The current advice on travel restrictions being lifted from the Foreign Office states: “As countries respond to the COVId-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice. If you live in the UK and are currently travelling abroad, you are strongly advised to return now, where and while there are still commercial routes available. Many airlines are suspending flights and many airports are closing, preventing flights from leaving.
When will travel restrictions be lifted in the UK?
The current travel advice from the Government is to avoid all but essential travel for the foreseeable future.
No dates have been confirmed for when domestic and international travel will resume.
Britain’s Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, warned he wouldn’t be “booking a summer holiday at this point” as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus outbreak.
While all flights in May have been cancelled, excluding repatriation and cargo flights, airlines are expected to resume their normal flight ahead of the peak July and August season.
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A spokesperson for the Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) said: “If luck is on our side, then three months hence should see things calm down on the virus front.
“It’s likely that the first travellers within the UK will venture out again to explore their own country at the traditional start of the summer season.”
However, it will also depend on each country’s individual lockdown policy and when they are willing to allow tourists once more.
Director of Product at TUI, Mark Hall told The Sun: “Whilst it’s difficult to predict, we do think that autumn and winter getaways could prove more popular than ever as people still wan their yearly holiday.
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“We may see more late bookers as people cautiously search for the best deals and popular family destinations.
“Family favourites such as Florida, mainland Spain and the Canaries are still top on searched destinations and we may see a demand for Caribbean holidays for winter sun at the end of 2020 and into 2021.”
If you are looking to book a holiday, it’s worth going for an ATOL protected one, which means you are covered by a refund or a credit note if the holiday does not go ahead.
When can I travel to Spain?
Spain has begun lifting their lockdown measures, and have announced that they will be lifting restrictions by province, as opposed to region.
A tourism company in Benidorm said that a spike in bookings for July and August would be welcome news for the industry – although it may be longer until Brits can go back.
President of Benidorm’s British Businesses Association, Karen Maling Cowles said: “I don’t personally think that we’re going to start recovering from this until June or July and even that’s maybe early. But British tourism I don’t see happening until September.
“Because the UK is still so far behind Spain and until you have it contained, people won’t be allowed to come and have their week in Benidorm.”
The Balearic Islands have issued a similar statement, with their Tourism minister Iago Negueruela saying the UK is in a “different position”.
He said: “There are countries like the United Kingdom that have taken too long to adopt containment measures and that also puts us in a different situation, with respect to them.”
Sean McCauley from Hoiiday Extras told The Sun: “Airlines are bringing forward their 2020/21 winter schedules so people can book to fly then.
“That’s sensible for customers who are looking ahead to the end of the current crisis, and good for everyone to have something to look forward to even if it’s towards the end of the year.”
He added: “But like most travel businesses, we appreciate that people are cautious about making plans until the situation resolves, so we’re glad to see so much flexibility and forward planning in our industry.”
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