According to Piplsay, 53% of people plan to take a trip, mostly for leisure, as soon as the Covid-19 lockdown is over, and 44% of people will be comfortable travelling outside the country despite the virus’s spread. But where can we actually travel after lockdown ends?
This is the multi-million dollar question. The answer is, “It depends.”
As of 13 May, day trips in the car are allowed – as long as they’re within England. At the time of writing, this guidance does not yet apply to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
According to England’s deputy chief medical officer, Jenny Harries, it could be up to six months until we return to normal. It’s also possible that lockdown measures will be lifted sooner in rural areas than in cities.
There are three basic questions to ask about travel:
Will the UK government let us travel?
Can we get to wherever we want to go? and
In the case of international travel, will they let us in at the other end?
Right now, flights are limited, and many countries won’t allow foreigners in. For UK domestic travel, trains are still running on a reduced timetable, but whether we’re allowed to use them depends on the government’s rules.
If you just want to get out of the UK, that will require more planning. Even if other countries have lifted their lockdowns, they will probably be pickier about who they allow in. They could block people from certain countries, require a period in quarantine, or proof of health or immunity passports. At this stage, we just don’t know, but some popular holiday destinations have given some hints about their future plans regarding tourism.
Once the UK lockdown ends, we may be able to go on ‘staycations’ within the country, depending on the rules in the different areas.
If you’re looking for ideas of places, Bimble says that the 10 most searched UK destinations on people’s wishlists are:
Brighton and Hove
It’s probably a safe bet that we’ll be able to travel around the UK fairly easily well before we can freely travel the world again. Why not start planning now?
Iago Negueruela, the Balearic Minister for Tourism, suggested that tourism to the Balearic islands may start very slowly in August, but that some countries such as the UK may face a ban for longer.
The President of Benidorm’s British Businesses Association, Karen Maling Cowles, said, “…British tourism I don’t see happening until September because the UK is still so far behind Spain and until you have it contained, people won’t be allowed to come and have their week in Benidorm.”
The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has gradually begun to lift some lockdown restrictions in parts of the country, after eight weeks. Tourists aren’t allowed right now, but there’s hope: the Tour de France has been postponed until August, so tourism might be allowed by then.
Italy really wants to encourage tourism. According to The Times UK, Sicily will pay half the price of plane tickets and for one in every three hotel nights and all tickets for museums and archaeological sites. If you’re deciding where you can travel after the lockdown ends, this might be a good choice!
Ireland allows visitors, but you’ll need to self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival then comply with the lockdown requirements. There’s no information about when Ireland’s lockdown is likely to end.
According to Haris Theoharis, the Tourism Minister, the holiday season could begin in July. Greece is among the countries considering requiring health passports or immunity certificates for travellers – so again, don’t forget to check!
Travel insurance. After all this, the one travel lesson we should take away is to always consider travel insurance – and always read the fine print. This pandemic could happen again. If you’re not already one of the stranded or disappointed travellers, next time you might be!