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Can I go on a holiday abroad?

posted 24 Jun 2020, 04:14 by John McVeigh   [ updated 24 Jun 2020, 04:22 ]

What countries will let UK nationals in?

On 15 June the European Union eased travel restrictions, allowing individual counties to choose whether to let tourists in.
Only a small portion of European countries are currently letting travellers from the UK visit.
However, the UK Government has recently announced they are trying to negotiate travel corridors with other countries, which will allow UK tourists to visit without quarantining upon arrival.
The government is expected to release a list of countries the UK has travel corridors agreed with on 29 June.
These are the countries currently welcoming UK visitors:


Travellers from the UK are allowed, however you will have to self-isolate for 14 days once you arrive into the country.


Nationals from EU countries, the Schengen Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and the UK, are allowed to enter Germany, for more than just essential travel.

Writing about the current rules in place in Germany, the uk government website states “Persons entering [Germany] from other EU countries, the Schengen area and the UK will only have to go into quarantine if they are entering from an area where there is a high rate of infection.”

This presumably means that UK residents travelling to Germany from the UK, may have to quarantine upon arrival.


Italy was one of the first countries to open its borders to international tourists and since June 3 those from the UK have not had to quarantine on arrival.


UK residents can currently holiday in Portugal, but not in Madeira and Azores. A quarantine period is not required.


Ireland is now requiring all visitors from the UK to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.


Spanish officials have caused confusion over their rules for UK visitors.

The Spanish Government said on Monday 15 June that UK visitors would not have to quarantine on arrival from Sunday 21 June.

However, Spain's foreign affairs minister has suggested that the country may impose a two-week quarantine on Britons, if the UK keeps its own 14-day quarantine rules for foreign visitors.


On Monday 15 June, Belgium opened its borders, allowing travel to and from the European Union, including travel to and from the United Kingdom.


While Bulgaria has now lifted its travel ban on UK travellers, you will still have to quarantine for 14 days.


Tourists from the UK can enter Croatia, but will need to present proof of accommodation booking or ownership of a Croatian residence at the border.

Czech Republic:

UK citizens are able to enter but only for very limited reasons, such as owning a permanent residence or a business in the country, or to visit family or study at university.

UK travellers are tested for the virus upon landing or must present a negative test within 72 hours of arrival and isolate while waiting for the result.


From 1 June, travellers without symptoms arriving from the UK will again be allowed to enter the country. UK travellers will have to self isolate for 14 days.


Iceland has been welcoming UK travellers since Monday 15 June.


Since Tuesday 16 June, travelLers from Portugal, Sweden, Spain and the UK can enter but will have to take a test or quarantine for two weeks. However ski resorts are not currently open.

What do I do if I want to cancel my upcoming foreign holiday?

Official government advice says that British nationals should not take any non-essential foreign travel.

If you chose to adhere to these rules and wish to cancel your upcoming booking, but the travel company you booked with lets the holiday go ahead, you may not be entitled to a refund.

This leaves people with the decision to accept the lost cost of their holiday, or to ignore the government’s advice and self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.

However it's worth noting that travellers who chose to ignore the government’s advice will invalidate their travel insurance.

Meanwhile, if your upcoming package holiday or flights have been cancelled due to coronavirus you are entitled to a full cash refund.

However, you can also choose to accept vouchers to rebook your trip, which is an alternative being offered to customers by travel companies.

Although you should keep in mind that if you accept a voucher from a travel company, which later permanently closes, you may not be able to use the vouchers and you will effectively lose the cost of the trip.

If you are offered a voucher or a free rebooking, you are fully entitled to reject this and ask for a cash refund.

Can I go on holiday in the UK?

Not at the moment. However this may change by the beginning of July.

The Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced that he is hoping to restart the tourism industry "as long as it is safe to do so", with the "ambitious target" of 4 July.

Speaking to the House of Commons Mr Dowden said "Self-contained accommodation has a lower risk than other areas," adding "I would hope that that will be at the front of the queue."

Meanwhile hotels in Northern Ireland will be allowed to reopen from Monday 20 July.

Although the UK’s lockdown restrictions are slowly being eased, with leisure facilities such as shops, zoos and animal parks reopening on 15 June, the tourist industry is still not yet allowed to reopen.

And while you can visit seaside and beauty spots around the UK, this is only possible for a day trip, rather than an overnight holiday.

Government advice says businesses in England that supply holiday accommodation - such as hotels, short-term lets, campsites, and caravan parks - must remain closed for leisure-related trips and that no one should be staying away from their own home overnight for a holiday.

Additionally residents of England are not yet allowed to travel for recreation into Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland.

by Stephanie Rendall