Travel: Experts slam taskforce report on summer holidays
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Many Brits are dreaming of a summer holiday abroad, however, coronavirus restrictions have forbidden trips abroad for the best part of a year. With lockdown in the process of slowly easing across the UK, some may be wondering what this means for holidaying abroad. So what does this mean for travel to Spain?
Currently, it is illegal to travel abroad for holidays under the Government’s lockdown rules.
However, the rules are slowly relaxing – with the latest changes on April 12 meaning pubs and restaurants can serve customers outdoors, and non-essential shops can open.
Travel abroad for the purpose of a holiday is still banned, but there is light at the end of the tunnel for Brits.
The Government is planning to bring a traffic light system into play to enable travel, with red-listed countries seeing the existing ban continuing.
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Anyone travelling to an amber country would need to quarantine on arrival back to the UK for 10 days.
And green countries would be free to travel to without requiring isolation on return.
However, everyone returning to or visiting the UK will need to take at least one coronavirus test before departure and after they arrive.
There could also be specific restrictions for the country you are planning to visit.
Is Spain on the red list?
As yet no countries have been classified under the Government’s new travel scheme.
Aviation minister Robert Courts told the Commons Transport Select Committee countries will be categorised in “the early part of May”.
He added it “wouldn’t be right for me to speculate” on the lists.
Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown roadmap, the earliest date foreign holidays could be permitted for people in England is May 17.
EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said he “would expect almost all major European countries” to be put in the low-risk category when overseas holidays from the UK are allowed to resume.
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Is TUI taking bookings?
Travel agents like TUI are accepting bookings for foreign holidays, with locations able to be booked from May 17 onwards.
You can book for destinations like Greece, Spain, Italy, the Maldives and Portugal, among others.
Currently, on TUI’s site you can’t book to travel to Albania, China, Czech Republic, Israel, Japan, Oman, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago or Uzbekistan.
In an update issued on April 6, TUI reassured customers they are taking into account the potential risk of holiday destinations being categorised as amber or red.
They said: “We are yet to receive the full detail for each category, including what testing requirements may be needed and what colour your destination may be.
“However, our TUI Holiday Promise for Green and Amber destinations remains the same for continued peace of mind.
“If prior to your departure date you know that you will need to quarantine on your return to the UK, you will have the option to change your holiday for free to another time.
“You’ll also be able to change your holiday for free if you’re unable to travel due to new testing or vaccination requirements.”
Of countries potentially being placed on the red list, the travel giant said: “We won’t take people on holiday to destinations that will require you to quarantine on arrival or those on the Red list.
“In this instance, we will cancel your holiday and you will be able to amend to another date for free, or you can request a full refund.”
TUI adds: “If we need to cancel any future holidays because of updated Government guidance, we will be in touch with you directly and will aim to give you at least seven days’ notice.”
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