Despite there being only vague ideas of when lockdown measures might end in the UK, people are already thinking about the potential of summer travel.
With no real end in sight to the current coronavirus crisis, it’s understandable.
Having been cooped up for months, and with a handful of other countries slowly relaxing their own virus-tackling measures, the public are itching to get away from it all.
But just how likely is is that we’ll see the usual summer holidays in 2020?
Here’s the latest travel advice:
What are lockdown restrictions like in Spain and Tenerife?
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a four-phase plan to lift its stringent coronavirus lockdown and return to a “new normality” by the end of June, with each region relaxing restrictions at a different pace, depending on the severity of its outbreak.
Four Spanish islands – including Tenerife – were first to begin easing measures from 4 May, with the rest of Spain following.
Foreign visitors to Spain will also no longer have to undergo a two-week quarantine from 1 July, the government has announced.
Spain may be slowly easing its nationwide lockdown, but travel there will only be permitted once the UK Government deems it safe to do so.
On top of that, a two-week quarantine period for anyone arriving back in the UK will be enforced from 8 June.
Passengers arriving in the UK by plane, ferry or train – including UK nationals – will have to provide an address where they will remain for 14 days.
What’s the ‘official’ travel advice?
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises Brits against all non-essential travel worldwide.
This advice took effect on 17 March, and while it initially applied for a period of 30 days, the ban is now listed as “indefinite” in length.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions,” said the FCO. “All countries may restrict travel without notice.”
That indefinite ruling remains in place, even as other countries begin to relax their measures; there’s no telling how things will play out.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps recently said he would “certainly not” be booking a summer holiday.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 17 April, Mr Shapps said that “clearly people will want to see what the trajectory of this disease is in the next few weeks”.
“I won’t be booking a summer holiday at this point, let’s put it that way.”
What if I already had travel plans?
If you now need to change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps:
- contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
- get in touch with your insurance provider
- continue to follow the NHS coronavirus guidance
The FCO was already advising against all but essential travel or all travel to some areas or countries due to risks that do not relate to COVID-19. This advice remains in place. Check FCO travel advice pages for the latest information.