Travel with Katie Butler: UK Airports still struggling with long queues
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Katie Butler writes: My firsthand airport/TUI experience will be in next week’s column and I am hoping I have plenty of positive things to say.
I am, of course, also slightly nervous with the surge again in Covid-19 cases within the UK.
Will countries bring back restrictions and testing again in order to enter?
Of course I don’t know what other countries are thinking and I don’t have a crystal ball.
What I do know is that destinations are continuing to ease restrictions, with mainland Portugal and Madeira being the latest European country to drop Covid requirements from July 1.
Zero testing, zero vaccine proof and no requirement to complete a passenger locater form to enter the country from this date.
Which popular holidays hotspots still have restrictions in place and look likely to keep them for the summer?Most European holiday destinations have ditched all Covid related requirements and are allowing test and vaccine free travel from the UK.
However, there are still some countries who have opened up more cautiously and still have restrictions in place as a way of minimising the spread of Covid-19.
Restrictions remain in place for France, Spain, Malta and the Netherlands.
The Netherlands are the strictest of them all, along with the USA. Both countries banning UK holidaymakers who have not been vaccinated.
In addition, if you are wanting to take a cruise and are not fully-vaccinated you may have to wait a while.
All cruise companies are still only accepting fully-vaccinated adults, many also insisting on a pre-departure negative test too.
Are the airports getting any better?
In short, and from recent feedback calls with recently travelled customers, it would seem not.
While the airports are taking on new staff nearly every single day, the holiday demand is as high as ever and most people are prepared to queue if it means they can get on their well-deserved and long-awaited holidays (me included).
There are still many customers who are not having a problem at all but this week there has been an increase in those who have experienced lengthy waits.
Many of our customers are booked with Jet2holidays as we are a verified booking agent, and while the company cannot do much in the way of speeding up security lanes, they do have staff in every UK airport. The airline is ensuring that staff are patrolling security lanes and pushing through anyone who may miss their flight if it is departing soon.
I am relieved to say we have not had anyone miss their flight (I hope I have not jinxed this).
July remains our strongest month for new bookings, confirming as above that the airport issues are not having an impact on sales.
For many of you, the chance of getting away to sunnier climes is of high importance, and of course the lack of sunshine at home certainly helps.