Are we having a summer holiday?

Our guide to planning a summer holiday

Are summer holidays a go this year, yay or nay? Debate has been rife since lockdown began. Air bridges, staycations, the dos and don’ts – we’ve rounded up all the latest info and government advice to help you plan the rest of your summer. By Marta Portocarrero.

6th July

This is the date you need to remember if you’re still hoping for a foreign holiday this summer.

From 6th July the government’s advice against all non-essential international travel to countries and territories where the public health risk is no longer “unacceptably high” is expected to be lifted.

Airlines are hopeful they can salvage something of the summer season. EasyJet resumed limited flights in June, and hopes to resume flights on 75% of its route network by the end of August. Ryanair and British Airways plan to ramp up their services in July.

But you might not want to book any international travel before the 6th July – you are unlikely to get travel insurance as insurers take their cue from the official advice.

Where could I go?✈️

Well, since the 15th June – when the EU lifted travel restrictions – it is up to each individual country whether or not to accept tourists travelling from the UK.

France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Italy are now welcoming travellers from the UK.

Ireland requires visitors to quarantine for 14 days upon entry.

If you’re longing for Greece, you will have to be tested for coronavirus upon arrival. If you test positive, you will need to quarantine for 14 days.

Australia, India and the US have denied entry to UK holidaymakers.

The entry in New Zealand is strictly controlled. All arrivals are tested for coronavirus, and have to follow a mandatory 14-day managed quarantine period.

Luckily we have “air bridges”…

The Department for Transport has now confirmed that people arriving in England from more than 50 countries will no longer need to quarantine from 10th July (unless they have been in or travelled through non-exempt countries in the preceding 14 days.)

A full list of exempt countries posing “a reduced risk” from coronavirus will be published later. Up until then, most travellers to the UK had to self-isolate for two weeks.

France, Italy, Spain, Germany will be included.Norway, the Netherlands, Turkey, Greece, Belgium and Finland are likely make the list too.

We’ve asked our followers about the prospect of going abroad this summer…

69% (185) said they wouldn’t go on holiday abroad this summer. Only 31% (82) said they would.

Most of the followers who chose not to go on holiday abroad this summer said they wouldn’t go, not because they were afraid of contracting COVID-19 necessarily, but because they found it irresponsible given the current circumstances. Others didn’t want to deal with government regulations.

“So holiday is booked for the first week of August. Was booked in December last year. I am apprehensive of going away with all the uncertainty…I would be far more happier this time round doing a staycation. But my concern is I have paid for the holiday, I won’t get a refund unless the govt say this destination is not safe to go to.

However, I feel that Turkey will be one of the destinations which will be allowed. So then I possibly won’t be allowed to not go or else I will lose the money I have paid. So if we now go…how is social distancing going to be managed at the airport? How is airport seating going to be? What are the rules and restrictions when on holiday in the resort? Are swimming pools etc all open?

If we go on holiday it will be with two young children. Going away with young kids is stressful enough…dread to think how it will be in the next few months. I am sure airports managers themselves are not fully sure how everything is going to work.” – @kabsy

What if my holiday gets cancelled?

Then you should be entitled to a full refund within 14 days – but expect the wait to be much longer.

Some airlines and tour operators also offer the possibility of rebooking your holiday for a later date free of charge.

What if I no longer want to go?

Pulling out now would mean you forfeit any money you’ve already paid out, as your cancellation falls under “disinclination to travel”.

If you have particular health concerns it might be worth getting in touch with your travel insurance provider, although many of them have changed their terms and conditions to disallow any claims associated with COVID-19.

Hmm, so maybe it’s better to book a holiday in the UK then?

Yes, probably.

In England, from the 4th July, we will be allowed to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation, including self-catering cottages and apartments, caravans with their own bathroom facilities, hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Campsites will also be allowed to open as long as shared facilities are kept clean. If you’re looking for ideas of where to camp across the country, check out our UK staycation guide.

In Northern Ireland, self-catering holiday accommodation reopened on 26th June, and hotels just reopened on 3rd July.

In Wales, a decision on whether to open up the country to tourists again will be taken on the 9th July. If this is given the go-ahead, it’s likely to take effect from 13th July. You can then start booking holidays in self-contained accommodation in Wales from that date onwards.

In Scotland, people can book self-contained accommodation from the 3rd July. All other holiday accommodation can reopen from the 15th July.

We’ve asked our followers about the prospect of having a holiday in the UK this summer…

65% (162) said they wouldn’t go on holiday abroad this summer. Only 35% (89) said they would.

Most of the followers who chose not to go on holiday in the UK this summer said they wouldn’t go mainly because of financial reasons or becuse they didn’t want to be worried about social distancing regulations while on holiday.