Tag Archives: Calder

‘Travel confidence utterly destroyed’: Simon Calder warns it ‘won’t be a normal summer’

“However, [the Government gave] the impression just nine days ago that we can start a race to the sun,” he continued.

“[Now to] find out the rules have changed fundamentally for many people, [they] are either cancelling trips or trying to work out if they can self-isolate.

“It’s just triggering a huge amount of upset… and a sense they cannot possibly have any confidence in any travel arrangements.

“The travel industry is just saying consumer confidence is utterly destroyed by this latest move.”

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This post originally posted here Daily Express

‘This summer is for the bold & desperate’: Simon Calder warns Britons face ‘dreadful’ time

Simon Calder is a travel journalist and expert who regularly appears on Good Morning Britain to discuss the Governemnt’s latest travel updates. This morning, he spoke about the most recent change in travel rules to Malta, as well as other European countries.

“It’s so much uncertainty.

“It looks as though this summer is for the bold and the desperate.”

Speaking to Richard Madeley and Susanna Reid of GMB, Mr Calder added: “The green list, and amber list, and green watchlist, and red list, are only a UK coming back in issue.

“The other half of the equation is exactly as you say Richard – will the destination let me in?”

Mr Calder continued: “My prediction is that if we see a levelling off in the UK and a calming down, gradually we might see some kind of equilibrium and it will be safe to book.

“But probably not until September.”

The travel expert emphasised that it is a “dreadful dreadful time” for people who want to travel.

“And, of course, the people who I do feel for are those who don’t want a holiday – they want to reunite themselves,” he said.

“Reunite themselves with loved ones they haven’t seen for months or over a year.

“And this is such a stressful time for them.”

As well as the news about Malta, the other travel updates include the fact that the Balearic Islands have been removed from the green list and added to the amber list.

Britons travelling from Ibiza, Majorca, and Menorca will now have to quarantine for 10 days on their return to the UK.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express

Summer travel myths: 'Absolutely not' illegal to travel abroad, says Simon Calder

Simon Calder explained on ITV today that travelling abroad this summer is not illegal. Britons can still travel to any country “that will have them”, said the travel journalist.

Simon Calder spoke to Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby about foreign travel on This Morning today.

There has been much confusion in recent days about what Britons can and cannot do, especially since the Government announced on Monday that the planned easing of lockdown rules has been delayed.

Boris Johnson’s so-called “Freedom Day” will no longer take place on June 21, but four weeks later instead.

Lockdown restrictions in England will be lifted on July 19, the prime minister confirmed this week.

READ MORE: Six great places to go to in Britain: Make your staycation memorable

But Mr Calder noted this morning that some airlines “don’t think there will be any significant changes” next month to the current travel rules.

The journalist claimed that budget airline easyJet believes the Government’s travel traffic light lists will stay the same as they are now.

This is the reason why the airline has announced the launch of new routes this summer – from Liverpool to Bournemouth.

“You can drive it in four hours but fly it in an hour,” Mr Calder explained.

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easyJet’s new route from Merseyside to Dorset will cost Britons £23.

However, Mr Calder insisted that foreign travel is “absolutely not illegal”.

He said: “It’s absolutely not illegal to go abroad.

“I could walk straight out of the studio, go to Heathrow airport, get on one of the many flights to India.”

The travel expert added: “I’m not going to – I think that would be a foolish thing to do and if I came back I’d have to immediately go into hotel quarantine. But there is no law against it.”

But Mr Calder explained that Britons could go abroad if they wanted to, especially since travellers from England no longer need fill in a “Declaration for Travel” form at the airport.

“You are a free British citizen, you can go anywhere that will have you,” Mr Calder said.

He added that it was “more important” for Britons who haven’t seen friends and family in a year, or more, to go abroad if they wanted to.

However, the travel journalist told Philip and Holly that he, personally, will not be going abroad this summer.

“The simple option is to go and stay in great British cities like York, Edinburgh, Chester,” Mr Calder said.

“They are relatively empty and are great places to stay.

“Go and stay in places like Hull or Cardiff – that’s what I do.”

