The chance of having a summer break abroad in 2020 may have improved. From 6 July the Foreign Office’s warning against all non-essential international travel to countries and territories where the public health risk is no longer ‘unacceptably high’ will be lifted.
And the holiday industry in parts of the UK will be allowed to start operating again during July.
Can I go on holiday in the UK?
In England from 4 July, people will be allowed to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation, which includes self-catering cottages and apartments, caravans with their own bathroom facilities, hotels and bed and breakfasts.
Campsites will also be allowed to open as long as shared facilities are kept clean.
Self-catering holiday accommodation will reopen in Northern Ireland from 26 June, and hotels will follow a week later on 3 July.
A decision will be taken in Wales on 9 July on whether to open up the country to tourists again. If this is given the go-ahead, it’s likely to take effect from 13 July.
The Welsh government has said that people can start booking holidays in self-contained accommodation from that date onwards.
In Scotland you can book self contained accommodation from 3 July. All other holiday accommodation can reopen from 15 July.
Can I go on a foreign holiday?
At the moment, it’s difficult.
British nationals are still being urged not to take any non-essential foreign travel – but that will change from 6 July.
There will be a relaxation for countries and territories where the public health risk is no longer considered to be “unacceptably high”.
Until that happens though, you are unlikely to get travel insurance, because insurers take their cue from the official advice.
But the airlines are hopeful for the summer season. EasyJet has started limited flights in June, and hopes to resume flights on 75% of its route network by the end of August, while Ryanair and British Airways plan to ramp up their services in July.
But what if I do go?
On 15 June the European Union lifted travel restrictions, leaving it to individual countries to decide if they’re ready for tourists.
Some, including France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain are now welcoming travellers from the UK.
Others, such as Ireland, require visitors to quarantine for 14 days upon entry.
Greece is open, but tourists will have to be tested for coronavirus upon arrival. Anybody testing positive will have to quarantine for 14 days.
British holidaymakers are currently unable to enter Australia, India and the US.
New Zealand is also closed to most travellers, and entry is strictly controlled. All arrivals are tested for coronavirus, and have to follow a mandatory 14-day managed quarantine period.
Most travellers will also have to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the UK.
However, the government wants to relax the rules in early July for some other countries, with a series of “travel corridors” or “air bridges”.
Countries including France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Turkey and Finland are likely to be included.
This would mean that two people travelling in both directions between these countries and the UK would not have to self-isolate after they travel.
The government hopes to set up a system of “air bridges” with other countries.
These would exempt travellers from quarantine, if they move between countries with low virus levels.
What about going away in the autumn?
Again, it’s impossible to say at this stage.
Travel advice will need to have been updated, but it depends on the disease’s progress.
What about holidays already booked for this year?
If your package holiday or flights have already been cancelled, then you are are entitled to a full cash refund.
However, lots of people have been struggling to get their money back, and have been offered vouchers or rebooked trips instead.
If you are offered a voucher, or a free rebooking instead of cash, you can accept or refuse it. But if the airline later folds, the voucher may no longer be valid.
If your airline or holiday company hasn’t cancelled your holiday yet, but you no longer wish to travel, you may not be entitled to a refund.
However, some providers are allowing people to rebook trips for a later date at no cost.