Can I go on holiday abroad this year?02/10/2021
BRITS are eagerly awaiting the day they can go on a holiday abroad again after months of travel bans and restrictions.
Here is everything we know so far about holidays starting again.
Can I currently go on holiday?
No, holidays are banned due to the UK lockdown which prevents any non-essential travel, both domestically and internationally.
The lockdown has been in place since January, due to the current coronavirus situation.
The only reasons for travel to be allowed are essential reasons such as for work or education reasons, or extenuating circumstances.
What are the current travel restrictions?
For people who are still travelling for essential reasons, such as work or education, there are new travel restrictions in place.
All arrivals must have three negative coronavirus tests – taken before departure, and on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine.
The two tests taken during the quarantine period must be booked through the government portal, live from tomorrow, before departure, and cost £210 for both.
A Passenger Locator Form must also be completed, with up to ten years in prison if providing false information.
Most arrivals can quarantine at home for 10 days, or five days if taking a fourth Covid test through the Test to Release scheme.
However, arrivals from one of 33 "high-risk" countries which includes Portugal, the UAE, South America and South African nations, must pay £1,750 and quarantine at a government-mandated hotel for 10 days.
This price includes the room, the two coronavirus tests and food.
How many Covid tests will I need when returning to the UK
- Before arrival – mandatory PCR test taken up to 72 hours before departure
- Day 2 – mandatory PCR test
- Day 5 – optional PCR test (only if leaving the Test and Release scheme)
- Day 8 – mandatory PCR test
Will holidays be able to go ahead this year?
Holidays restarting has divided opinion – the government has warned that it is unlikely to end travel restrictions abroad by the summer, while airlines and tour operators are more optimistic.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned this morning that holidays may not be able to go ahead at all this year, or until everyone in the UK is vaccinated.
Speaking on Sky News, he explained: "The truth is we just don’t know how the virus will respond to both to the vaccines and of course how people will respond.
"I’m afraid I can’t give you a definitive, will there or will there not be the opportunity to take holidays this next year either at home or abroad."
When asked if travel restrictions will stay in place until everyone has had a vaccine, he said: "Yes."
Mr Hancock has previously spoken about how he has booked a family holiday in Cornwall for later this year and has touted a "Great British summer".
However, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary predicts that Brits will be able to return to popular destinations such as Spain and Greece by summer.
He previously said, once the vaccination reduces the number of coronavirus-related deaths: "We expect to see a very strong return of British families travelling to the beaches of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece in relative safety this summer thanks to the vaccine programme."
Mr O'Leary added: "I think [there will be a] strong return to travel and normality for the travel sector by the end of 2021."
TUI also expects some normality of summer holidays abroad this summer thanks to the vaccine rollout, predicting 80 per cent of the usual bookings.
Should I book a holiday anyway?
Mr Shapps added on BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "People shouldn't be booking holidays right now, not domestically not internationally."
Despite this, many tour operators and airlines are now offering coronavirus protection as well as free changes or refunds.
TUI offers free changes if you contract COVID-19 before you travel and overseas medical assistance.
Jet2 has a Holiday Refund Guarantee that promises a quick refund to customers if the company has to cancel your holiday due to coronavirus, while easyJet lets you move your hols up to 28 days before you’re due to travel.
Brits should be aware that if they cancel their holidays, they may face last minute changes or being left out of pocket.
However, families who hold out to book even a UK holiday may also be faced with shortages or more expensive choices.
Cornwall tourism boss Malcom Bell warned that some people have even been placed onto a waitlist for holidays in the region to to demand this summer.
Easter holiday prices jumped in price last month, with some costing up to £1,500 more than usual.
Pitchup.com's Dan Yates said that booking holidays BEFORE lockdown end dates are given mean you can get better deals.
He explained: "In June last year, campsites opened – as soon as that speech happened, 10 days before the opening date, our bookings quadrupled.
"We had one booking every three seconds. People will want to secure their best spot, so we expect the same when lockdown ends this time around."
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