He added: “If you want a cottage by the sea in Cornwall, good luck with that.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

'Flight £20 -Covid test £100' Simon Calder outlines full travel costs facing holidaymakers

Speaking from Portugal, travel expert Simon Calder warned Britons coronavirus testing could be more expensive than flights out of the UK. He said his flight to the Azores “cost £25” but the test “cost £100”. His comments come as he gave travel advice to those desperate to get away from the UK into the sun this summer. But he warned of the mounting paperwork involved with travelling during Covid, even in countries being listed on the ‘green list’ which means you do not have to quarantine on arrival or return.
Calder told the show: “We had this silly situation where Friday afternoon the Portuguese said ok Brits you can come in but by the way if you are booked on Monday’s fight you better get your act together because we are going to need a negative PCR test.

“So I was running around at the weekend down at Heathrow because they guaranteed that they would get the results back to me.”

The travel journalist added: “And the flight cost £25, the test cost £100.

“There is something gone wrong there.”

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Mr Calder also warned Brits that the paperwork for holidays must not be underestimated.

He said: “The only cloud on the horizon is that for going back, I have got to start getting all the forms in place.

“Tests before departure, book a test before arrival, fill in a passenger locator form.

“I’ve been to the Soviet Union and honestly it was a lot easier than just coming back into my own country after this!”

READ MORE: Holiday in Portugal: Rules Britons need to follow when on holiday

Portugal has been listed as a ‘green list’ destination for Brits meaning you do not need to quarantine on arrival or return from holiday – which makes it a desirable option for British holidaymakers who want to escape the UK for a break.

But the country has some of the strictest Covid restrictions, similar to Spain and Italy.

Masks and face coverings are mandatory indoors and outdoors, on public transport and UK holidaymakers are subject to the local rules.

Punters must also wear a mask when entering or leaving the beach in Portugal – if they don’t follow these rules they face a massive €1,000 fine.

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Other green list countries include Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Israel.

Foreign travel reopened on May 17 along with other restrictions being lifted in the UK, such as indoor hospitality and an end to the overnight stay ban.

And a huge 20 flights from the UK landed in Faro, Portugal on Monday morning bringing sun chasing Britons into the country for a much-needed holiday.

Countries labelled as ‘amber’ and ‘red’ on the UK Government’s traffic light system’ remain virtually off-limits for Britons as they are countries with high covid rates.

Travellers to red list countries have to quarantine in government-provided hotels at a cost of around £1,750 per head – covering food, accommodation, transport, and testing.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Holidays: Simon Calder shares 2 tests you must do even when travelling to green countries

Holidays may be back on from mid-May but travel still won’t be as simple as it once was in pre-Covid days. Even for countries on the “green list,” a number of Covid tests will be required while hotel quarantine remains in place for a swathe of “red list” countries. Expert Simon Calder shared his travel advice today regarding what jet-setters can expect next month.
“From May 17 some international travel will be possible,” he told Radio 2.

“[The Government] will have three lists – every country in the world, and maybe individual regions or islands, will be carved up either red, amber or green.

“The idea is: red countries, like the current red list – 39 nations where you are going to have to go into hotel quarantine when you come back.

“The amber list – that’s 10 days of self-isolation and paying for a couple of tests while you’re here and then green, which is the one we kind of all want.”

READ MORE: Spain holidays: Traffic light system sparks summer holiday concern

However, even for the green destinations, two Covid tests will be needed.

These will have to be paid for out of travellers’ pockets, and they don’t come cheap.

“Even then you’ve got to pay for a test before you even get on a plane, or a train or ferry to the UK and finally when you are arriving in Britain in the next two days you’ve got to take a PCR test which is going to involve yet more expense,” Calder explained.

“So, it’s not going to be easy but it is going to be possible.”

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said last week he is hoping to drive down the costs of Covid tests following an uproar about the rising costs of holidays due to the high price of tests.

The minister also said he wasn’t advising against booking travel.

Calder, too, explained today that holidaymakers can get trips in the diary, provided they take the necessary precautions.

He also recommended booking for a later date.

“The later you’re looking at booking the higher the chance you’ll get what you actually want,” he said.

Calder continued: “What I think the Government is going (they’re wanting to be cautious) is, saying we’re going to have a kind of test for six weeks or two months.

“We’ll let all the people who are desperate to see loved ones, we’ll let them go off and jump through all the hurdles… after that hopefully the vaccination roll out across Europe will have improved.”

The travel expert also shared his insight into what countries will likely be on the green list.

