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Latest Travel News from Co-operative Travel

Latest news from the Travel industry and details of any incidents that may impact on foreign travel.

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New Government Aviation Security Measures

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Last Updated 22nd March 2017

New Government Aviation Security Measures

ABTA have issued some information regarding the Governments introduction of some new aviation security measures affecting inbound direct flights to the UK from the following countries:

- Egypt
- Jordan
- Lebanon
- Saudi Arabia
- Tunisia
- Turkey

The FCO has updated the travel advice for the countries affected by the new security measures.  The applicable information is included in the summary of the travel advice for these countries.

Turkey FCO travel advice

Summary: There’s a heightened risk of terrorist attack against aviation; the UK government has decided to implement additional security measures for flights departing to the UK from a number of countries including Turkey in the coming days but no later than 25 March 2017; you should co-operate fully with security officials; if you need more information about how this may affect your flight, contact your airline or travel company.

Please Note: The travel advice for the affected countries mirrors that of the Turkey advice – the only difference is the country name in the summary reflects the applicable country concerned.

The full travel advice for the affected countries can be accessed via these links:

- Egypt: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt

- Jordan: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/jordan

- Lebanon: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/lebanon

- Tunisia: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tunisia

- Turkey: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey

- Saudi Arabia: Please note the FCO travel advice for Saudi Arabia has not yet been updated https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/saudi-arabia. The overall level of advice for these counties has not changed and there are travel restrictions in place.

Advice for Customers

People travelling to /from the affected countries who are travelling with phones, laptops and tablets larger than length: 16.0cm / width: 9.3cm / depth: 1.5cm are advised to:

- Comply with the new security arrangements.

- Contact their travel insurance company ahead of travel as these devices are typically not covered by travel insurance policies either for loss, damage or theft when in the hold.

- Consider leaving their larger electronic devices at home but we appreciate that may be difficult.

Further updates will be provided as they become available.

Travel to The Gambia - FCO Advice

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Last Updated 18th January 2017

FCO Advice for Travel to The Gambia

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all but essential travel to The Gambia due to ongoing political uncertainty and potential military intervention following the Presidential elections on 1 December 2016. If you’re currently in The Gambia you should leave by commercial means if you have no essential need to remain.

The incumbent President, Yahya Jammeh, continues to contest the election results at the Supreme Court, while the President elect, Mr. Adama Barrow, has left the country. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has stated it may intervene, including possible military action, if President Jammeh doesn’t step down on the scheduled handover date of 18/19 January 2017.

This has led to intransigence on the part of the sitting government, resulting in reports that it has started to take restrictive measures, including shutting down opposition radio stations and making politically motivated arrests. The potential for military intervention and civil disturbance is high and could result in Banjul International Airport being closed at short notice. You should follow events closely, take extra care, keep in regular contact with your tour operator and airline and continue to monitor travel advice and social media updates in case tensions rise as the current political deadlock continues. Avoid large crowds and avoid discussing politically sensitive topics in public. Read more about how to be prepared in case of a possible crisis

Any customers with concerns about existing forward bookings to The Gambia should contact us on 01922 277 212.

Zika Virus

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Last Updated 3rd August 2016

At Co-operative Travel, we understand that customers who are pregnant will naturally be concerned about travelling to areas affected by the Zika Virus. We are closely monitoring the situation and would like to reassure any pregnant customers who have booked a package holiday with us and are due to travel to one of the affected areas, that we are happy to offer amendments to alternative destinations waiving our usual administration charges. For customers travelling on holidays using scheduled airlines, some charges outside of our control may still apply and we will contact the airline regarding its specific policy on behalf of the customer.

Florida has recently been updated by the Department of Health and as of 01 Aug 16 only a zone of about 1 square mile in Miami-Dade County is considered at risk of active transmission, therefore the whole state of Florida is not affected.
We will therefore offer the free amendment policy to customers travelling up to and including 31st Dec 2016 travelling to Miami –Dade County only.

As always, the health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance and we will continue to monitor the situation & latest travel advice from ABTA, the FCO and the World Health Organisation and keep our policy under review.

Travellers are advised to follow the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice for the USA which states that you should follow the advice of the National Travel Health Network and Centre and discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider, particularly if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant. 

Customers due to travel to the affected areas should monitor the FCO website for further updates and advice on specific destinations.

Whilst the symptoms of the Zika Virus are usually mild, customers are recommended to take the normal precautionary measures to avoid mosquito bites.

Customers planning to become pregnant should discuss travel plans with a healthcare provider to assess the risk of infection and receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures. This advice will include information on when you can conceive when returning from an affected area, and is short term if not infected.

