Important travel advice
Effective 1st October - South Africa enforce new rules on travelling with children.
From 1 October 2014, children travelling in and out of South Africa will be required to carry an unabridged birth certificate as well as a valid passport, under new regulations aimed at improving the safety of children.
The regulations came into effect at the end of May, but the Department of Home Affairs has delayed their implementation until 1 October, to make allowance for families who have already made plans for the upcoming school holidays.
The rules are aimed at improving the safety of children, including "their protection from child trafficking, abduction and kidnapping", the department said on Tuesday.
The department has urged citizens and foreign nationals to apply for unabridged birth certificates, which reflect the particulars of both parents, in good time in order to avoid possible delays to their travel plans. It can take up to six to eight weeks for an unabridged birth certificate application to be processed.
Quick guide to the new requirements:
- • When leaving South Africa with children, parents or guardians must be able to produce unabridged birth certificates reflecting the details of both parents, as well as a valid passport for each child.
- • This requirement applies even when both parents are travelling with their children.
- • It applies to foreigners and South Africans alike.
- • If children are travelling with a guardian, this adult is required to produce affidavits from both parents giving permission for the children to travel. They will also need copies of the passports of the parents, as well as the contact details of the parents.
If children are travelling with only one parent, they must produce an unabridged birth certificate as well as:
- • A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child, if he or she is the parent or legal guardian of the child.
- • An affidavit from the other parent granting permission for the child to leave the country.
- • A court order granting full parental responsibilities and rights or legal guardianship in respect of the child.
- • If applicable, the death certificate of the other parent registered on the birth certificate.
When a child is travelling as an unaccompanied minor, he or she must be able to produce:
- •Proof of consent (a letter or affidavit) from both his or her parents or legal guardians to travel in or out of the country.
- •A letter from the person who will receive the child in South Africa, including that person's full contact details and a copy of their passport or ID book. The letter must also include details about where the child will be staying, and full contact details of both parents or legal guardians.
Should you have any queries regarding this information, please do not hesitate to contact the Ground Communication team on 0800 054 6843.
Changes to the Paper Counterpart driving licence and how it will affect you/your customers renting a car?
What is happening?
If you have 2 part driving licence of a photo card and paper counterpart, the paper counterpart is being abolished. The counterpart holds information regarding endorsements and vehicle categories you are entitled to drive.
When is this happening?
DVLA confirm 08th June.
Alamo/National car rentals in the USA & Canada.
These suppliers have confirmed that the photo card driving licence only will be acceptable for renting a car for the USA & Canada only.
Avis car rentals in the UK
What happens for UK customers renting in the UK?
Collecting rental cars customers will require a valid photo card licence. Avis may require customers to consent to their licence records being accessed as needed. All UK customers will need to hold a full and valid licence free from any endorsements excluded in our terms & conditions.
*The following stores will require customers to bring their DVLA 'Share my License' code at the time of rental; Bae Samlesbury, Bae Warton, Barrow In Furness, Blackpool Airport, Bolton, Carlisle, Chester, Kendal, Lancaster, Reading, Stockport, Stoke On Trent, Warrington, Warrington Bank Quay Train Station, Workington.
Avis car rentals outside the UK
UK customers renting cars abroad bring along a one-time use pass code, which will enable Avis to check current restrictions and penalties.
Europcar car rentals in the UK
UK driving license holders hiring a vehicle from Europcar within the UK will need to use “Share Driving License”, the new online service from the DVLA, for validation of their driving record.
To view and create a one-time passcode the driver should go to https://www.gov.uk/view-driving-license where they will be asked to submit their:
• Driving license number
• National Insurance number
The passcode, which will be valid for a maximum period of 21 days from the point it is generated, must be presented and still be valid when picking up any rental vehicle from Europcar.
Alternatively, provided the driver brings their National Insurance number, Europcar can help them obtain the passcode by giving them access to ‘Share Driving Licence’ when picking up the vehicle.
Europcar car rentals outside the UK
UK driving license holders hiring vehicles outside of the UK and any drivers holding a non-UK driving license are unaffected by these changes.
For all UK and non UK rentals a valid photo card driving license or the ‘old style’ UK paper license must be presented.
All other Car rentals companies what do I/your customer need to do?
