseas travel.

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Morocco has now re-opened to international arrivals after being closed since late November due to the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The Portuguese Tourist Board has also confirmed that UK vaccination certification or proof of recovery will now be accepted on entry to the country.

The Portuguese Government confirmed negative Covid-19 tests on arrival will no longer be required for those able to present digital certification of proof of vaccination, although at the moment pre-departure tests will still be required.

In addition, fully-vaccinated visitors to Greece no longer have to take a pre-departure test before travelling to the country.

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Perhaps the most unexpected announcement came from the Australian Government who announced the reopening of its borders to the fully-vaccinated from February 21.

It is fantastic to see more of the world starting to re-open.

With such a huge destination like Australia finally opening its borders for vaccinated travellers we hope we can start to help our customers plan and re-engage with friends and families, many of whom have not seen one another for a number of years.

When the restrictions are lifted it will be the first time since March 2020 that travellers will be able to enter the country from anywhere in the world.

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Anyone with medical proof that they cannot be vaccinated will be able to apply for an exemption.

Of course, it goes without saying, that as holidays seem to be getting easier, and vaccinations, test requirements and passenger locater forms are now becoming the norm, we are seeing more and more tour operators and airlines start to go back to pre-pandemic terms and conditions.

This means it is more likely that you will be charged an administration fee should you wish to make changes to your booking.

If you have a holiday booked and you are unsure of your options, then we recommend you speak to your travel provider to ensure you are fully aware of the terms and conditions relating to your booking.

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Most travel companies right now are experiencing a huge demand in new bookings but we also have the added work of dealing with: hotels deciding they are opening later, scheduled airlines changing flying days and times, and of course the complications around unvaccinated children/teenagers.

This has a knock-on effect to us all, as we are finding that most days, we are on hold to the airlines and tour operators for most of the day!

This of course ties up our phone lines and can make it difficult for customers to get through to us on the phone.

So, if you are struggling to get through to your travel provider, then you could try sending an email or make contact through social media channels such a Facebook and Twitter.

As always, watch this space for any further updates.

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■ If you have a specific travel question you would like Katie to answer in her column, please email: [email protected]Read more:

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