Holidaymakers across the world have been left devastated as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic closes borders and shuts down flights, putting a stop to any imminent vacations. However, with some airlines suggesting they may be back in the air as early as July, many Britons may be keen to plan their next trip.
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Travel expert Simon Calder has reminded Britons of five key things to consider before booking a holiday.
“There is a whole sequence of things which basically means you, and I, and the viewers simply can not get anywhere abroad, except if it’s for a very good reason,” he told BBC News on Thursday.
He explained that, under the new government lockdown guidelines which were revealed as part of a 50-page plan, there are five key things that affect Britons jetting off abroad.
“There are five tests going on. The first one is ‘can you get to the airport?’. You can not in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland if it’s not for an essential purpose,” he said.
At the time of writing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently has an advisory which is urging Britons to avoid all unessential travel for an “indefinite” period of time.
Simon continued: “Secondly, ‘can you go abroad?’
“The Foreign Office says no, again it’s urging against all but essential travel and that invalidates your travel insurance.
“Third thing, ‘is there going to be an airline that is prepared to take you?’
“Well, yes there is. Ryanair are stepping up their flights from July, TUI the big travel company says the same, British Airways and easyJet aren’t so certain.”
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Budget airline Ryanair has announced plans to return to 40 percent of normal flight scheduled from Wednesday July 1 2020.
The new plans are subject to Government restrictions on intra-EU flights being lifted, and effective public health measures being put in place at airports.
Ryanair will operate a daily flight schedule of almost 1,000 flights, restoring 90 percent of its pre-COVID-19 route network
Meanwhile, travel operator TUI has laid out a 10-point plan for how it will resume operations across its flights, hotel stays and travel agencies.
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All TUI holidays are currently cancelled if they are due to depart on or before June 11 2020.
Simon added: “Fourth, and very critical, ‘is the destination going to let you in?’ Well, that’s a good question.
“Spain starts a two week mandatory quarantine for everybody. Two weeks of lockdown if you’re flying into Spain, that’s starting from tomorrow, but it is only going to be a limited duration.
“And then crucially, ‘what happens with the quarantine rules that we’ve been told about here?’
“So the fifth thing is, will you be able to tolerate the rules that are brought in by the government which will require almost everyone into the UK to go and isolate at home for two weeks.
“Much tougher than the current lockdown, you’ll be expected not to go out and police, apparently, can come round any time during that two weeks and if you are not there you are in trouble.”
The UK government’s quarantine plans have been slammed as “non-sensical” by Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary.
Appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on May 12 he said: “I don’t think this 14-day isolation will be effective.”
Travel experts have also said that implementing this quarantine long-term will have a detrimental effect on the British travel and tourism industry.
Simon added: “The whole travel industry is desperate to know why those measures are being introduced, and furthermore when they are going to be introduced, and how long for, because of course, nobody rationally is going to be buying any travel at the moment when there is so much uncertainty about the future.”
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