Martin Lewis Issues Passport Warning For Brits Hoping To Go On Holiday This Summer
Currently, the Foreign Office advises against non-essential travel, but with restrictions gradually lifting and 'air bridges' opening up, millions of would-be holidaymakers are wondering if a trip abroad will be possible.
Travellers won't be able to go anywhere without an in-date passport, though - and Mr Lewis has warned that processing times at the Passport Office can take longer than the usual three weeks due to the pandemic.
One disappointed Brit wrote into MoneySavingExpert.com saying that she had been waiting an incredible three months for a new passport.
She wrote: "Been waiting 13wks. Now looks like our holiday will have to be cancelled, costing us £1,000s."
Martin's advice was for anyone with a passport nearing its expiry date to renew it as soon as possible.
In his response, the money saving expert advised: "Passport at or nearing expiry? Renew ASAP.
"The Passport Office is warning, understandably, that renewing is taking longer than the usual 3wks."
He continued: "We're hearing reports that at the extreme, some are taking 3mths or more, while fast-track services and face-to-face appointments are suspended.
"So, if you've a trip planned later this summer, sort it quickly."
Martin added that the consequences of a trip falling through due to an invalid passport "isn't covered on most travel insurance policies".
Since late March 2020, the Passport Office has warned on its website that it is taking longer than the usual three weeks to process applications.
This is due to "changed working practices designed to keep both staff and customers safe" caused by the pandemic.
The Passport Office's advice to British travellers on its website reads: "It is taking longer than usual to process applications because of coronavirus (COVID-19).
"Do not apply unless you're travelling before September 2020 or you need a passport urgently for compassionate reasons."
The news comes as Spain reopens its borders to British tourists.
Earlier this week, officials confirmed that Brits can enter Spain and won't be made to isolate for a two-week period, giving greater flexibility to travellers.
Arancha Gonzalez Laya, Spain's foreign minister, explained that the change had been made "out of respect" for the 400,000 Britons with second homes in Spain.
Better check those passports dates, then, hopeful travellers.
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