• You will need to provide evidence of your driving record and this service will be free online by accessing the share your driving licence service on the DVLA website. This service is under development, updates can be found on https://www.gov.uk/government/news/driving-licence-changes
• You can call DVLA and give permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated person/organisation
What if I only have a Paper licence?
No changes for the paper only driving licence ,until such time as you update your licence and will be reissued with a photo card version.
At present there is no change for Northern Ireland, the counterpart remains a requirement as this is a devolved responsibility
Travel advice - Nepal
Following a major earthquake on 25 April, 81kms west of Kathmandu, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all but essential travel to the country. Aftershocks continue and a smaller earthquake occurred on 26 April. Avalanches are reported in the Macchaputre and Everest regions.
The FCO advises against all but essential travel to Nepal. If you are in a safe place, you should stay where you are until it is safe to leave. You should follow any advice provided by the local authorities. If you can leave Nepal safely then we advise that you should do so.
Canada New Electronic Travel Authority (eTA) process for British people
Under Canada’s new eTA program, British citizens WILL need to obtain an online authorization before flying to Canada.
This new entry requirement is not mandatory until March 15, 2016.
However, beginning on August 1, 2015, eligible travellers will have the opportunity to go online and apply for their eTA. The earlier travellers get their eTA, the sooner they will benefit from knowing they have been pre-screened to enter Canada.
A fee of $7 is payable for processing an application for an electronic travel authorization.
An application for an electronic travel authorization must be made by means of an electronic system that is made available by the Department (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) for that purpose.
An electronic travel authorization is valid for a period of five years from the day on which it is issued to the applicant or until the earliest of the following days, if they occur before the end of that period:
(a) the day on which the applicant’s passport or other travel document expires,
(b) the day on which the electronic travel authorization is cancelled, or
(c) the day on which a new electronic travel authorization is issued to the applicant
Should you have any questions concerning the eTA program, please contact CIC directly at CIC-ETA-AVE@cic.gc.ca
Please be advised that the Cypriot Government has today released a statement to advise that further agreement has been reached in regard to the re-protection of Cyprus Airways flight arrangements. The re-protection arrangements are now extended to passengers holding tickets from 10th February – 25th October 2015 inclusive and the re-protection arrangements can now be undertaken by any travel agency licensed by the Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO) which includes Top Kinisis, the initial travel agency appointed by the Cypriot Government. The statement details are as follows:
Arrangements for the passengers of Cyprus Airways holding tickets for flights from 10 February to 25 October 2015
The affected passengers of Cyprus Airways, who have arranged their travel with departure days from 10 February 2015 up to and until 25 October 2015, can contact as of today, 26 January 2015, any travel agency licensed by the Cyprus Tourism Organization (CTO), in order to undertake the necessary arrangements for the issuance of a new flight ticket. Upon the reissuance of the ticket, passengers shall no longer have the right to submit a claim for reimbursement to any credit or debit card or travel insurance.
Right to use the above arrangement is given to passengers that hold tickets for Cyprus Airways flights, who did not submit an application for reimbursement to any credit or debit card or travel insurance. It is noted that affected passengers shall not bear any additional costs in relation to the reissuance of their tickets, as such costs will be undertaken by the Republic of Cyprus.
The right above shall be exercised by affected passengers by 28 February 2015. Cyprus Airways passengers that do not exercise the above right provided by the defined deadline shall not be allowed at any time thereon to claim the issue of a replacement ticket and the Republic of Cyprus shall not make any further arrangements.
Dubai City Tax
Dubai is introducing a compulsory 'Tourist Dirham' tax levied on all booked hotel accommodation. This tax is to be paid directly at the hotel by the guest before the end of their stay.
The new tax will be applicable from 31st March 2014.
All existing bookings made prior to this date with arrivals from 31st March will NOT be exempt.
The Fees are as follows:
- AED 20.00 PER ROOM PER NIGHT for stays in 5 star hotels and deluxe hotel apartments.
- AED 15.00 PER ROOM PER NIGHT for stays in 4 star hotels, superior hotel apartments and deluxe holiday homes.
- AED 10.00 PER ROOM PER NIGHT for stays in 3 and 2 star hotels, standard hotel apartments and standard holidays homes.
- AED 7.00 PER ROOM PER NIGHT for stays in 1 star hotels and guest houses.
For more information please contact the Netflights.com travel team on 01772 386386 and they will happily assist you.
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