After months of holing up at home under lockdown, there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. It looks like our summer vacay may be back on the cards.Right now, some of our favourite European countries are relaxing travel restrictions, keen to lure us back to their sun-soaked shores in time for a holiday as the number of new coronavirus infections falls – although there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the rules.
Greece, Turkey and Spain are among the places that want to welcome back Brits ASAP and are keen to adopt what they call ‘transport corridors’ which would mean we can visit without needing to quarantine for 14 days when we return home. Under the UK’s current strict new quarantine system, most visitors must self-isolate for two weeks which might put a damper on our plans RN.However, Boris Johnson wants to agree a EU travel deal which would allow Britons to visit EU countries without having to isolate for 14 days on their return. He’s said it’s a top priority for ministers to work out this week but it might not be put into place until mid-July.The Coronacation: The most beautiful holiday cottages in the UK for a socially distanced getaway
As we write this, Italy and Portugal have already reopened their borders, allowing UK visitors to travel freely with no restrictions and others may follow suit but for now, if you decide to leave the UK, remember you’ll have to factor in two weeks of not leaving the house when you get home.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking about booking a holiday to these destinations.Italy
When UK visitors are allowed: NowAfter one of the world’s longest and rigid lockdowns, Italy reopened its borders to European visitors on June 3 and this included anyone coming from the UK.Portugal
When UK visitors are allowed: NowAnyone arriving from all other European countries except Spain and Italy can now enter freely and there are no quarantine requirements.Spain
When UK visitors are allowed: From July 1Set to reopen to international tourism from July 1. Authorities hope to allow holidaymakers from some low-risk countries to visit before that date, after a national state of emergency ends on June 21.
When UK visitors are allowed: From June 15You’ll be able to fly into Athens and Thessaloniki airports from June 15 but anyone arriving from places deemed high-risk such as the UK, you will be tested for coronavirus. Those testing positive will be quarantined for 14 days. Those testing negative will have to self-isolate for a week. Germany
When UK visitors are allowed: From June 15The current travel ban is being lifted for EU member states as well as Britain, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein from June 15. France
When UK visitors are allowed: TBCNo firm plans yet but it says it wants the European Union’s internal borders reopened from June 15 and has passed a law allowing it to impose quarantine on visitors from specific nations it deems necessary.
When UK visitors are allowed: TBCIs allowing visitors from Germany, Greece and a number of other countries from June 9, as long as they have a test up to three days before arrival showing they do not have COVID-19. This requirement is being dropped from June 20. However, visitors from the UK and Russia remain barred for now.Turkey
When UK visitors are allowed: TBCThe borders are still largely closed but they hope to resume flights with around 40 countries in June and are trying to negotiate ‘transport corridors’ with 15 countries including the UK depending on the infection rates.
Pre-flight blood tests, contactless check-in and germ-detecting ultraviolet lights: This is what your post-lockdown holiday will look like