Four questions Irish tourists need to ask themselves before going on holiday to Spain, Portugal and more after trouble

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Thousands of Irish holidaymakers are planning to take a trip abroad this summer in search of the sun.

But a number of tourists have recently encountered difficulties when they did not take the right steps when planning the trip.

A family had a terrible start to their holiday when a member was denied boarding a flight to Spain because their passport was due to expire in five months.

And although Covid restrictions have ended in most places, are there any rules or documents you still need to be aware of?

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Here are four questions Irish tourists should ask themselves before vacationing in Spain or Portugal this summer:

Is my passport up to date?

Under current European Union requirements, a passenger’s passport must be less than 10 years old and valid for at least three months on the passenger’s return date.

Anyone wishing to travel this summer will need to check their passport’s expiry date to ensure they are returning to Ireland with more than three months left on their passport.

If your passport needs to be renewed, the Irish Passport Office has advised that the quickest way to do so is through their online portal.

The current deadline for renewing an adult passport application is 10 business days. However, more complex renewals will take 15 working days and new passport applicants will wait 30 working days.



Beach umbrellas at Playa de Venus in Marbella

Is my Covid status correct?

Although many Covid restrictions are no longer in place, certain rules still apply in order to be allowed to enter Spain or Portugal.

Spain

Travelers from Ireland to Spain must comply with one of the following health requirements:

  • An EU Covid Digital Certificate or a negative certificate
  • A negative Covid test
  • A certificate of recovery from Covid within the last six months.

If you do not have an EU Digital Covid Cert or equivalent, you must complete a health check form before departure.

You can do this through the website https://www.spth.gob.es/ or the Spain Travel Health app. Once you have done this, you will get a QR code that you must present both when boarding and upon arrival in Spain.

Children under the age of 12 or who are not required to present an EU DCC or complete the SpTH health check form.

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Portugal

All tourists arriving in Portugal must present one of the following:

  • Digital European Covid Certificate – valid proof of full vaccination at least 14 days and no more than 270 days before travel. However, no time limit applies where passengers can present a valid digital European Covid certificate or equivalent proof of having received a booster dose of vaccine.
  • A certificate of recovery from Covid within the last six months.
  • Valid proof of a negative test result for COVID-19.

A passenger locator form is no longer required for travel to Portugal.

Children under 12 are exempt from all of the above requirements.

Do I know what time I need to be at Dublin Airport?

Although many passengers experienced problems with long delays at security at Dublin Airport in March, it was recently reported that security waiting times have improved significantly since the recruitment of more staff .

On the Dublin Airport website, passengers are always advised that they are arriving at the airport up to 2.5 hours before a short-haul flight and up to 3.5 hours before a long-haul flight. mail.

Passengers can also view estimated security queue times on dublinairport.com, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger and via the Dublin Airport app.

Am I aware of the risks?

As people tend to relax on vacation and let their guard down, tourists can easily fall victim to petty crimes such as scams, pickpocketing and counterfeiting.

In a recent study, Barcelona in Spain was named the pickpocketing capital of Europe and the city where tourists are most at risk from thieves. Tourists are also advised that Madrid in Spain has a higher risk of pickpocketing and that the same crime is also increasing in parts of Portugal, such as Lisbon and the Algarve.

The Department of Foreign Affairs advises Irish tourists abroad to take the following basic precautions:

• Do not carry your credit card, travel tickets and cash together – leave cash and valuables in a safe place.

• Take your passport with you only when absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport (along with travel and insurance documents) with your family or friends at home.

• Avoid showing large sums of money in public and do not use ATMs after dark, especially if you are alone. Check that no one followed you after you conducted your business.

• Keep a close eye on your personal belongings and keep them in public places such as internet cafes, train and bus stations.

• Avoid dark and unlit streets and stairways, be picked up or dropped off as close to the entrance of your hotel or apartment as possible.

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