It feels like a lifetime since we’ve been able to go on holiday.
But with the coronavirus vaccines being rolled out, there is hope it won’t be too long before we can head abroad.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that he’s optimistic about summer holidays.
So where could Brits be able to go on holiday this summer?
The Mirror has taken a look at the possible destinations.
A staycation is the most likely option for Brits who want to escape for a summer break.
Although domestic travel is currently banned under lockdown, there are hopes that restrictions will lift in March. Even if there are tier restrictions in place, these have previously allowed travel for lower tiers so there could be scope for travelling within government guidance.
UK travel firms are already noting record-breaking numbers of summer bookings, with destinations such as Cornwall, Devon and the Lake District proving particularly popular.
There are cheap UK holiday deals to be found for those who want to book early – and most places do offer flexible booking policies or cancellations.
A city break or beach holiday in Europe isn’t completely off the table but it is going to depend on a whole host of factors including;
- Whether the government lifts the current travel ban for Brits (it is currently illegal to travel abroad for leisure)
- If destinations will allow Brits to enter – a mutant coronavirus strain in the UK has seen the nation deemed ‘high risk’ meaning that some countries such as France and Spain have previously closed borders to Brits
- Whether UK government lifts restrictions – travel corridors are currently suspended and there is a travel ban from over 30 countries. Lifting these will depend on the numbers of coronavirus cases/risk factor for destinations abroad.
However, coronavirus vaccines could once again play a key role – some countries such as Spain have hinted that once they have rolled out vaccinations they will be able to welcome back tourists. Meanwhile, some countries have already said that they will welcome vaccinated travellers without quarantine i ncluding Cyprus and Estonia.
There is optimism from travel firms too – giants such as easyJet holidays, Jet2 and TUI have cancelled trips until late March but currently no further, with hopes that some international travel may be on offer for Brits.
The Caribbean islands were some of the few destinations that remained open to Brits in 2020, and some hotspots such as Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua allow UK travellers to enter, subject to entry requirements such as proof of a negative Covid-19 test and quarantine rules on arrival.
Caribbean islands aren’t included in the UK’s red list (where there is a travel ban) so if this is still the case when travel restrictions are lifted, then they could be some of the spots on offer for holidays.
President Joe Biden is re-introducing a ban on non-US citizens entering the country who have recently been in the UK, Ireland and Europe within the previous 14 days.
It’s unlikely that this will be changed by the time summer comes around. TUI has already cancelled Florida holidays up to and including April 30, 2021.
Popular long-haul destinations such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Thailand all currently have restrictions in place that don’t allow for foreign visitors to enter.
Australia’s Health Department Secretary has previously said the country could even keep its borders closed until 2022, while New Zealand is also unlikely to re-open borders to tourists this year.
Meanwhile the UK currently has a travel ban on over 30 countries, predominantly in destinations across South America and Africa, due to fears of mutant coronavirus strains. Even if this ban was to end, we’d expect that it would start with essential travel only rather than being offered widely for holidaymakers.
A lot needs to happen in terms of numbers of coronavirus cases and restrictions before long-haul holidays will be back on the cards, and it’s highly unlikely that this will be done by the time the summer holidays land.
At the time of writing, the Foreign Office continues to advise Brits against cruise ship travel during the pandemic.
Most cruise lines have cancelled sailings until April/May 2021 – we have a guide on when cruise lines plan to restart including the likes of P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean.
Fred Olsen recently announced it was extending its pause in operations until the end of June.
Cruise companies have been implementing new health and safety measures and introducing new policies such as reduced capacity for future sailings.
Even if cruises did restart in time for summer, it could be itineraries around the UK and potentially some European spots which would be on the cards, rather than long-haul sailings such as the Caribbean.