Travel – what’s going on?
In the world of travel, things have changed forever. If you want to pop into an airport just now, you must have your temperature checked and are served by masked cabin crew.
The travel restrictions are changing all the time. They often seem to be illogical. Why isn’t Portugal on the go to list? Why was quarantine introduced so late in the day and how are any of these regulations going to be enforced.
As of July 15, the FCO has lifted its do not travel unless essential advice. It has finally agreed 75 countries which can now be visited by Britons without the need to self-isolate on return.
The Caribbean still has restrictions and the USA has different rules in different states. Canada however is considered safe to visit, but visitors are still required to self-isolate when they return home.
Some countries still have their own restrictions in place. New Zealand, for example, could remain closed to foreign tourists until next year, while Cyprus is blocking all UK arrivals.
Nevertheless, 26 places are definitely welcoming UK travelers. There’s still plenty of choice if you can navigate the rules and regulations.
No restrictions on these destinations
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands (Visitors required to take Covid-19 test at airport on arrival)
- Greece (Visitors must complete an online form.)
- Iceland (Open to tourists, but all arrivals must choose to pay to be tested for coronavirus or self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. Children born in 2005 or later are exempt)
- Malta (Temperature check on arrival)
- San Marino
- Spain (Temperature check on arrival/must provide contact info)
- Vatican City
Is travel to Scotland an option?
Scotland relies heavily on tourism and lockdown has hit the industry hard. The Edinburgh festival, is the world’s largest arts festival, which in 2018 spanned 25 days and featured more than 55,000 performances of 3,548 different shows in 317 venues. This year it’s just not happening.
Scottish hoteliers have complained that a growing number of English guests are calling to cancel their summer bookings amidst ongoing uncertainty over quarantine rules.
Nicola Sturgeon has refused once again to rule out the possibility that the English, Welsh and Northern Irish will have to self-isolate when visiting Scotland. She has a border control situation in mind – maybe a kind of checkpoint Charlie.
She refuses to rule out imposing quarantine restrictions on English arrivals, despite opposition from tourism businesses that are heavily reliant on visitors from south of the border.
If I go abroad will I be safe?
Some companies have gone the extra mile to provide the reassurance required to coax the tourists back into the skies. Tui has announced that all its UK customers will receive free coronavirus insurance until the end of the year.
The insurance is automatically added to all new and existing bookings between now and December 31 2020, although Tui has advised that Covid-19 Cover should be used alongside normal travel insurance to guarantee holidaymakers’ peace of mind.
The UK’s largest tour operator says its new Covid-19 Cover will protect travelers from the costs of testing for suspected cases, medical expenses for those who contract the virus, and food and accommodation for anyone required to go into quarantine while abroad.
It also covers the return flight for any customer forced to extend their stay after having to self-isolate, or in the extreme circumstance of those requiring repatriation for medical reasons.
Uzbekistan welcomes you!
Probably the most unique steps to reassure travelers has been taken by Uzbekistan! The government is so confident that the new safety and hygiene measures being implemented across the tourism sector will protect tourists from COVID-19 that the President is prepared to put money where his mouth is. If you happen to contract COVID-19 on holiday in Uzbekistan, the government will pay you $3,000 from the anti COVIS crisis fund!
More about the Uzbek promise!