The UK government has introduced a 14-day quarantine period for travellers arriving in Britain, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) continues to advise against all non-essential travel abroad. What does this mean for those desperate for their time in the sun this summer?
Arrivals into the UK, including returning Brits, are now required to enter quarantine. With the quarantine period lasting 14 days, this makes most holidays abroad impractical.
Original guidelines meant those travelling between France and the UK would be exempt from this rule, however, this is no longer the case.
In one statement from the Prime Minister in late May, he revived hopes overseas summer holidays could still happen this side of January, after suggesting the UK could have ‘air bridge’ agreements in place by the end of June.
Air bridges would allow British holidaymakers to travel to certain countries without the need to quarantine on arrival, or when they return home.
Summer holidays are a distant dream for locked down Brits
Some countries have begun to reopen to tourism
However, this has not been confirmed by the Government and is still under negotiation with partner countries.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock went on This Morning to explain the luxury of being allowed to travel freely again will be one of the last things to return to normal.
Will there be domestic holidays?
Not until at least July, when restrictions around many ‘non-essential’ activities are expected to be reviewed.
The latest Government statement permits people in England to “drive to other destinations”, “sit in the sun”, and do unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise, with members of their own households or up to six others.
The FCO currently has a blanket travel ban out
While this means you can take the children out on day trips to the countryside, national parks or the coast, you cannot currently stay overnight anywhere.
Pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs may be able to reopen from July 4.
It is also likely there will be a relaxation of restrictions on camping, caravanning, and holiday cottages in the coming weeks.
Scotland eased its restrictions on May 28, while in Wales, two households can meet outdoors but are not permitted to travel more than five miles to do so.
Will there be international holidays?
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the FCO is currently advising against all non-essential international travel.
This advice, while not making travel illegal, makes it impossible to get travel insurance.
While the FCO says this advice is under constant review, the decision to apply the current advice indefinitely, rather than for a set period of time, has a significant impact on holiday plans.
Domestic holidays could be allowed later in the year
However, signs on the continent offer hope to holidaymakers.
Italy opened its doors on June 3, while Spain’s Prime Minister has announced plans to reopen to tourism in July.
In Greece, archaeological sites, including the Acropolis in Athens have reopened, and the country hoping to welcome international tourists from July 1.
France is currently planning to reopen from June.
However, due to the UK’s high death and infection rate of coronavirus, some countries have rejected the idea that British tourists will be allowed to travel there.
Countries that have barred Brits in one capacity or another include Greece, Cyprus, Australia, Denmark, the Maldives and New Zealand.