Foreign & Commonwealth Office Update
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice has changed for Mainland Spain. Scroll down for more information.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has announced that the UK travel ban has been lifted for a number of destinations. Additionally, the UK has relaxed quarantine measures for all passengers returning to the UK from destinations that are at low risk of Covid-19 transmission.
- The UK travel ban has been lifted for a number of destinations. Please see the FCO website for further information on specific destinations as local restrictions may differ from FCO advice.
- For information on any Covid-19-related health documentation you might require for your holiday please visit our airport measures page.
- For customers who are due to travel to Portugal, the FCO does not currently consider Portugal on its list of exempt countries and therefore at the moment they are advising against all but essential travel. The Portuguese Government has expressed its disappointment at this decision and the expectation is that Portugal will be considered a safe destination to travel to in the very near future. Flights are currently still operating so we are contacting all customers who are due to travel to Portugal according to their date of departure to establish whether they want to travel or wish to cancel. We are grateful for your patience during this time. For further information please see the FCO website.
- British nationals living in Morocco, as well as their families, will be allowed to enter Morocco, but the borders will not be open for tourism If you’re eligible to enter, you will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days, sign a statement and download the tracking app ‘Wiqaytna’.
- Prior to travelling to Turkey, travellers must fill in this form.
- Prior to travelling to Croatia, travellers must fill in this form.
- From 1 August 2020, travellers to Cyprus must provide a negative Covid-19 test, obtained within 72 hours before travel, on arrival. The test results can be in the form of an email or SMS but must include the date and time the test was taken and state the type of test, which must be PCR. Travellers must also fill in this form.
- From 1 August 2020, passengers will need to present a QR code to be able to enter Spain. This can be obtained from the Spain Health Travel website or the SPTH app. Please note that facemasks are mandatory for anyone over six years old in many indoor and outdoor public spaces in Spain. Specific rules may vary from in each region and the situation is evolving quite regularly so you should carry a face mask with you and be prepared to wear it throughout your stay.
- For anyone planning on visiting Greece, all travellers are obliged to complete a form at least 24 hours before entering the country, providing detailed information on their point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of your stay while in Greece. For further information and to download the form please see our specific airport measures page.
- From 1 August 2020 all passengers arriving in Dubai from any destination, including passengers connecting in Dubai, must have a negative PCR COVID-19 test certificate to be accepted on the flight. The test must be taken a maximum of 96 hours before departure. This excludes children under the age of 12 and passengers who have a moderate or severe disability.
Unless we have confirmed otherwise, we’re delighted to say that this means your holiday can still go ahead as planned and you can start looking forward to your beach break. You'll find plenty of travel information and frequently asked questions below so you know what safety measures are in place for your holiday.
The situation has been unpredictable, but we’re really excited to be able to get you back on the beach. We will be monitoring things closely and should anything change, we will be in touch right away.
Planning for your holiday
What will happen with my holiday to Spain?
Can I request to change the date of my holiday?
In the current environment with workloads from flight cancellations and hotel closures, there is limited resource we could assign to quote requests to change dates. We do not set the prices for flights or hotels. These are set by the airlines and hoteliers respectively. Therefore any price increase to change dates is as result of the pricing policies of these suppliers and not On the Beach. Over the past few weeks and prior to the new advice about travel to Spain, we have quoted several thousand date change requests. Because summer 2021 is currently on limited release, these quotations were often double the price paid for the 2020 holiday and as a result well in excess of the cost to cancel the holiday. As a result of this only a very small proportion of the customers quoted proceeded with a change of dates. We regret that we are therefore unable to deal with date change requests at the current time.
The above advice also applies to requests to change destinations.
Where flights continue to operate, these are non-refundable. To protect package organisers and customers where hotels are closed, package organisers are obliged to provide suitable alternative accommodation. A suitable alternative is deemed to be of the same or higher star rating (and quality), the same board basis and a similar location.
The relevant clause in the Package Travel Directive is as follows: Where, following commencement of the package, significant proportions of the package cannot be performed, alternatives offered should be at no extra cost and should, where possible, be of equivalent or higher quality than those specified in the original contract. If the organiser is constrained to propose alternative arrangements of a lower quality, the organiser must grant an appropriate price reduction. Travellers may choose to reject alternative arrangements only if they are not comparable with those originally agreed, or the price reduction offered is inadequate.
