Latest travel advice for Spain, France and Italy as countries ease lockdowns

Thanks to coronavirus, the likelihood of our holidays going ahead in the next few months is on thin ice.

Travels abroad are set to be cancelled for millions this summer following Prime Minister Boris Johnson ’s message on Sunday evening.

This is because those flying into the UK will be forced to quarantine for 14 days, which might not tempt people to go on holiday.

Currently, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising against all non-essential foreign travel.

And new travel rules have been put in place which means firms will announce new polices for those hoping to secure a refund.

But if we’re talking months ahead, what does it mean for our holidays to Cyprus, Greece, Spain, France, Turkey and Italy?

Cyprus

The country has extended a ban on all inbound and outbound flights for another a few weeks until May 28.

As part of a strict lockdown, the Cypriot government first imposed a flight ban on March 21.

Depending on the outcome, authorities have said that airports could reopen in June, as well as borders.

Cypriot deputy tourism minister Savvas Perdios told Sun Online that Brits would be welcome to visit the country once measures are relaxed.

The minister said: “At first the policies shocked our source markets but we thought the earlier we took this strong-handed approach, the earlier we could draft an exit strategy.

“The results have been very positive. And now as part of that exit strategy we are readying for full opening of the island as a tourist destination in mid-June. That is the vision.”

Cyprus first imposed a flight ban back in March (Image: Getty Images)

Greece

The country acted quickly to the outbreak after recording its first case of coronavirus on February 26.

In late April, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the plan to relax lockdown measures.

Cafes and restaurants reopened on May 1 but with outdoor seating only, and beaches followed closely on May 4.

Greece’s Interior Ministry announced that the country will adopt a three-stage process to open up travel between Greece and its islands.

The first stage of the plan began on Monday, with tourist businesses on the islands able to return to their properties.

Greece will then move into the second stage from May 18, and it will grant permission to all tourism workers to travel to their jobs.

If a cluster of cases doesn’t pop up, there will be no restrictions on travel to and from mainland Greece from June 1.

Greece’s Tourism Minister, Harry Theoharis said: “Of course, we will take precautions in terms of the requirements before travelling.

“But also in the way that we travel. Social distancing rules will apply but we want to continue showing the kind of hospitality we’re known for.”

Greece acted quickly to the outbreak (Image: Getty Images)

France

The country has been extremely strict on relaxing lockdown measures, with even domestic tourism off the cards for the time-being.

French people can now leave their homes without authorisation and travel up to 100km instead of the previous 1km limit.

Shops have reopened, restaurants and bars will remain closed until at least June, although it hasn’t been confirmed.

But it might not be good news for tourists.

Chateau director Stéphanie Gombert told business mag Forbes: “At the end of May, the government will tell us when we can open again.

“We will open my business in July, perhaps 1-2 rooms at the outset. But I doubt for the whole year we will have any international tourists. Maybe some from Switzerland or Belgium.”

There’s no idea when tourists will start flocking to France again (Image: Getty)

Spain

Residents in Spain saw one of the strictest lockdowns across Europe.

All restaurants were closed and adults were only permitted out for essential business.

From Sunday adults can now leave for exercise, which is the first time since March 15 and children are also allowed outside for an hour a day as of April 26.

But in terms of travel, the tourism minister hinted that there would not be a simple return.

Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto told local news: “We have to guarantee, when international tourism opens, that the person who comes to Spain is a safe person…

“The issue of borders will be accompanied by the evolution of the health crisis. Therefore, I do not have the solution of when [they will be able to open].

“On how you will be able to enjoy our beaches, we are defining different scenarios.

“It is very important that the sanitary recommendations are maintained, we are going to have to internalise what we are already doing now, hand washing, social distancing… even on the beaches.

“Those patterns will be in our day to day for a time, you cannot take a step back.”

Turkey

The country had previously said that they hoped they will be able to see travellers back by July.

But while life for residents is slowly returning to normal as measures are relaxed during May, tourists are not yet allowed back in.

And they will need a certificate stating they don’t have the virus in order to be allowed into the country, the government has said.

Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy claimed that European tourists won’t be able to enter the country until the end of July at the latest.

He added: “The tourism sector itself has a vital role in terms of returning to normal processes.

“The importance of caring for our guests in our culture leads us to be ready for the transition to healthy tourism before everyone.

“Our certification programme shall ensure that our guests in Turkey are going to make their holidays safely and hygienic and feel comfortable during their visit.”

People will need a certificate to travel to Turkey (Image: Getty Images)

Italy

The country was forced to impose a strict lockdown which banned walking or exercising more than 200m away from their home.

Now measures have been relaxed and people can travel for longer distances and visit some members of their relatives.

Meanwhile, bars and restaurants are expected to reopen for dine-in services in June, but what does it mean for travel?

Giorgio Palmucci, president of the Italian National Tourist Board, ENIT, told local media that European tourists will be the first international group to be allowed to visit.

He said: “I am ready to sign bilateral treaties between European countries to encourage the arrival of foreigners as well, while waiting for the emergency to be definitively behind us

“We will only start (with tourists) from the European Union, and at the earliest, in July or August.

“The problem is that, unlike other sectors, tourism relies on reservations, so the window of time open for operators will be really tight.”

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