Holidays 2020: Best Christmas destinations to escape to with sun and no quarantine

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Christmas is fast approaching and while England is currently in lockdown, many are getting ready to jet abroad as soon as they’re allowed to. Currently, Britons residing in England are not allowed to travel within the UK or abroad unless it’s for an essential purpose. For some, lockdown is a chance to hunker down and get into the Christmas spirit.

But for others, it’s simply a stop gap before jetting off abroad.

For those looking to head abroad over the Christmas period once lockdown has been lifted, Express.co.uk has gathered together a list of the best destinations to escape to with sun, and most importantly, no quarantine.

Madeira

Entry requirements and quarantine

Madeira and the Azores are currently exempt from the UK’s quarantine list which means Britons can enjoy a holiday on the islands without facing 14 days in isolation on their return.

Before arriving in Madeira, Britons will need to complete and submit a traveller questionnaire 12 to 48 hours before departure.

Travellers will also need to take a coronavirus test 72 hours before travel and upload a test result.

Weather

Being closer to Africa, Madeira is warm all year round which makes it a great option or some winter sun.

The average high temperature in December is 20C with it cooling down to around 11C at night.

While it may be warm in the day, it’s best to still pack a rain coat and a jumper for the evenings.

Christmas

Madeira was awarded Europe’s Safest Christmas Destination 2020 by European Best Destinations last month.

In Madeira, the whole month of December – known as the “Festa” – is dedicated to festive fun.

Funchal is lit up with lights which are like no other and the New Year’s Eve fireworks rival those in Sydney, but without the crowds.

There are also plenty of Christmas markets that are full of local delicacies such as honey biscuits.

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Gibraltar

Entry requirements and quarantine

Gibraltar has remained on the travel corridor list which means Britons do not need to self-isolate for 14 days on their return to the UK.

Travellers do need to fill in a COVID-19 contact tracing online passenger locator and ‘relevant area form’ which is a legal requirement.

Holidaymakers also need to inform the authorities if they have been in a “relevant area” in the 14 days prior to arriving in Gibraltar.

The UK is not included along with countries in the European Union.

Weather

Although not as warm as other destinations, Gibraltar still has an average temperature of 14.5C in December and highs of 17C.

Temperatures can drop to around 12C so it’s best to pack a jumper or two.

There is also the likelihood of some rain.

Christmas

Gibraltar has its own Christmas Market which runs regularly in December.

The market includes festive items as well as mulled wine, mince pies and other local foods.

There’s also the Christmas Festival of Lights in John Mackintosh Square.

This year, due to coronavirus, the attractions will not be in their “usual format” but arrangements will be kept under review.

Canary Islands

Entry requirements and quarantine

Spain and the Balearic Islands are currently on the UK’s quarantine list which means Britons must self-isolate on their return to the UK.

However, the Canary Islands are exempt from this.

Those travelling to the Canary Islands who are booked into “regulated tourist accommodation” will have to produce an official, negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours earlier, when checking in to the accommodation and download and activate the Radar COVID notification app throughout their stay on the islands and for 15 days after the stay.

Weather

The Canary Islands’ weather in December is usually very mild with an average daily maximum temperature of 22C and an average daily minimum of 17C.

There is some rainfall so it’s still a good idea to bring a coat just in case.

Christmas

The Canaries are perfect for a Christmas break with the festivities kicking off on Christmas Eve where friends and family usually have a huge meal.

A traditional sweet treat at Christmas on the Canary Islands is turrón – nougat with honey and almonds.

In the Canary Islands, most children wait until January 5 for their presents when the Three Kings visit.

Maldives

Entry requirements and quarantine

All tourists and short term visitors must present a negative coronavirus test on arrival into the Maldives.

The test and negative certificate should be issued no more than 96 hours before departure.

All travellers to the Maldives must fill in a “Traveller Health Declaration form” 24 hours before departure to the Maldives.

The Maldives are on the travel corridor list which means Britons don’t need to isolate on their return to the UK.

Weather

December is the coolest month in the Maldives, however, it still has an average high temperature of almost 30C and an average low temperature of 25C.

There could be some rain, but it’s unlikely to warrant a rain coat.

But swimming gear is a must with sea water temperatures of around 25C.

Christmas

While it may lack festivity, Christmas in the Maldives is very special with incredible views, guaranteed heat and impeccable hotel service.

Prices are usually higher at this time of year but it’s definitely worth the extra money.

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