The delay in lifting Covid restrictions in England until July 19 has exacerbated an already extremely uncertain situation for holidaymakers. With only five weeks until the peak summer season begins, millions of us are still waiting to know whether or not we will be able to take our summer vacation.
In theory, the delay should not have a direct impact on the prospects of vacationing abroad. But in practice, there is a growing risk that the government’s increasingly cautious mood will affect its willingness to slow international travel.
Currently, the possibility or not of going abroad is effectively determined by the Department of Transport (DfT), which decides on the traffic light system, as well as by notices issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (FCDO). Portugal’s removal from the green list of destinations last week demonstrated the extreme caution of the DfT and showed that ministers are ready to act much faster and decisively than most of us are. had planned. After a very timid initial reopening, they have slammed the vacation door, so there are now no major sun and sand destinations you can travel to without isolating yourself on your return.
At the same time, FCDO also advises against all but essential travel to the vast majority of Orange destinations. When this advice is in place, it means tour operators have to cancel package tours and it is more difficult for independent travelers to obtain insurance.
The results of the next DfT traffic light rating review are expected to be announced on June 24. With the lifting of domestic restrictions delayed until July 19, it’s hard to be optimistic about a significant relaxation of overseas travel rules. This means that we may have to wait for the next review – around July 15 – before we find out whether any of the top Mediterranean destinations, or the United States, will be listed as green. With schools closing and the peak holiday season starting just a week later, this is extremely late notice.
Of course, we also have to keep in mind that all travel relaxations are based on the assumption that the country you wish to travel to will let you in. Currently, most Mediterranean destinations, including Greece, Italy and Spain, are desperate to welcome British tourists. But if the UK suffers from a third wave of the virus, fueled by the Indian variant, that mood may change.
Already Germany and Austria have imposed restrictions on travelers from Britain (and France for unvaccinated visitors). They may not last more than a few weeks – but it will all depend on the international perception of how serious the situation is here and whether or not vaccinations make a significant difference to the spread of the variant.
The July 19 postponement will also affect some vacations in the UK – notably those who have booked self-catering accommodation for groups of more than six people or for more than two households. Mixing indoors above these limits remains illegal for another four weeks. The continued limitations of certain types of events and capacity restrictions in pubs and restaurants are, of course, a big negative for vacationers as well.
Note that if you are planning a vacation this summer, it helps to educate yourself about travel insurance in Amber List countries, what happens if your PCR test doesn’t arrive on time, and what Brexit rules could be. surprise you on your next vacation.