“I’m expecting later in the summer, probably from some time in July, but that’s just a prediction, maybe Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Italy, Greece, ad Cyprus will be on the green list and the testing will be a lot easier and cheaper,” he said.

Package holidays are the best type of break to book during these uncertain times.

“At the moment there’s absolutely nothing wrong with booking a holiday so long as you book a proper package holiday,” urged Calder.

“Because then that way you can say, if this doesn’t go ahead, what are my rights? And the travel agent should be able to say, you’ll get a full refund.”

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Simon Calder exposes travel loophole as tourists still coming into UK 'not here to visit'

Jeremy Vine was addressing figures that emerged on Monday showing that 8,000 tourists continue to arrive in the UK every day. Travel expert Simon Calder suggested visitors are using tourist visas to come into the country by exploiting a loophole that allows foreign visitors into the country despite Britons not allowed to leave the country themselves. The travel expert explained how frustration from Britons at the situation has risen further as the Government have moved the prospect of foreign travel beyond the previous reopening date of May 17.
Mr Calder said: “They’re not really tourists.

“There is no point coming to the UK to be a tourist. Trust me, I’ve spent the last three months trudging around trying to be a tourist as far as I can walk from my front door.”

The travel expert said that what these visitors were doing was exploiting a loophole for their reasons for visiting the country.

He explained: “They are people who perhaps applied for tourist visas who actually have got friends, family who are here and they’ve come specifically to visit them.”

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Mr Calder added: “But I agree it is frustrating to hear that they are coming here as tourists.

“It has been illegal for the last three months to leave the country (Britain).”

He also noted that if Britons were to try to follow in the footsteps of these visitors and leave the country for a holiday, they would face a £5,000 fine.

He concluded how frustration at the situation is rising following Boris Johnson’s decision to kick the May 17 date for reopening foreign travel “further down the road”.

READ MORE: Holidays: Boris Johnson says foreign travel may not go ahead for summer – latest update[2]

LBC host and Tottenham MP David Lammy on Monday was left absolutely astounded as it was revealed 20,000 people, of which 8,000 are using the “tourist” claim, are still allowed to arrive into the UK every day in what he described as a failure of Britain’s Covid strategy.

Mr Lammy launched a scathing attack on the Prime Minister and the Government as he questioned why this was continuing to happen as Britons are banned from international travel without a reasonable excuse. 

The astonished Labour MP said: “20,000 people arriving every single day in the United Kingdom many of them saying ‘we’re coming in we want to visit Big Ben.’”

He added: “What is going on? Where is the strategy?”

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Mr Lammy added: “And then we find out the whole world and her aunt can breeze into Britain no problems.”

But Minister for Future Borders and Immigration Kevin Foster said: “We do not recognise these figures. We are enforcing tough health measures at the border for the small minority of people coming to the UK, including those entering on a visitor visa for legitimate reasons.

“Since January 2021, we have paused all decisions on visitor visas to applicants applying from a ‘red list’ country or where it is apparent an applicant has visited one of those countries in the last ten days.

“Border Force officers also have the right to refuse entry to any visitor who they believe has travelled to the UK to carry out activities not permitted under current local health restrictions, such as holidays or tourism, or who will not comply with self-isolation and testing requirements.”

Simon Calder warns travel firms 'absolutely furious' as Boris says 'too early' for trips

The travel expert told Good Morning Britain the Government’s confusing messaging over international travel has led to travel bosses being “absolutely furious”. Mr Johnson failed to deliver a clear message on international travel at Monday’s press conference, adding it was “too early” to plan beyond the expected relaxation of international travel on May 17. Simon Calder went on to say it has left operators confused about what the next steps are as holidaymakers fear they won’t get away this summer.
The travel expert said: “As coronavirus has been raging across Europe and beyond many epidemiologists have said it would be madness to allow international travel as you run the risk of bringing in variants of concerns.

“The PM had been expected to announce the restart within six weeks and clearly the medical people won out.

“Effectively he said ‘maybe next week, maybe next month’.”

But he added how airport operators such as Gatwick “simply don’t know what they are supposed to be doing” from May 17 onwards which has led to confusion and fury inside the travel industry who are now struggling to plan ahead.

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He said: “There is an awful lot of concern out there.”

Mr Calder continued by saying how chief executives at travel operators and agencies say they are “disappointed” but that really translates as “absolutely furious” at the Government for the confusing message on international travel given at the latest press conference in Downing Street.

