• Sat. Oct 22nd, 2022

We answer all your burning questions about holidays at home and abroad as the end of lockdown is in our sights – from where you could go to what you could do

Feb 24, 2021

With Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally declaring the end of lockdown is firmly in our sights, many of us are desperate to book that long-awaited getaway.
But just where and what can we do? Here are some of your holiday questions answered.
When can we holiday at home?
Domestic holidays will be allowed from April 12 – after Easter – although hotels and B&Bs will not open until at least May 17.
When can we travel abroad?
Foreign travel may also be given the go-ahead from May 17, although a review into restarting travel concludes on April 12. Depending on its findings, dates could change.
Where can we go?
Currently there are 33 countries on the high-risk list. Anyone travelling from these countries to the UK will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel for ten days at a cost of £1,750.
You will also need to take two coronavirus tests. It isnt known how long this scheme will run for.
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Brits could pack out beaches again – like at Porthminster Beach on August 9, 2020 in St Ives, Cornwall (Image: Getty)
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If youre coming from countries not on the red list, you will be required to quarantine at home for ten days and take coronavirus tests. Travellers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow separate advice.
The red list countries are –
Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Eswatini, French Guiana, Guyana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Suriname, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Which countries want us/say they let us in?
Most of Europes borders are closed to UK nationals, although some are allowing in residents. Currently, open countries include Poland, Greece, Estonia, Andorra, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Bulgaria.
Are you planning a holiday abroad this summer?
Do I have to book early to get a holiday?
Holiday companies have seen a massive surge in demand since the PMs announcement.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: We have seen enormous pent-up demand from British holidaymakers for some time, with people wanting nothing more than to get away to the sunshine and enjoy their well-deserved holidays.
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Sites are seeing a surge in bookings (Image: Getty)
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easyJet also added new routes for summer 2021 with holidays with demand up 630%.
Now that foreign travel has been given the go ahead, will operators bump up the rates?
There will be increases on some rates says Paul Charles, co-founder of Save Our Summer said: Airlines and operators are raising prices by around 10% as they seek to recover losses from last year and put themselves on a more certain footing.
“They have to lift prices to survive and thrive. Remember though, holidays are selling like hotcakes so book early. There are some good deals to be had.
I love coach holidays but will I be able to/should I do one this year?
Coach operators such as Shearings are offering holidays from May. Safety measures include allocated seats. You wont be sat next to anybody youre not travelling with.
Face coverings will be required and customers will be temperature checked. Liam Race CEO of Leger Shearings Group said, Its been a long haul and we have 14 Shearings tours set to depart on May 17, which we are very relieved can now go ahead.
Should I book a package this Summer?
Booking a package does provide peace of mind and protection.
If your holiday is cancelled you will receive a refund. Make sure your tour operator is ATOL protected.
If you book independently, there will be no protection if the airline fails or your hotel is closed.
What about a cruise? Are they safe and when could the first ship sail?
Whether you could go abroad is yet to be seen (stock image) (Image: Getty)
Most cruise lines have pushed back their departures to later in the Summer.
Carnival UK president Simon Palethorpe said: We are very much looking forward to once again providing amazing holidays at sea with P&O Cruises and Cunard.
“Our team has been working diligently to develop a comprehensive framework of protocols to protect the health and wellbeing of our guests, crew and the communities we visit.
“As more clarity is provided on likely dates for travel and tourism to return we will publish updates on our return to service and the experience on board.
Are canal boat holidays a good option?
Yes, though single households only from April 12 are allowed as per Government guidelines.
A spokesperson from Drifters Waterway holidays said: There will be the usual social distancing measures in place and there will be extra cleaning of the boats and one way systems at boatyards.
Tui recently cancelled their holidays until March but will they come back now?
Andrew Flintham, Tui UK and Ireland managing director, commented: We know theres a huge demand to travel, with demand for Greece, Spain and Turkey from July onwards the most booked overnight.
Bookings can be changed for free up to 21 days prior to departure.
Should I book flights now and hope or wait till closer to the time?
Scenes like this may not be too far away (stock image) (Image: Getty)
Most airlines are reporting huge demand.
They now also have flexible booking policies now so its best to book early to avoid disappointment.
We usually go to the seaside but everywhere popular is expensive. Are there any other areas I should try?
Head to the quieter, less popular resorts such as Suffolk or perhaps Northumberland and the Isle of Wight. If youre after a cottage or campsite, book now.
Might some airlines require proof of vaccination?
It depends on a countrys entry requirements however, The Seychelles, alongside a handful of countries such as Romania, Estonia, Cyprus, Poland, Georgia, Iceland, Lebanon, Thailand and Hawaii in the US are now welcoming travellers who have received both doses of the vaccine.
Greece and Israel are sure to soon follow.
What if Ive been told not to have the vaccination for medical reasons? Might I not be able to travel abroad?
This is still to be decided.
How will the Test to Release scheme work and how might it replace the Quarantine hotels?
(Image: Getty)
Currently everyone arriving in England has to quarantine for ten days. Under the Test to Release scheme, you can pay for a private Covid-19 test which can be taken five days after your arrival. If its negative, you can leave early.
Can I get insurance for Covid-19 if Im planning to travel abroad?
Yes. There are various airlines and travel providers who have partnerships with insurance companies such as Allianz who offer Covid protection.
Last year many holidaymakers who went to popular European resorts found shops and restaurants closed. Is that likely to happen again this year?
Its best to check the local government guidelines before you travel, however as we know, the situation can change quickly.
When might I be able to have a holiday in Australia and New Zealand?
Currently the borders are closed. Australia may open in 2022 only to those who have been vaccinated. New Zealand will remain closed until its population are vaccinated which is due to begin mid-2021.
I want to take my elderly mother away on holiday. What would be the best option?
Why not, particularly if shes had the vaccination and its somewhere you both feel safe and confident about. However, if shes slightly nervous, about being amongst a lot of people a cottage, villa or B&B might be a better option.
Is short or long haul a better bet this year?
Europe could be a safer bet just in case you need to return to the UK quickly. That said, after missing out on holidays last year, many will be keen to do a big trip this year.