With quarantine easing in the UK, can I book my holiday abroad now?

After 100 days of lockdown – it started March 23 –  scuppered holiday plans and hundreds of thousands of cancelled holidays, both the travel industry and holidaymakers are itching to get going.

The government has created a traffic light system to signal those countries that are deemed safe to visit and have initiated an air bridge or travel corridor agreement with them. The full list of countries is due to be published on Wednesday.

This is how the Traffic Light systems works

GREEN means their COVID-19 rate is less than that of the UK so it’s safe to go
AMBER says their COVID-19 rate matches that of the UK and so it’s ok to go
RED warns that the country is a no go area.

So, you could of course book your summer holiday but there are certain risks in these uncertain times. The government is not U-turn averse and rules could change at any time. A spike in COVID-19 anywhere in a Green light country could mean the Red light is invoked and the holiday may be cancelled.

Conversely, if the UK were to experience a spike in COVID-19 incidences, countries with an air bridge agreement may sever the link. We have seen that Greece, who initially said they would love to welcome Brits, then banned flights from the UK and further extended the ban to July 15.

Foreign Office advice is under constant review and if their advice opens doors for a destination, if spikes in the virus appear, their advice may change affecting your travel plans and of course invalidating your travel insurance.

Some independent travel agents who felt the heat of the previous refund backlash are considering not taking bookings for fear of a change in the government guidelines and having to offer refunds.

The question is are you risk-averse or a dare-devil risk taker?

The question to ask yourself is: are you risk-averse or a dare-devil risk-taker.

Bear in mind that if you can go you will experience strict social distancing at airports and will have to wear a mask both in the airport and on planes. Some airlines are refusing passengers to board if they do not agree to wear a mask. The fact is you cannot social distance on a plane which is effectively a flying tube.


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