A change of hotel is not a major change that triggers the cancellation of the package and so where hotels are closed but flights are operating, suitable alternatives are being booked for all guests for the duration of their stay. Our operations team continues to deal with these in departure date order to ensure that all guests have suitable accommodation for their stay.
Do I need any additional documentation to travel?
For any passengers travelling with Enter Air, there may be some additional declaration forms required. Please see their website for further information.
I have transfers arranged whilst on holiday - what safety measures will be in place?
Our transfers partner has put together this useful guide highlighting the precautions and safety measures that they are taking to ensure your wellbeing whilst abroad.
We appreciate you may have some further concerns about your holiday and have laid out some additional FAQs below.
refunds taking so long to process?
Where holidays are cancelled, we are able to refund any monies paid for hotels and transfers within 2-4 weeks. These refunds are automatically added to your booking and an email will be sent to tell you how to claim. Where monies are owed for cancelled flights, we are doing our best to refund as soon as we receive from the airlines but with many millions of refunds to process across the industry and the workloads created by the changing travel advice, the refund process is slower than it should be and for this we apologise.
Sunshine pays for flights for all of its customers in full at the time the booking is made. In order to protect you in the event of cancellation, Sunshine is obliged by the Package Travel Regulations to refund cancellations within 14 days, but this assumes that airlines will have refunded within 7 days in line with the requirements on airlines under EU261. Airlines have not complied with this law for the last 4 months and Sunshine has been one of the loudest advocates lobbying regulators and government to get them to impose the law for the benefit of all consumers. Clearly travel companies cannot afford to refund flight monies without receipt of refunds from airlines and of course those airlines that we are waiting on refunds from are many times bigger than us and have had billions of pounds worth of support to ensure that they can pay these refunds via us to you.
We are currently waiting on confirmed timelines from each airline for refunds for holidays that were due to depart in May, June and July. We are in constant touch with the airline to do anything we can to make this process happen more quickly. Once we have received the refund from the airlines, we will do our best to get the refund over to you in the shortest possible timeframe. As soon as this is received by us, it will be loaded directly into your booking and an email will be sent to you detailing how this can be collected.
Unless we have communicated otherwise, we’re delighted to say that your holiday can still go ahead as planned and you can start looking forward to your beach break. You'll also find plenty of travel information and more frequently asked questions on this page.
The situation has been unpredictable, but we’re really excited to be able to get you back to the sunshine. We will be monitoring things closely and should anything change, we will be in touch right away.
Why have I not received my refund in full?
- We will first be returning any monies paid towards the cost of your hotel and transfer. This refund will be paid in cash and will be credited to the payment card used at the time of booking.
- Your flight costs will be refunded once we have received these from your airline. We are in contact with your airline to confirm that these also will be paid in cash. We are unable to commit to any time frame for this element of your refund as this is down to your airline themselves, however please be assured that we will pass this over to you as soon as we receive it.
Why do I not have a refund pending in 'My Sunshine'?
If you do not have a pending refund showing on your 'My Sunshine' page this is because we have not yet received your refund from the airline.
How can I claim a refund for any extra costs associated with my flight?
If you have paid your airline for any extras (for example, priority boarding or additional luggage) then these will have been paid using your own payment card and the cost should have been refunded directly to you. If you have not yet received a refund for these extra costs then you will need to speak to your airline.
Do I still need to make my next instalment payment?
I am due to travel from July onwards - can I still go on holiday?
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has stated that the UK travel ban has been lifted for a number of destinations. Additionally, the UK has relaxed quarantine measures for all passengers returning to the UK from destinations that are at low risk of Covid-19 transmission.
My holiday has been cancelled – why does it still show as ‘confirmed’?
We have been experiencing unprecedented call volumes, resulting in long waits and making it difficult for us to respond to the most urgent of queries. Our customers remain our number one priority and, to be able to respond to everyone as quickly and efficiently as possible, we have temporarily funnelled all customers through a single means of communication.
Please be assured that we are working through the most time-sensitive bookings as a priority and that we will contact you as soon as we are able.What happens if I catch the virus on holiday?
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