Coronavirus: Is it safe to book a holiday this year?

22 Jun 20

Coronavirus: Is it safe to book a holiday this year?

As we move out of lockdown and enter a new kind of normality after the worst of Coronavirus, the question of whether it is safe to book a holiday is coming up more and more. Being cooped up at home has made us all a bit stir crazy so if you are looking to book a holiday this year, it’s important to do so safely. Here’s the lowdown on how safe it is to book a holiday this year and further down the road.


What you need to know when booking a holiday during COVID-19

As part of the effort to slow down Coronavirus and to limit its effects, the government and the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) are strongly advising against all but essential travel. However, the government is also stressing that this advice is under constant review and is eager to reopen tourism in the UK and Europe. Therefore, it’s important to keep checking FCO and UK government advice before and after booking to stay safe.


Do I need to isolate?

Many countries are still requiring visitors to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and you will then need to self-isolate for another 14 days once returning to the UK. That means if you book a two week holiday, that holiday could turn into a whole 42 days away from work. Impractical for nearly all of us. It’s also important to note that if you don’t go on a booked holiday because of the isolation rules you will not be entitled to compensation. As lockdown continues to ease and European countries are rapidly working to reboot tourism it is likely that self-isolation rules will be laxed in the coming months. However, there is no guarantee and isolation rules apply to everyone no matter what nationality or circumstance, breaching these rules will lead to a £480 fine in Scotland and up to £1000 in the rest of the UK.


Where’s safe?

To keep safe when booking a holiday this year make sure you carefully consider what country you want to go on holiday to. It’s fair to say that long haul flights are pretty much out of the question if you want to stay safe. You don’t want to get stranded on the other side of the world. Luckily for us beautiful European destinations such as Greece are readily welcoming tourists back to their beautiful beaches. Cyprus has already removed self-isolation rules and is inviting tourists back to their sunny shores ready for the summer season. To stay safe when booking your holiday this year and next, do your research and stay closer to home.


What are my rights?

With many airlines such as Ryan Air and Easy Jet increasing their flights from July and instilling Covid-19 passenger safety rules and methods, the industry is hopeful that holidays will return this year.  If you do choose to book a holiday for 2020 or 2021 be sure to check the cancellation terms and conditions policy when booking with a travel agent or online. It’s important to understand what you’re signing up to when you book your holiday. The Air Travel Organisers License (ATOL) is a UK government run financial protection scheme designed to protect holiday consumers. If you do decide to book a holiday, make sure you are covered by ATOL. This will protect you in the event the holiday has to be cancelled. If you would like further flight safety, sign up to Flight Patroller where we will monitor your flight details and inform you of your rights if any delays or cancellations occur.


What about next year?

Cautiously optimistic is the best bet. In many ways it’s just too soon to tell and it often just boils down to personal opinion. What we can say is that we are moving in the right direction and that staying within Europe is still the safest option. It is likely that self-isolation guidance will be relaxed by 2021 making it more feasible for us to get back to global holiday travel but when booking for 2021 it is still important to make sure you are always ATOL protected.


If you do decide to book a flight – submit your flight details on our Flight Patroller page and we will monitor your flight as you travel. Should you experience any sort of delay, we will inform you of your travel rights.

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Author: Gaia Fenn @Flightpatrol