Thousands of Brits have been itching to travel abroad to their holiday homes. If you’ve been wondering whether you should book your two weeks in the sun this summer, there’s some great news as the Foreign Office has finally lifted the restriction on all non-essential travel to some countries. That means you won’t have to self isolate when you return home from destinations including France, Greece, Spain, Italy and other popular tourist hot spots.
So what are the new rules for travelling abroad, and what should you expect when you get there?
Spain is open for business
4,000 Brits own holiday homes in Spain and it’s the most popular destination for summer holidays. When you arrive, you won’t have to self-isolate but you will be required to undergo a temperature check and a 1.5m social distancing rule is in place. There are still some provinces under local lockdown, but provided that you steer clear you shouldn’t have any problems. Be prepared to wear a mask, however, on public transport and indoors.
Bars and restaurants plus a range of tourist attractions such as the Alhambra Palace are open for business but at reduced capacity. Spain had one of the most restrictive lockdowns so you will be required to give contact details and wear a mask or visor on a night out.
France is ready for visitors
The second most popular destination for tourists, France is expected to lift its quarantine measures for Brits as the new travel corridors come into operation. In many shops, bars and restaurants masks are obligatory inside and no more than 10 people are permitted to gather in a public place. Social distancing measures are slightly different to Spain with a 1m distance requirement. Masks must also be worn on public transport.
Hotels B&Bs and campsites are now open for business but if you want to travel by Eurostar, you’ll be required to fill out a form stating that you have no coronavirus symptoms. Expect reduced capacity in restaurants and bars that are still expected to follow strict hygiene rules. Attractions such as Disneyland Paris will begin phased reopening in July
Italy welcomes tourists
Italy is a popular destination for Brits but be prepared to wear a mask at all times indoors and on public transport (and outdoors in some regions) and to register before you visit certain regions. You’ll be expected to stay 1m apart and children over 6 will need to wear a mask indoors. You may be expected to register when you visit certain venues and book in advance to visit tourist attractions.
Arrangements have been made to safely welcome visitors but 60% of tourist accommodation currently remains closed. That number is expected to fall to 20% by August.
Check before you travel
Another highly popular destination, Greece remains closed to travellers from the UK – for now.
Holidaymakers will be able to visit Portugal but will be expected to quarantine on their return to the UK.
Turkey and Croatia are currently welcoming tourists with some restrictions.
Throughout the rest of Europe, social distancing and masks are often obligatory, but these rules vary from country to country and even by region so always check before you travel. That way you’ll be fully prepared to enjoy your first holiday in the ‘new normal’!