Before lockdown, millions of Brits would of been looking forward to going on holiday this summer.
The coronavirus pandemic has cast major doubt over those plans, and it’s now unclear if holidaymakers will be able to go away at all.
Despite the uncertainty, many European destinations have set dates on when they think Brits will be allowed into their country, Liverpool Echo reports.
After one senior EU leader recently said she thinks holidays “can be done safely” in the future, there is no better time to check what the latest guidance is on going abroad.
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Can we go on holiday in the UK?
At the moment, the answer is no.
While those living in England have been told they can drive to parks and beaches, and go for unlimited exercise, you cannot stay overnight somewhere where you do not normally live.
In fact, many national parks remain closed, as do pubs, bars and cafes.
People from England are not able to travel into Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, where their devolved governments are still telling residents to avoid all non-essential travel.
A warning has been issued (Image: Owen Humphreys/PA)
What about foreign holidays?
Currently, the Foreign Office says British nationals should not go abroad unless it is essential.
Brits living abroad are also being urged to return home if they can.
The Government will soon introduce a 14 day quarantine period to apply to visitors and UK nationals returning home from abroad.
However, people coming from Ireland and France will be exempt from the quarantine period.
Rules for popular holiday destinations
Other countries also have travel restrictions in place which restrict foreign arrivals, such as the United States, and most airlines are running a reduced service or all have suspended all flights entirely.
Spain – uncertain this summer
Spain is a popular holiday destination among Brits and is a country many people would have been hoping to visit this summer.
The country enforced one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, with adults and children allocated specific time slots of when they are allowed out to excercise.
While some areas eased lockdown measures last week – some outdoor bars in Benidorm opened, with residents snapped drinking beer and cocktails while sitting on outdoor seating – it’s simply too soon to know when Brits will be given the green light to return to Spain.
British expats enjoy the atmosphere on the terrace of a bar in Benidorm (Image: David Ramos/Getty Images)
Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto has his doubts.
He told local newspaper El Pais: “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].”
Turkey – end of July
The Turkish government has said that European tourists will not be able to enter the country until the end of July.
Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said: “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.”
Foreign visitors are expected to start returning to the Algarve in April 2021 (Image: Getty)
Portugal – 2021
In Portugal, travel officials have created a “clean and safe” badge for companies to increase confidence amongst tourists and workers.
But Eliderico Viegas, head of the Association of Algarve Hotels and Tourism Enterprises, said that foreign visitors are expected to start returning to the Algarve in April 2021.
He told Bloomberg in a phone interview: “This year, hotels in the Algarve will have to rely on locals for bookings, which is insufficient to keep many of these units open.
“Many hotels won’t open this year.”
What if I’ve already booked a holiday for later this year?
If you booked a package holiday or flights that have now been cancelled you are entitled to a full refund.
However, some airlines or tour operators are offering travel vouchers instead of immediate cash refunds.
The best bet is to contact your airline or travel operator, or visit their individual websites.
People enjoying the warm weather in Greenwich Park despite the lockdown (Image: Yui Mok/PA)
My trip hasn’t been cancelled yet – what does that mean for me?
You may not currently be entitled to a refund if your holiday provider or airline hasn’t cancelled your holiday yet, even if you no longer wish to travel.
Some providers are letting people rebook trips at a later date, such as next year, for no cost.
Contact your airline or holiday company to discuss your options, otherwise you may have to wait until nearer the time to request a refund.
Should I book my summer holiday?
There is a lot of uncertainty over this question at the moment and the answer depends on the progress made in the UK.
Hotels and resorts in the UK could possibly reopen in July if the Government makes enough progress against its five tests set out by the Prime Minister last week.
People may be able to travel more easily across the rest of the UK should restrictions ease further in the coming weeks.
Some airlines, such as Ryanair and British Airways, have said they plan to ramp up their flights in July.
However, TUI and First Choice have both said all holidays are cancelled until at least 11 June.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that large international holidays are unlikely to be able to go ahead this summer.
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