GIBRALTAR’S business watchdog is warning wannabe local holiday-makers of how COVID-19 and Brexit could affect their plans this summer.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) launched the campaign so that Gibraltarians would not get disappointed if they lose out on a well-earned break after a tough year.

First off, the OFT recommends holidaymakers use the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office website to decide where it would be safest to go.

The site has the latest updates on travel restrictions, visas, safety advice and support.

“Think about the level of risk that you might be subjecting yourself and your family to,” said an OFT spokesperson.

“Whereas Gibraltar has had a very effective vaccination campaign this is not necessarily the same in the country you may be considering travelling to.

“Also note that health systems in other countries may be overstretched. If you or your family require medical assistance this may be difficult to get.”

The OFT advises that seasoned tourists investigate deeper as some of the normal activities and events might not be running at this time at previous destinations.

Research

Once people decide on a destination the OFT has asked them to check if vaccinations, testing and self-isolation are necessary on arrival.

These rules could change very quickly and add an extra cost or inconvenience to the journey.

Quarantines in particular might lead to a lot of time being wasted locked in rather than enjoying the location.

With Gibraltar no longer being part of the EU, the OFT advises people to take out medical and travel insurance to cover the trip, both to the EU and outside of it.

The Rock’s business watchdog warns people to search extensively on the destination, as there are many scams on the internet.

“Do some independent research on the place you are travelling to and determine what you want to see and experience,” said the OFT spokesperson.

“Look for additional costs that may not be immediately obvious. Resort fees can increase your daily costs.

“If a deal is too good to be true research the travel service providers with the words ‘scam,’ ‘review’, or ‘complaint’ online.”

The OFT will be at the Piazza on April 20 from 10am to 12.30pm to answer specific questions and take complaints from consumers.

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