Holidays have not been a possibility for several months leaving many Britons all the more eager to jet off the moment they can. Currently, the UK government is warning against non-essential travel. However, it’s hoped these strict rules will be relaxed in early July.
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Today, travel expert Simon Calder appeared on ITV’s This Morning to issue his travel advice to those keen to book a holiday away.
“The travel industry is desperate for the rules to be relaxed,” he said.
“At the moment they can all say, ‘We’ve got these fantastic holidays lined up for you’ – but you’re going to kind of have to take a chance that the trip is going to go ahead and that you will be able to travel without incurring quarantine when you come back, or, indeed, without having your travel insurance invalidated.”
However, Calder cautioned that until the Foreign Office relaxes the rules, Britons are taking a “gamble” by booking a holiday abroad.
“If you’re putting something together yourself it’s a lot riskier,” said the expert.
“There are some astonishingly good prices out there, but, for instance, if you book with Ryanair or Wizz Air to go to Spain, and then you can’t go because of the Foreign Office rules or because you don’t fancy two weeks in self-isolation when you come back, then the airlines are basically going to say, ‘Look the flight’s going, the fact that you don’t want to be on it is not our problem.’”
However, by waiting you run the risk of prices skyrocketing as currently a plethora of good deals are available.
“The other thing that’s at work is that, I’m pretty sure, as soon as details of the so-called air bridges emerge and as soon as the Foreign Office relaxes its advice (and I write to them every single week to say ‘The reasons you gave for introducing this no longer apply, please will you change it’) – as soon as they do, there is going to be the most almighty surge of demand and prices will, I think, go through the roof,” said Calder.
“So it’s a bit of a gamble at this stage but there are some amazing deals out there.”
Calder pointed out that booking a package holiday at this time would be a much safer bet.
“If you book a proper package holiday with a company such as TUI or Jet2 or Balkan Holidays then you’re in the happy position of knowing that either you will get the trip, or you will get your money back,” he said.
The expert also shared the latest on the proposed air bridges which could allow travellers to go abroad without having to quarantine either at their destination or on their return.
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“This extraordinary saga began at the beginning of May when the government let it be known they were going to introduce quarantine, and it duly came into effect two weeks ago yesterday,” explained Calder.
“So the first victims of that will finally be able to emerge at midnight today.
“[The government] have been just sort of saying we’re going to have air bridges and there are various lists of countries floating around.
“These are basically reciprocal no quarantine agreements with a whole range of popular countries so I’m pretty sure that you’re going to find that Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Greece are in the first bundle, but who knows about Croatia and Malta, and Cyprus and Turkey and the North African countries – we’re simply going on rumours.
“And honestly, I found out more from government ministers on ITV this morning, than I have from any other source about what’s likely to happen to our holidays this summer, we just don’t know.”
Calder also issued another warning to travellers when it came to heading to the airport.
“Of course, at the moment, nobody can get to an airport without breaking the lockdown rules, if they’re travelling for fun rather than an essential purpose,” he said.
The current COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice states: “The Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advises British nationals against all but essential international travel.
“This advice is being kept under constant review.”
An exclusive online poll by Express.co.uk taken by 1,493 readers, found just 20 percent (277 people) had decided to take a foreign holiday this year despite the re-opening of many tourist destinations across the world.
But the vast majority of 79 percent (1,196 people) said they were not considering a holiday abroad because of the coronavirus pandemic this year and 1 percent said they didn’t know.
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