Flying away during a global pandemic can be a risky issue.
But as the months of the year draw to a close, many of us may want a last minute vacation to one of our favorite destinations.
And who can blame you? 2020 has been a really crappy year and sometimes you just want to let go of your hair and enjoy some relaxation on the beach or at a location of your choice.
However, that can be difficult if the government is keeping a close eye on foreign destinations and you may find it extremely difficult to keep track of which places you can and cannot travel to – without having to isolate yourself when you return.
Some islands with low numbers may be exempted from or added to the self-isolation rule rather than being bound by mainland restrictions. That could be good news for a number of popular vacation spots.
This rule has already been implemented in Greece and Portugal, while it is speculated that it could also be used in decisions about Sardinia, plus the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands.
Our colleagues at Manchester Evening News have done that have looked at the current rules and restrictions that apply to some of the most popular holiday destinations with UK travelers. Each has its own rules as each is fighting the global pandemic – and each is correct at time of publication.
Portugal has again been removed from England’s tour guide after just three weeks of being added. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) does not recommend any travel to mainland Portugal except essential ones.
However, the restrictions do not apply to the regions of Madeira and the Azores, which are exempt from the advice if you live in England.
The rules are different for those living in Scotland or Wales. Those returning to Wales from mainland Portugal will have to isolate themselves. While those returning to Scotland from mainland Portugal or the autonomous regions of Madeira and the Azores will be quarantined.
Those in mainland Portugal are not advised to return home, while those traveling to Madeira, Porto Santo or the Azores should take a COVID-19 test before or upon arrival.
Most shops and services, restaurants, cultural venues, leisure parks and sports facilities are open, subject to social distance and hygiene rules.
Beaches are subject to capacity and social distance measures. Drinking alcohol in public places, with the exception of outdoor cafes and restaurants, is prohibited. Restaurants close at 1am; last orders are at midnight.
Italy was one of the first European countries to be hit hardest by the pandemic, but currently people from all over Britain can travel without quarantine on return.
However, it is speculated that Italy could be one of the destinations to be removed from the ‘safe list’ this week following a rise in the number of cases. Currently, the new daily cases in Italy are around 16.5 per 100,000 and if they reach 20, it is likely to be subject to quarantine measures.
More and more cases are being reported – especially from the islands of Sardinia. This is monitored by the authorities. While mainland cases seem to remain much lower.
There’s also a small list of countries that visitors shouldn’t have visited or traveled to 14 days before coming to Italy – including Bulgaria and Romania – so it’s worth checking before booking.
While there, many restaurants, beach facilities, and other locations ask customers to provide their name and contact details before using their services. Public transport has been reduced and masks must be worn on board these services.
The use of masks remains mandatory in enclosed public areas and masks must also be worn in all outdoor areas between 6:00 PM and 6:00 AM. You should pay close attention to the signage and always have a mask with you.
Turkey remains on the travel corridor list and is therefore exempt from quarantine measures for arrivals from the country.
However, those planning to go to Turkey will undergo a medical evaluation upon arrival – and anyone showing symptoms will need to have a coronavirus smear test.
It is also required to complete a passenger locator form before arriving in Turkey.
While you are there, it is mandatory for anyone over the age of two to wear a face mask in public, and those who leave home without a face covering can be fined 900 TL – or £ 94. People are required to wear a face mask. wear a mask wherever they are likely to encounter crowds – from business centers, museums and attractions to outdoor locations such as beaches and parks.
In some parts of the country, the laws are even stricter and you should always wear a mask outside of your home, so make sure to check the rules before traveling.
Travel to Spain remains limited and the FCDO advises against all travel to the mainland and the Spanish islands, except essential ones.
This is unlikely to be lifted anytime soon as the country is facing a massive increase in new cases, with Catalonia, Aragon and Navarre being particularly hard hit.
However, under the government’s new regional policy, the popular Canary and Balearic Islands could get the green light if their Covid-19 cases fall. While the Canary Islands are also being tipped as the first EU destination to start testing rather than quarantine, eliminating the need to isolate itself on return.
Anyone returning to the UK from Spain must provide travel details and isolate themselves for 14 days immediately upon arrival – regardless of whether they have symptoms or not.
However, those going to Spain from the UK will not need to isolate themselves, but they will be subjected to temperature checks and health screening. Arrivals will also need to provide the Spanish Ministry of Health with mandatory contact details and any history of COVID-19 exposure 48 hours prior to travel.
