Passengers are being encouraged to check their passports immediately, with many Brits missing out on trips due to expiry date issues caused by long waiting lists for passport renewals.
Passport waiting times are (opens in new tab) expected to increase to 10 weeks between submitting and application and receiving a passport, according to the government website, but travellers claim they've been waiting far longer, causing their holiday plans to be disrupted.
According to The Sun, hundreds of people are scrambling to renew their passports as Covid restrictions (opens in new tab) are eased across the travel sector, resulting in significant wait periods.
Renewing or replacing a passport online costs £75.50, or £85 if you fill out a paper form. Customers should expect up to 10 weeks for their passport to arrive after submitting their application if this is necessary.
The government claims that during the week ending March 20, 2022, typical processing times for basic online applications were between five and six weeks.
Despite the fact that the UK have officially left the EU, if your passport is burgundy or has 'European Union' on the cover, you can still use it for travel as long as it is valid.
According to a spokeswoman for Her Majesty's Passport Office, "Due to Covid, over 5m people delayed applying for a British passport throughout 2020 and 2021.
"In busier periods, call waiting times will take longer. However, we continue to work with our supplier to further recruit and support the effort to return response times closer to normal levels."
Following the UK's exit from the EU, new laws were introduced regarding the length of time a passport must be valid before it may be used to travel.
Initially, UK residents only needed a valid passport to travel across Europe; however, the government website now states that people must have at least three months left on their passport to travel to an EU country.
Since December 2020, Kudzai Chibaduki has worked as a trainee journalist at FUTURE, capturing all fashion, entertainment, and beauty content for the Lifestyle websites, as well as contributing to the shopping sections for Goodto.com's widely read online magazine. Kudzai previously worked as a freelance fashion wardrobe stylist, directing magazine photoshoots and coordinating the fashion direction of recording artists.
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