Another day of disrupted travel plans unfolds as airlines announce more flight cancellations from UK airports.
British Airways cancellations rose by 20 to 74 today, while easyJet fell by 6 to 52.
Airlines have blamed a staff shortage due to Covid-related absences.
Spanish holidays are also under threat after Spanish authorities yesterday appeared to reopen to unvaccinated travelers – with a test result – with immediate effect, only to reverse the rule last night.
On Wednesday, the tourist board said Spain had opened up to all British travelers with immediate effect, saying unfrustrated visitors could enter with a negative pre-departure test.
In fact, the tourist board later confirmed, the rule remains that only vaccinated people aged 18 and over are allowed to enter the country. As before, 12-17 year olds can show proof of a negative PCR test to visit.
Pedro Medina, Deputy Director of the Spanish Tourist Board in the UK, said: “We unreservedly apologize for the miscommunication earlier today which was due to a misunderstanding of the new entry requirements.”
Follow the latest updates below.
What are the latest travel rules for Spain?
Confusion reigned in Spain yesterday – it was first announced that all unvaccinated British tourists would finally be allowed to enter the country, provided they tested negative.
The next minute the tourist board had done a full 180, apologizing “unreservedly for the miscommunication earlier in the day which was due to a misunderstanding of the new entry requirements”.
So what are the current travel rules in Spain – and can Brits holiday there? Here’s everything you need to know.
Helene CoffeyApril 7, 2022 10:59 a.m.
Today’s travel podcast: What’s going on with Spain’s travel rules?
Only fully vaccinated travelers have been allowed to enter Spain for months, with only those aged 12-17 able to enter with a negative PCR test instead. Like neighbors like France, this seemed like a step towards openness.
Simon Calder’s travel podcast today dives into the extraordinary U-turn and the current situation for holidaymakers – some of whom may have booked flights and packages between the two announcements.
Lucy ThackrayApril 7, 2022 10:18 a.m.
What are my rights if my flight is cancelled?
As easyJet and British Airways continue to cancel some flights to and from the UK today, passengers are scrambling to arrange alternative travel or seek compensation.
Communications from airlines are not always specific on passenger assistance and compensation. It is therefore useful to know your rights and read the cancellation policy of each carrier.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Simon CalderApril 7, 2022 10:05 a.m.
Travel to Spain: Passenger locator form removed for under-12s and NHS Covid Pass holders
Despite Spain rescinding its promise to admit unvaccinated travelers last night, a small rule change has been implemented: NHS Covid Pass holders no longer need to complete the country health control.
This also applies to children under 12 years old.
Spain’s Tourism Secretary, Fernando Valdés Verelst, tweeted yesterday: “From today, if you travel to Spain and you have an EU Covid digital certificate or equivalent, you will no longer have need to complete the Spain Travel Health form prior to arrival.
The NHS Covid Pass is accepted as an equivalent of the EU Covid certificate.
Lucy ThackrayApril 7, 2022 9:40 a.m.
Between 15,000 and 20,000 passengers affected by cancellations
Between 15,000 and 20,000 travelers will suffer from today’s flight cancellations alone, as British Airways lines up some 74 flights to and from Heathrow and easyJet cancels 52 from various UK airports.
The bulk of easyJet’s cancellations come from Gatwick, with some from Luton, Bristol, Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh.
All are domestic or short-haul routes, many of which depart from the UK to Italian, Spanish or French destinations.
Lucy ThackrayApril 7, 2022 9:34 a.m.
“Do not panic !” : Queues move at Manchester Airport
After days of long queues and abandoned luggage, passengers this morning report a smoother check-in and security experience at Manchester Airport.
“It took us about 1 hour, from our arrival at the airport at 5am, to go through security at T2. It got considerably busier once we joined the queue. However, they call you to avoid the queues with an hour to get to your flight. Don’t panic!” wrote Charl Adams in Terminal 2.
“No queuing at security at 9 a.m. this morning. Baggage drop is also clear,” Verity Taylor said at Terminal 1.
“Terminal 1. Going through security in 20 minutes. Carry-on so no bag drop. Now having a drink,” Hannah Stamp wrote.
Lucy ThackrayApril 7, 2022 9:22 a.m.
Loophole in Spain for unvaccinated visitors: Evidence of recovery
After Spanish tourism officials pulled an advert opening up unvaccinated British visitors to a pre-departure test, there remains one way for unvaccinated British travelers to enter Spain: proof of recent recovery from Covid-19.
But the rules are complex. The traveler must have a recovery certificate “issued by the official authorities”. The test must have been “performed by qualified personnel” – therefore a self-test result will not be valid.
Official certificates are considered valid for 11 to 180 days after the first positive diagnostic test result.
Simon CalderApril 7, 2022 8:50 a.m.
Spain reverses decision to allow unvaccinated visitors
In an extraordinary reversal of an earlier announcement, the Spanish tourist board in London last night withdrew a statement that the country was opening up to unvaccinated British visitors.
On Wednesday morning, the tourist board told the press that Spain had opened up to all British travelers with immediate effect, saying unfrustrated visitors could enter with a negative pre-departure test.
But eight hours later, travelers were told that was incorrect and that the announcement was the result of a misinterpretation of the official state bulletin.
Simon Calder April 7, 2022 8:17 a.m.
All flights canceled today
British Airways and easyJet were both forced to cut a number of flights to and from the UK today.
BA cancellations are all domestic and short-haul: routes between Heathrow and Scotland are affected, as are services from Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden from Heathrow and some Italian cities .
Meanwhile easyJet has canceled Gatwick flights to some Italian and French cities, as well as some short-haul routes from Luton, Bristol, Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh.
Read the full list of cancellations here:
Simon CalderApril 7, 2022 7:54 a.m.
Hello and welcome to The Independent‘s liveblog, where we’ll post all the latest news and updates.
Lucy ThackrayApril 7, 2022 7:48 a.m.