When can I take a holiday abroad again? For lockdown weary Brits, the prospect of getting away to idyllic holiday homes abroad may be scuppered by the uncertainty over which borders are open and where travellers from the UK are welcome.
The picture is changing constantly, so it pays to check the news and official websites such as Gov.UK. If you can’t bear the thought of a staycation this summer, here’s our advice.
Avoid North and South America
With borders closed across the continent, North and South America are pretty much closed to visitors. Only Ecuador is welcoming travellers but you’ll need to have taken a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test 7 days before departure or at the airport and then self isolate for 14 days.
Limited access to Asia and Africa
There’s similarly limited access to Asian and African countries in place, and you’re likely to be faced with enhanced screening and quarantining.
How about the South Pacific?
Despite their success with containing the virus, Australia and New Zealand are still not reopening their borders for tourists.
What’s the situation in Europe?
For most Brits, our much-prized two weeks in the sun find us lazing on the beaches of the med or enjoying private pools in our holiday homes. But what’s the current position with visiting Europe’s hotspot destinations?
Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, is proud to say they’re open for business. Museums, restaurants and tourist attractions are all up and running and there are no quarantine restrictions on travellers from the UK. However, you will need to wear a mask in enclosed spaces and on public transport and quarantine for 14 days when you return – at least until the ambitious Air Bridges plan can be put in place.
Portugal has become one of the most popular destinations in recent years and is open for visitors. You will undergo health screening when you arrive and will be expected to self-quarantine when you return to the UK.
Spain will finally lift their lockdown at the end of June and then lift quarantine for travellers on 1 July. But there’s no prospect of an agreement with the UK in sight as Spain wants there to be a common EU tourism policy.
If the Costas are out, what about a city break in Paris or the beaches of the Cote d’Azur? Like other countries in Europe, France plans to reopen to tourists on 15 June. But because of the UK’s new quarantining laws, a reciprocal agreement will be in place so you may not be able to move outside of your villa or hotel.
Will I be able to travel?
It’s worth remembering that the Foreign Office is currently advising against anything but essential travel. That could impact on your travel insurance if you have a problem or even make it difficult to get travel insurance at all. The government is continuing to work on the idea of Air Bridges or reciprocal agreements to waive the quarantine rules with countries that have low infection rates. It’s hoped that these bridges or travel corridors will be in place by 1 July.
If you’re lucky enough to own a caravan abroad, don’t book your holiday just yet. But the signs are looking rather more hopeful for a summer getaway.