He added: “They could not believe the government have done that and created so much uncertainty for millions of people.”

But the travel expert stressed holidaymakers “absolutely should not” cancel holidays or flights following the confusion as they will not be protected.

READ MORE: Simon Calder: ‘Complicated’ Brexit passport rules for Europe travel – ‘for goodness sake’[2]

Mr Calder’s comments come as the Prime Minister delivered a statement on the future of international travel which led to panic amongst travel operators who need clarity on the next steps.

Mr Johnson said: “We are hopeful we can get going from May 17 but I do not wish to give hostages to fortune or to underestimate the difficulties we are seeing in some of the countries people are wanting to go to.

“Given the state of the pandemic abroad, and the progress of vaccination programmes in other countries, we are not yet in a position to confirm that non-essential international travel can resume from that point.

“Taking into account the latest situation with variants and the evidence about the efficacy of vaccines against them, we will confirm in advance whether non-essential international travel can resume on May 17.”

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He added: “Or whether we will need to wait longer before lifting the outbound travel restriction.”

Boris Johnson stated Britons will be given as much notice as possible for when international travel will reopen but this was not enough detail for travel operators.

If travel does go ahead next month, it is likely there will be further travel restrictions put into place such as a green, amber, red traffic light system to indicate countries where the virus presence is high.

Current restrictions mean Britons can face £5,000 fines if they travel without an acceptable reason.

Simon Calder: 'Complicated' Brexit passport rules for Europe travel – 'for goodness sake'

Travel after Brexit is about to get much more complicated once European holidays are back on the cards for Britains. This summer Europe is expected to open up for UK holidaymakers once more.
Today Simon Calder warned all those planning to travel to check their passports and, most importantly, when those passports expired.

Speaking to presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, Simon said: “Since Brexit, since the transition period ended, it gets a lot more complicated going into Europe.

“The Government has an online passport checker system so if you are thinking of going abroad then for goodness sake don’t fall at the first hurdle and find that you haven’t got your passports in order.”

Ruth asked the expert when passports expire.

READ MORE: Simon Calder: Britons will holiday in France despite lockdown – ‘absolutely confident’[1]

British overseas territory Gibraltar was also one of his picks.

Eamonn Holmes ranted about the travel rules on today’s programme.

He said: “Quite frankly, it’s getting boring. Somebody make a decision somewhere.

“Do you know what, Simon?” Eamonn said. “I’m fed up with it.

“I’m fed up with it and there are deals within deals, you know.

“Why are you not getting tested if you’re coming from France or whatever, oh because we’ve done deals with people.”

Simon Calder reveals countries most likely to be on UK green list for holidays

The travel expert told This Morning presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford his predictions for countries that could be OK to fly to this summer if a traffic light system is brought in for foreign holidays. Mr Calder rattled off exotic destinations such as Dubai and Bahrain as possible locations for British holidaymakers this summer. But he warned the number of destinations that open up to travellers will be dependent on how good the host country’s vaccine programme is.
Simon Calder told the show: “Malta is doing really well.

“There is also talk about the UAE (where Dubai is) currently on the red list but they could go suddenly from red to green possibly.”

He also said the USA, which is making strong progress with their vaccine rollout, is another contender for holidays this summer for Britons.

But Mr Calder stressed any location that opens up to foreign travellers will be “dependent on how good” their vaccination programme is.

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He also added how exotic locations such as Bahrain in the Middle East could be on a green list.

And British overseas territory Gibraltar was also a likely contender for travel despite not having many hotels for holidaymakers.

His comments come as Britons eagerly await news from Prime Minister Boris Johnson on when overseas holidays may return.

Travel corridors have not yet been confirmed for this summer, but speculations over a traffic light system similar to travel corridors have been suggested.

READ MORE: Summer holidays ‘set for Covid traffic lights’[2]

Flights and holidays abroad are set to resume next month under the Government’s roadmap which has seen many companies cancelling all flights and holidays until the middle of May.

TUI and Jet2 have pushed all flights and holidays back to May 16, while all easyJet holidays are axed until May 17.

But Ryanair has continued to fly throughout the coronavirus pandemic but flight schedules remain subject to change and some flights have been axed.

Boris Johnson is expected to offer some light on foreign travel plans during a Downing Street press conference at 5pm today.