Most regions in Spain have now mandated the use of face masks in public areas both indoors and outdoors, even when a social distance of 1.5 meters is observed. Failure to do so may result in sanctions.
You must have a face mask with you and be prepared to wear it during your stay. Face masks should cover the nose and mouth.
Travelers are warned when they are there, they must follow the advice of the local authorities on how best to protect against Covid-19, including any measures they take to fight the virus.
Recently removed from the travel corridor system, travelers returning from Hungary will now be quarantined upon arrival in the UK.
While Hungary itself has added some strict entry restrictions to those who plan to travel there.
As of September 1, most UK nationals would not be allowed into the country – unless they have permanent residency or a permit that allows them to stay in Hungary for at least 90 days, or are traveling with someone who does.
However, UK nationals would also be allowed to enter the country to attend sporting or cultural events, to conduct business or for transit purposes. However, other reasons for access are quite unclear, such as traveling with a diplomatic or official passport or carrying out cargo transportation.
Those already in Hungary who wish to return to the UK do not need to shorten your trip but are aware of the need to be quarantined upon return.
The FCDO currently still advises against all except essential travel to Croatia.
Anyone returning to the UK is subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period.
In Croatia, passengers are required to wear masks in public transport, taxis, shops and other commercial buildings.
There have been reports of a number of coronavirus cases related to nightclub visits. those in the country should be careful and follow social distance rules when visiting nightclubs or other crowded locations.
If you are going to Cyprus, you do not need to be quarantined for 14 days when you return to the UK.
However, there are a number of requirements once you arrive in Cyprus.
As of August 1, 2020, the UK has been in Category B of Cyprus. This means that tourists are allowed to travel there, but must provide a negative test upon arrival, which must be passed within 72 hours before departure.
The test result can be displayed in the form of an email or text message, but the result or appointment confirmation must include the date and time the test was taken.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidelines also state that travelers must complete a Cyprus Flight Pass before traveling, which can be found online. Here you must upload your Covid-19 test result within 24 hours of your departure.
In addition, passengers must also bring paper or electronic copies of the required documents.
The use of masks is mandatory in most indoor public areas, including supermarkets, bakeries, shops and malls, hospitals and other locations listed on the website of the Cypriot Government Information Office. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in a fine of € 300.
The FCO does not recommend anything but essential travel to Malta. Anyone returning to the UK from Malta must isolate themselves for 14 days.
Those traveling to Malta from the UK will not need to insulate themselves but will be subjected to temperature checks and random tests.
In Malta, passengers on public transport, including the Gozo ferry and customers of commercial entities, must wear face masks.
Museums and tourist places, shops, gyms, hairdressers, swimming pools, restaurants and bars have reopened, but with restrictions on the number of customers allowed, a requirement to wear a mask, and the ability to maintain a social distance.
If you live in England, the Greek islands of Lesbos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini, and Zakynthos (aka Zante) lost their quarantine waivers on September 9. Anyone entering the country from these islands must now isolate themselves for two weeks. Those returning from mainland Greece or any of the regions not listed are not subject to these restrictions.
There are other guidelines for travelers returning to Wales or Scotland. If you return to Scotland from anywhere in Greece, isolate yourself on your return.
If you return to Wales from the islands of Mykonos, Zakynthos (Zante), Lesbos, Paros and Antiparos and Crete, you must isolate yourself for 14 days.
However, the government does not recommend shortening a trip and returning normally.
If you are traveling there, you must complete a Passenger Locator form at least 24 hours before departure. Failure to do so in advance could result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a fine of € 500 on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country.
The FCO advises that travelers to Greece may need to undergo a coronavirus (COVID-19) test upon arrival as part of a health screening and that they may be asked to undergo a period of self-isolation pending the test results.
Visitors to Greece are also required to wear face masks in public places such as shops, food stores, hair salons, bakeries, offices and banks. It is also mandatory to wear them in supermarkets, on public transport, as well as on elevators and taxis.
Those who break the rules will be fined € 150.
France is still not on the list, and the FCO advises against anything but essential travel to the country.
Anyone returning to the UK from France must isolate themselves for 14 days.
While visitors to France must fill in a statement on arrival that they are not suffering from the corona virus.
If you are going to France, it is worth noting that wearing face masks in enclosed public areas is mandatory and applies to those aged 11 and over. Local authorities in an increasing number of cities and regions – including Paris – have extended this to public outdoor spaces. Failure to comply with these restrictions may result in a fine.
Masks are also mandatory on all modes of public transport.