Holidays: Travel expert reveals the ‘best option’ for a quarantine-free Winter break

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Britons’ holiday options have been whittled down to just a few in recent weeks. While the likes of Turkey, Spain and Portugal were once popular choices, all three countries have ended up on the UK’s quarantine list over the summer. With the Canary and Balearic Islands effectively off the cards along with destinations further afield, where is there left to go?

The UK travel corridor list does still have plenty of options available, however, not all of them are open to Britons.

Some of the countries on the list are requiring Britons to either provide a negative Covid test on arrival or quarantine when they arrive for an extended period of time.

With the travel corridor list being reviewed on a weekly basis, holidaymakers have to make a snap decision when it comes to booking a break this Autumn.

Turkey is just one example of how the government’s travel corridor list decision can be unpredictable, causing chaos for both the customer and the travel industry.

TravelUp is a leading online travel agent which offers great value flights and hotels across a wide range of airlines and destinations.

Like other companies within the travel sector, TravelUp has felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of the destinations that were being booked in the current climate, Turkey was definitely one of them – and now we’re going to see the brakes put on,” said Craig Ashford, Marketing Director for TravelUp.

He continued: “It was an area within leisure travel that continued to get tourists.”

“[Bookings] are going to dry up significantly,” he added.

With Turkey off the cards, other options left for Britons looking for a Winter holiday include Greece, Germany, Gibraltar and Italy.

However, mainland Greece and only a few of the Greek islands are open to Britons after several popular island hotspots were put on the travel corridor list over the summer.

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Greece

Greece has been a popular choice with Britons but Ashford explains why it may become less of a hotspot this Winter.

Ashford explained: “You’re now coming to the backend of the season. It can get pretty cold and grey as you move into October and November.

“All of those islands – even the larger ones – historically shutdown for the Winter with business-owners moving back to the mainland.”

There are hotels and restaurants open on every Greek islands in Winter, but it’s currently unclear how they have weathered the pandemic and if they will remain open as the tourist season dries up.

Countries at risk of being removed from the travel corridor list are those with more than 20 cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period.

Recently, Greece has been on the edge of this threshold recording 22.5 cases per 100,000 at the time of writing.

Despite remaining a relatively safe destination over the summer, the country could soon be removed from the travel corridor list if the country’s figures continue to rise.

Gibraltar

The British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar on Spain’s south coast isn’t a usually a popular choice.

However, it’s the perfect spot for a short break which Ashford suggests might be the best option for Britons.

“Anything that happens, consumers have to be looking at a short break at the moment,” he explained.

He added: “Gibraltar as a short break destination – there’s enough to do there for a couple of days.”

With less than 500 coronavirus cases in total and no deaths from the disease, it’s definitely a good choice.

Germany

Germany may not be most people’s idea of a holiday destination, but it’s the perfect location for a Christmas-themed break.

Currently, Germany’s coronavirus case rate is edging just above the UK’s threshold at 20.3 cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period.

However, if Germany can get its cases under control, it could easily avoid the quarantine list and be the perfect city break for Britons.

Christmas markets and stalls usually start in November in Germany and are great for getting in the Christmas spirit.

“Certainly moving into the Winter season for city breaks and what you would traditionally see with its Christmas markets,” Ashford added.

“I think as long as they can be managed correctly, I think they will go ahead but obviously there will be a lot restrictions in place.

“I think that’s definitely going to be the best option.”

Italy

Italy is another country which could be added to the quarantine list this week after its coronavirus infection rate surged.

Ashford agreed: “I don’t know how long Italy will make it on the safe list as they are seeing some significant rises as well.”

However, Ashford explained that if Italy remains open and its ski season operates “at even 20 or 30 percent” it could make a good Winter destination.

He added: “It would be a nice experience to have the Italian slopes which will be a lot quieter.”

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