Holidays are not necessarily at the top of most people’s priority lists at present, but many are still taking the time to plan and dream about their next holiday abroad. While current Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice states that travelling abroad is not permitted unless it is “essential”, Ryanair’s recent plans to begin flights as early as July has sparked hope for some Britons looking for a holiday. But like many other airlines, plans to restart operations cannot go ahead until FCO advice changes.
Home Secretary Priti Patel announced on Friday that from June 8 the UK Government will be enforcing 14-day quarantine rules for travellers flying in from abroad, further darkening the outlook of the travel and tourism sector.
Other countries such as Spain, New Zealand and China are also imposing such quarantine measures, with some already in place.
The new rules could put an end to weekend breaks in Andalusia, and cheap, week-long package deals in Benidorm as customers face the reality of having to book off potentially weeks to accommodate for a short break.
But for those looking ahead to the distant future of travel, these are the locations that may well be the safest.
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Travel risk expert Lloyd Figgins spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the safest places to visit once lockdown has been lifted, and the risks to consider when you travel.
Mr Figgins is Chairman of the Travel Risk & Incident Prevention (TRIP), which is an independent think-tank dedicated to improving knowledge, education and awareness of travel risk management.
He’s also the author of The Travel Survival Guide and often provides commentary in the media.
“We need to look at infection rates of the countries you’re travelling to,” he began.
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He continued: “But not just infection rates. You need to have a look at the health system of the country that you’re visiting and what strain that may also be under due to infection rates.
“When we look at those countries who have not necessarily been impacted in the same ways, you would be looking at places like Singapore, you would be looking at Australia, you would be looking at New Zealand where they’ve had much lower infection rates.
“And certainly lower fatality rates.”
Mr Figgins warned that those countries with lower case rates may be unwilling to allow Britons to visit so soon.
He added: “The problem with those countries is that they want to keep their citizens as safe as possible so they’re unlikely to let people from infected countries or badly impacted countries travel to their shores.
Safest countries to travel: “Italy will be opening its borders very shortly”
“And that is the problem that we have.”
But the travel risk expert was also hopeful, explaining that there were some “badly impacted countries” that would be opening to tourists soon.
He added: “However, we are seeing some of those countries that were badly impacted opening up.
“Italy will be opening its borders very shortly. We are seeing Greece is opening some of its tourist attractions.
“Where you have these economies that are reliant on tourism, they are very keen to get the sights and resorts open as quickly as possible.
International travel post-lockdown
“But the one thing that we must bring into this equation is that everybody has their own individual risk appetite. You will always get your early adopters who will jump on the first aircraft they can when they’re allowed to, but for a lot of people consumer confidence in travel is very, very low at the moment.
“I think it’s imperative the industry takes these small steps in order to try and get that consumer confidence back.”
The TRIP Group was established in 2017 and now has more than 500 member organisations worldwide including Corporations, NGOs, Government Departments, Higher Education and Travel & Tourism.
Lloyds Figgins’ book, The Travel Survival Guide, is available to buy on Amazon