Coronavirus update: What’s the chance of going on holiday?

The chance of having a summer holiday seems remote – with many UK tourism businesses still shut and foreign travel difficult because of quarantine rules.

Maybe you’re considering holidaying in the UK, however you wouldn’t be able to do that until the start of July at the earliest.

Lockdown restrictions are being eased slowly across the UK, but the tourist industry does not yet have the green light to reopen fully.

 

You’ll probably be able to get an ice cream at the seaside – and some restaurants and bars are doing takeaway food and drink – but hotels will remain closed.

 

Government advice in England says businesses providing holiday accommodation – including hotels, campsites, caravan parks and short-term lets – should stay closed for leisure-related trips. No person should stay overnight away from their own home for a holiday or similar purpose, it adds.

The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden says he’s keen get the tourism sector going as “rapidly as possible” with the government sticking to what it describes as an “ambitious target” to get England’s tourism sector back by 4 July – “as long as it is safe to do so”.

“Self-contained accommodation has a lower risk than other areas,” Mr Dowden told the Commons, “I would hope that that will be at the front of the queue.”

Hotels in Northern Ireland already have a confirmed date for reopening – Monday 20 July.

Zoos and animal parks are shut, as are many national parks. Facilities such as car parks and toilets may not be open either.

People are also being urged not to rush to beauty spots such as the Lake District. Visit Cornwall says that people should not travel to the area unless they can return home within 90 minutes.

In addition, people who live in England cannot travel for recreation into Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

 

Can I go on a foreign holiday?

At the moment, it’s difficult.

British nationals are still being urged not to take any non-essential foreign travel.

This means you are unlikely to get travel insurance, because insurers and airlines take their cue from the official advice.

But the airlines are hopeful for the summer season.

EasyJet plans to resume some flights this month, while Ryanair and British Airways plan to ramp up their services in July,

All TUI and First Choice holidays are cancelled until at least 11 June.

But what if I do go?

Be prepared to self-isolate at some destinations and – if you return to the UK from Monday 8 June – you will have to quarantine for two weeks.

Those returning from overseas will not be eligible for statutory sick pay unless they meet the required conditions – for example displaying coronavirus symptoms.

All visitors and returning UK nationals arriving by plane, ferry or train will face fines if they break the rules. Certain groups are exempt.

What about going away in the autumn?

Again, it’s impossible to say at this stage.

Travel advice will need to have been updated, but it depends on the progress of COVID-19 on both the UK and the rest of the world.

Remember, holidays and flights booked against Foreign Office travel advice are unlikely to be covered by travel insurance if you end up not able to travel.

What about holidays already booked for this year?

If your package holiday or flights have already been cancelled, then you are  entitled to a full cash refund.

If you are offered a voucher, or a free rebooking instead of cash, you can accept or refuse it. But if the airline later folds, the voucher may no longer be valid.

If your airline or holiday company hasn’t cancelled your holiday yet, but you no longer wish to travel, you may not be entitled to a refund.

However, some providers are allowing people to rebook trips for a later date at no cost.

If you need any additional advice or would like to book a holiday for later in the year, or even 2021, then please contact us.

Source: Content taken from BBC News