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Latest Travel Updates

Latest travel updates

Seaweed in areas of Mexico and the Caribbean

Please note that some areas of the Caribbean and Mexico are occasionally being affected by an increased level of seaweed. This is an unusual natural occurrence and is changing on a regular basis with the currents. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully, but please be assured that any hotels which are affected, are working hard to remove the seaweed as quickly as possible to ensure the enjoyment of your holiday.

Maldives Travel

November 5th 2015 - The president of the Maldives has declared a 30-day state of emergency ahead of a planned anti-government rally. There are no restrictions on travelling to, or within the Maldives, and all tourism related businesses are operating as usual. UK Government advice is to be vigilant and avoid large gatherings, protests and rallies in the Capital.

Indonesia – Bali Ash Cloud

Ash from Mount Rinjani on the island of Lombok, east of the Indonesian island of Bali, has been blowing toward Denpasar’s airport for about a week since the volcano started emitting debris on 25 October. Bali airport has re-opened following 2 days of closure, though some flights are experiencing delays. Virgin Holidays are continuing to monitor the situation and our In Resort Teams are on hand during your holiday should you wish to contact them.

Virgin Atlantic seat requests

Virgin Atlantic have made some changes to the way you can request seats with them. Please take a look here for more details.

South Africa – Revised Immigration Rules when travelling with children (Under 18 years)

The new immigration rules for South Africa relating to travelling with children under the age of 18 comes into effect from 1st June 2015.

From 1st June 2015, parents travelling with children into or out of South Africa may be asked to show the child's unabridged (full) birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, parental or legal consent for the child to travel (e.g. an affidavit from the other parent, a court order or – if applicable – a death certificate).

You should travel with these documents in case you're asked to provide them.

There are other requirements for children travelling unaccompanied or with adults who are not their parents. For more information, contact the South African High Commission or the South African Department of Home Affairs.

If you would like to find out more, you can get the latest information from the Foreign Office by clicking here

Twilight Check In at Gatwick

Avoid the peak hours at check in by checking in the night before your flight at Virgin Atlantic's check in desks at London Gatwick's South Terminal (Zone A). This service is available between 1700hrs and 2100hrs

ESTA - Electronic System for Travel Authorization

It's mandatory for everyone travelling to or transferring through the US, under the Visa Waiver Program, to obtain approval to travel no later than 72 hours prior to travel by completing an online process ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) scheme.

Failure to obtain an ESTA could result in the passenger being denied boarding by the airline.

The cost of an ESTA is currently approx $14 per person and can be obtained by visiting https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Once completed & approved, the ESTA application is valid for two years and allows multiple visits without the need to reapply – simply update your details on the same website. Travelers can apply for an ESTA even if they have no firm plans to travel to the US.

An ESTA is only valid for stays of 90 days or less.

If you need any further information on the ESTA or you have any other visa queries, then try the Visit USA Website at www.visitusa.org.uk where further information on the scheme and up to date fee can also be found.

The ESTA is very similar to the automated visa that you purchase to enter Australia and is completely paperless