Millions of Brits are desperate for a summer holiday this year and with countries starting to reopen their borders to tourists we’re getting that little bit closer.
But there are so many questions surrounding foreign holidays, quarantine rules and staycations.
The Daily Mirror’s Travel Editor Nigel Thompson answers some of the key questions.
Can I go on holiday abroad now?
No. While getting absolute clarity on travelling is like trying to nail jelly to a wall, this is very clear. The Foreign & Commonwealth says you should not swan off anywhere overseas on non-essential travel, and a getaway by the Med or wherever (much as we’d all like one) is not essential.
What if I decide to go anyway?
This is an extremely unwise move. Your travel insurance will not be valid and, if you have a medical problem for example, you will not be covered and could incur tens of thousands of pounds in fees. Don’t do it.
Will anyone stop me to ask if I’m on essential travel?
If you wander through the terminal wearing sunglasses, flip-flops and shorts with a plane ticket for Malaga, you may attract attention. But more seriously, I’d expect questions at check in, passport control and the gate; being asked to prove why you need to go to your destination.
Can I go on holiday abroad in July or August?
Possibly. The 14-day UK quarantine is up for review on June 28 and I expect it will be scrapped in favour of air bridges to countries with reciprocal non-quarantine agreements, deemed safe from coronavirus, and with sound healthcare systems.
Examples could be Portugal and Turkey, and further afield the USA, Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean islands.
It’s impossible right now to say when they could start.
I’ve heard some countries might not let us in this summer, is that true?
Yes, though inevitably the waters are muddied. Currently, because of our high corona death toll, it’s no-go for Greece, Cyprus and Austria (unless you have a recent negative Covid test certificate), while Spain is sending mixed messages. France has applied a reciprocal 14-day quarantine, as has the Portuguese island of Madeira. But this could all change tomorrow – it’s an absolute minefield for would-be travellers.
I booked to go away in the school summer holidays, what do I do?
Talk to your travel provider or tour operator to discuss what’s possible and they will do their best to help. You can hope for the best and stick with the booking or, if you are uncertain, you can ask to rearrange, possibly for a fee. But you can only request a cash refund once the trip is officially cancelled.
When might it be safe to travel abroad?
That’s the ‘how long is a piece of string?’ question (and define what is ‘safe’ in the new normal). Basically, we are in the hands of the Government’s scientific and medical advisers. ‘Safe’ may not be as safe as things were before the pandemic and travelling may come with a small amount of risk for some time, as long as the virus is circulating.
I don’t fancy going abroad until Covid is over, what’s the score with staycations?
Yet again, we are waiting to find out. But it’s a very good bet that campsites, holiday parks, forest lodge centres and suchlike will be able to open from July 4, with hotels and B&Bs following soon after. I expect a staycation stampede this summer, so consider booking pretty sharpish.