When will foreign holidays resume?

Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

There is growing uncertainty over when Britons will be allowed to go on a foreign holiday amid changing travel restrictions in the fight against coronavirus.

Here the PA news agency answers 10 key questions about the issues involved:

– What are the rules about travel?

Leisure travel is banned in the UK due to the coronavirus lockdown.

That means domestic and foreign trips are prohibited.

– Do we know when this will end?

Not yet. Boris Johnson will set out a road map for lifting pandemic restrictions on February 22.

– What has the Government said?

Earlier this month the Prime Minister revealed he was “optimistic” that people would be able to enjoy a summer holiday this year, provided the disease can be kept under control.

But on Wednesday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme it is “too soon” to book a holiday.

– What is the position of travel firms?

Tour operators say there is huge pent-up demand and are selling trips from as early as April onwards.

They are desperate for bookings after suffering huge losses during the pandemic.

– What restrictions will the Government impose on holidaymakers?

It is not known whether existing restrictions on essential travel – such as for work or family emergencies – will continue once holidays can resume.

Currently, arriving travellers must take a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of their journey to the UK.

They must also self-isolate for 10 days, or until they have received a negative result from a test taken after at least five days.

Arriving travellers will be tested after two and eight days (Phil Noble/PA)
Arriving travellers will be tested after two and eight days (Phil Noble/PA)

– Are tougher rules being introduced?

From Monday, arriving passengers will also be required to take coronavirus tests on the second and eighth day after they enter the UK.

– What about quarantine hotels?

Travellers from the 33 “red list” countries arriving in England will be sent to a quarantine hotel for 10 days from Monday, costing £1,750.

Scotland will require all international arrivals to do this.

– Will holidaymakers face difficulties entering other countries?

Countries around the world have different restrictions on who can enter.

Last summer, many destinations that rely on the tourist trade opened their borders to visitors.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

– Will vaccinations be required to travel?

England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam has said it is “certainly plausible” that countries will insist that international visitors have received a Covid-19 vaccine.

Greece has said it will welcome UK holidaymakers who can prove they have been vaccinated.

– Does that mean the UK will issue “vaccine passports”?

Airline trade body the International Air Transport Association has said it is in talks with the Government about developing an app allowing travellers to share their coronavirus test and vaccination status.

Mr Shapps said he has been in discussions with counterparts in Singapore and the US about the possibility of an international certification system.

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