Customers who are already pregnant should inform their obstetrician or midwife if they have recently travelled to a country where Zika is known to occur.

Travel to Turkey - ABTA & FCO Advice

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Last Updated 18th July 2016

ABTA Statement:

Following an attempted military coup in Turkey on 15-16 July, the situation remains fluid. ABTA recommends that members of the public read and follow the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice and any advice or instructions issued by their travel provider or airline.

There has been no change to FCO advice regarding travel to Turkey and holiday programmes to the resort areas continue to operate. The vast majority of British travellers to Turkey will fly directly to the beach resorts on Turkey's south coast which are hundred of miles away from Istanbul and the capital Ankara.

The FCO is reporting that the coastal resorts do not appear to be significantly affected at present and advises holidaymakers should check with their airline or tour operator before travelling to the airport and continue to exercise vigilance in resort areas.

People in Ankara and Istanbul are advised to avoid public places, in particular demonstrations, and remain vigilant.  

ABTA estimates there are currently 50,000 people on holiday with its Members in Turkey.

For any customers with existing bookings to Turkish resorts, normal booking conditions apply and any customers with concerns should contact us on 01922 277 212.

For the latest Turkey travel advice, visit the Foreign Office Website

Istanbul Airport Incident

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Last Updated 29th June 2016

We send our deepest sympathies to those affected by the awful attacks on Ataturk airport in Istanbul.

The safety of our customers always comes first and we continue to monitor the situation closely. Holidays to Turkish resorts are operating as normal but with increased security measures at airports. We are informed that customers continue to enjoy their holidays, in resorts which are all hundreds of miles from Istanbul.

For any customers with existing bookings to Turkish resorts, normal booking conditions apply and any customers with concerns should contact us on 01922 277 212.

For the latest Turkey travel advice, visit the Foreign Office Website

How will the EU Referendum vote affect my holiday?

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Last Updated 27th June 2016

At this early stage the full effects of the UK vote to leave the EU are still unclear. Our focus remains on continuing to operate as normal and deliver a fantastic holiday experience for all of our customers this summer.

Like all other UK listed companies, we will, of course, be very closely monitoring the events over the coming days and months and will provide updates on any developments as they become clear to us.

To help you retain peace of mind regarding your booking, here is a list of frequently asked questions about the EU referendum from ABTA - click here to read ABTA's Brexit FAQ's.

Balearics Tourism Tax

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Last Updated 6th June 2016

From 1 July 2016, when visiting any of the Balearic Islands, you’ll need to pay a Sustainable Tourism Tax. This tax has been introduced by the Balearic Government to help with environmental and tourism improvements.

The tax will be collected from you when you get to your accommodation.

The Balearic Government will be launching a website to give more information about the tax and how the money is going to be used. We’ll add a link to the site as soon as it's available.

The tax will work out between 1-2 Euros per person, per night (plus 10% VAT) and will not apply to children under the age of 16. The amount you’ll pay will depend on the official rating of your accommodation.

Please click here for more details and a breakdown of the tax amounts as we currently understand it.

Malta Environmental Tax

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Last Updated 31st May 2016

From 1st June 2016, customers staying in Malta or any of the Maltese Islands will need to pay an Environmental Contribution Tax. This will be collected from you when you arrive at your accommodation.  It’s been introduced by the Government of Malta to help with environmental and tourism improvements.

The Maltese Government have created a leaflet to give more information about the tax you’ll need to pay and you can view it online here.

We know the tax will be €0.50 per person, per night, and capped at €5.00 per stay. Children under 18 won’t have to pay.

USA Visa & E-Passport Travel Information

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Last Updated 31st March 2016

Important information for anyone planning a holiday to the USA:

If you’ve visited Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, or Yeman since 01 March 2011 you are required to get a US Visa for your visit to the US. If you already have an ESTA you can check your ESTA status here . If you need more information you can contact the US Customs & Border Protection Ageny information centre on the numbers provided on their website or visit the closest US embassy or consulate.

From the 1st of April 2016 you’ll need a biometric passport with an integrated chip (E-Passport) in order to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Programme. British Passports issued from October 2006 already have this and should have a recognisable symbol on the front cover.

Turkey Visa Requirements

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Last Updated 1st January 2015

As of 1st January 2015, a visa is required for anyone visiting Turkey.

Your visa must be obtained in advance of travel and can be arranged vis the official Turkish Government website www.evisa.gov.tr and the cost is currently $20. We recommend you apply at least one-week before departure.

 Failure to comply with entry requirements will result in travel being denied/entry refused.

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