Brits have been urged to renew their passports NOW due to possible delays in processing this summer.
The warning which was issued by the British government comes despite those living in the UK not being able to holiday until at least May 17.
During the pandemic, the number of people applying for passports has dropped considerably with just four million applications in 2020. This is in comparison to the seven million which are usually processed each year.
As a result, there are fears that once Brits are given the green light to travel, that there could be a surge in the number of applications, placing huge pressure on the passport processing service.
Applicants are usually advised to wait for around six weeks for their passports to be received, however, this has now increased to 10 weeks.
An announcement on the possibility of travel restrictions being lifted could be made as early as April 12. Those who apply around this time may need to wait until mid-June before receiving their new blue passport.
Abi Tierney, Director General of Her Majesty’s Passport Office, said: “It is vital those who may need to apply for a new passport do so now. If you have delayed renewing your passport or are applying for the first time, please apply now so you can receive it in good time.
“Our dedicated staff work tirelessly to ensure that passport applications are processed as quickly as possible.
“This new advice will help to ensure that we continue to meet the travel plans of our customers during any period of the very highest passport demand.”
Those who have registered their mobile phone number will automatically receive a text message when their passports are coming up for renewal, allowing them sufficient time to renew.
The UK government recently announced that they will implement a new traffic light system with each destination given a red, amber or green rating to provide guidance for those wishing to travel.
Depending on which colour a country is rated at, travellers may need to isolate themselves in either a quarantine hotel or at home for up to 10 days.
Those travelling to ‘green’ rated countries will not need to quarantine. However, they will need to take a Covid test both before and after they arrive home.
It is currently unknown which countries will be added to each traffic light list for the summer. Any decisions will be based on infection rates and statistics with the situation continuously monitored.
The current fee for an adult UK passport when applying from Spain is £86.00 + £19.86 for delivery fees when applying online.
Children’s passports are now £56 + £19.86 for delivery fees when applying online from Spain.
For further details, please see our page on how to renew your UK passport from Spain.