Coronavirus: will I be able to go on vacation?

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A hammock on a Caribbean beach

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has relaxed some of the locking restrictions in England.

People in England can now go out for unlimited exercise and leisure, and more and more people are returning to work.

But when can people leave for a break?

Can I go on vacation now?

Vacation is not allowed under the new guidelines.

You are free to drive any distance to other destinations in England, such as parks and beaches, but you are not expected to spend the night in a place where you do not normally live. This includes any second property you may own.

This means that you cannot rent an independent chalet or Airbnb property, and British campsites, hotels and holiday parks will remain closed until at least July 4.

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Legend

Tourists are advised to stay away from beauty spots like the Lake District


In terms of day trips, many national parks remain closed, and public facilities such as parking lots and restrooms may not be open either.

People are also advised to avoid public transportation as much as possible.

Cumbria police urged people not to “rush into the Lake District” and Visit Cornwall also asked visitors to stay away.

In addition, people who live in England cannot travel to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, where residents are always asked to avoid non-essential travel.

Can I go on vacation abroad?

The Foreign Office always advises British nationals against all non-essential foreign travel and urges foreigners to return home, if possible.

Various other countries such as the United States have travel restrictions that prevent or limit overseas arrivals, and many airlines offer reduced service or have suspended all flights.

The UK has said it will introduce a 14-day quarantine period as soon as possible, which would apply to returning visitors and UK nationals, although people from Ireland and France are exempt.

Should I book a summer vacation?

It is simply not possible to say at this stage.

Hotels and resorts in England could start to reopen in early July, if the government considers that sufficient progress has been made on its five tests.

Restrictions may also ease in the rest of the UK, allowing people to travel more widely at home.

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English and Scottish households may be able to visit Wales in the summer, and vice versa.


Ryanair and British Airways plan to step up their flights in July and EasyJet hopes it will join them.

All TUI and First Choice vacations are canceled until June 11 at least.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that “lavish international vacations” are unlikely to be possible this summer.

What are other countries doing?

European countries are also considering how to manage the summer vacation season.

The EU insisted that there will be a summer season this year.

The European Commission has proposed a gradual lifting of travel restrictions across the EU.

Seasonal workers and citizens of countries with similar levels of infections may start to travel more freely first.

The commission recommends that people follow the rules of social distancing and use mandatory face masks when traveling, and ensure controlled access to hotel and restaurant facilities at resorts.

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Legend

Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands are highly dependent on tourism


There should be enough hospital capacity to deal with any spike in cases, and it is clear that if infections start to rise again, restrictions may be re-imposed.

The plans are not binding, so it will be up to each country to implement changes, and it is not yet clear what this could mean for British travelers.

  • How the lock is lifted across Europe
  • Katya Adler: EU acts to save tourism from confinement

How about we go in the fall?

Again, it is impossible at this stage to say whether this will be possible.

Travel advice will need to be updated, but it depends on the course of the disease.

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EasyJet planes are currently all immobilized


Holidays and flights booked against Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel advice are probably not covered by travel insurance if you are unable to travel after all.

What about holidays already booked for this year?

If your package trip or flights have already been canceled, you are entitled to a full cash refund.

However, many people find it difficult to get their money back and are offered vouchers or trips instead.

The Association of British Travel Agents and Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary have both told the BBC that customers will have to wait longer than normal for a refund.

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Legend

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary cut his salary by 50% for the rest of the year


If you are offered a voucher or a new free reservation instead of cash, you can accept or decline it. But if the airline folds later, the voucher may no longer be valid.

Some customers have asked their credit card provider to help them get their money back.

What about trips that haven’t been canceled yet?

If your airline or vacation company has not yet canceled your vacation, but you no longer wish to travel, you may not be eligible for a refund.

However, some providers allow people to book trips for a later date at no cost.

You may have to wait closer to the time to request a refund, but you should contact your airline or vacation agency to discuss your options.

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