Travel update: Can we go on holiday in July?

Travel has been significantly disrupted since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Millions of Britons would usually be looking forward to a holiday with summer nearing, and most of us fed up with being stuff inside during the beautiful weather. But can you go on holiday in July? Express.co.uk spoke to an expert on what tourists should expect.

When can you travel?

Lockdown restrictions are gradually easing across the UK, but staying in a house other than your primary residence is still banned.

This means people are currently unable to travel within the UK to second homes or for staycations.

The global travel industry also has been hard hit by the outbreak.

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is currently advising Britons against all but essential international travel.

The FCO coronavirus travel advice reads: “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.”

But many airlines have discussed recommencing their flight schedules.

EasyJet grounded its entire fleet in March but is due to begin flights once against from June 15.

Predominantly the airline will begin domestic flights, with the only international flight being from Gatwick to Nice, France.

Ryanair is planning to begin flights from July 1 to 40 percent of its normal schedule.

Jet2 is also planning to resume flights from July.

Many may also be deterred from international travel given the new mandatory 14-day quarantine which is due to come into effect from June 8.

Travellers will also be required to fill in a form on arrival, including their contact information and an address where they will have to remain for two weeks and may be fined of up to £1,000 for breaking these rules.

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Can you travel in the UK?

Earlier this month, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden offered a potential boost to many in the domestic tourism sector claiming Britons could begin holidaying in July.

Holidays abroad are unlikely to go ahead as many travel bans are still in effect and airlines are on reduced services, but staycations may be possible.

Mr Dowden said: “I would love to get the tourism sector up as quickly as we possibly can.

“We’ve set this very ambitious plan to try and get it up and running by the beginning of July.”

Travel expert Lloyd Figgins, Chairman of the TRIP Group said: “In the short term, staycations in places such as holiday parks (once they reopen) are excellent alternatives. Booking a caravan or cabin at a holiday park has so many advantages, which allow tourists to enjoy a holiday while being able to comply with the government’s COVID-19 recommendations.

“They offer tourists the opportunity for a low-risk, high-reward break.”

From Monday, June 1, the Government is allowing people to meet with up to six people in outdoors spaces including public gardens.

This move is the latest in the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Despite this easing the Government’s core advice of keeping a two-metre distance between people from different households and maintaining good hygiene is paramount.

The current Government advice reads: “Premises such as hotels and bed and breakfasts will remain closed, except where providing accommodation for specific reasons set out in law, such as for critical workers where required for a reason relating to their work.”

However, from July it is thought possible hotels, campsites and holiday sites may be able to reopen so long as they can ensure they are COVID-19 secure.

Can you go on holiday in July?

Mr Figgins said: “Overseas holidays will take a little longer and until the government changes its advice from “all but essential travel” we are not going to see a return to normal.

The 14-day quarantine rule comes into effect on June 8 and will be reviewed every three weeks, so we might know more about international travel by the end of June.

“We’re already seeing Germany, Italy and Spain opening up to domestic tourism, so provided that goes well, it’s likely that these could be among the first countries to open to British tourists.

“However, Greece has announced that it won’t be accepting British tourists in the short term, so it really will be a case of seeing which countries are accepting British travellers before making a booking.”

He added: “The travel landscape has changed, so airlines and tour operators will need to adapt to these changes with a robust approach.

“They also need to expect any return to international travel will happen slowly with a number of carefully monitored stages.

“Travellers must not be put in danger simply to regenerate the travel industry.

“To do so would cause long term harm to the sector and erode consumer confidence long into the future.

“If the travel industry gets this right and adopts robust risk management procedures to keep people safe during such a time of uncertainty, it will help secure its future.

“If it rushes into a return to travel without the appropriate safety measures in place it will take a very long time to recover.”

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