Latest government travel advice for holidays abroad and what airlines are saying

Now we're in the summer months it's hard not to think about a quick getaway to the continent. Various airlines over the past few weeks have announced restart plans often for them to be delayed shortly after on account of government guidance amid the coronavirus crisis. However those thinking of booking flights to Europe may want to double check government travel advice and rules for quarantine when returning to the country before paying for your flights.

Essential international travel only

That's because the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the UK Government: "advises British national against all but essential international travel".

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They say: "You should not travel abroad unless it is essential.

We are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping this advice under continuous review so that it reflects our latest assessment of risks to British people."

Quarantine rules

Meanwhile, quarantine rules were put in place across the UK and in Scotland last week, meaning you will have to self-isolate for 14 days when returning to the country from overseas. The Scottish Government state: "Under these rules you will:

  • need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to the UK
  • not be allowed to leave the place you are staying for the first 14 days you are in the UK except in very limited situations (known as 'self-isolating').
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"These measures are being brought in across the UK, with some small changes to how they are implemented across the different nations within the UK. You will be expected to follow and adhere to the Scottish rules and the guidance when the final destination is Scotland.

"The regulations apply to people who live in Scotland and who are returning from out with the UK as well as to people visiting Scotland."

What's the latest from the airlines?

Ryanair At the end of last month, Ryanair announced they will be restarting daily flights from the UK to airports in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece and Cyprus from 1 July.

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CEO Ryan Wilson commented: "After four months of lockdown, we welcome these moves by Governments in Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus to open their borders, remove travel restrictions and scrap ineffective quarantines. "Irish and British families, who have been subject to lockdown for the last 10 weeks, can now look forward to booking their much needed family holiday to Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and other Mediterranean destinations, for July & Aug before the schools return in Sept."

"All Ryanair flights will operate with new health guidelines in place, which will require all passengers (and Ryanair crews) to wear face masks at all times in the airport terminals and on board our aircraft, in compliance with EU guidelines."

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easyJet On Friday, easyJet announced they were 'returning to fly again' from tomorrow (Monday), advising: "We have announced that as of the 15 June we will resume flying from some of our key airports. "Flying will principally be on domestic routes across the UK and France alongside a minimal number of international routes.

The airline expects to increase flying as customer demand continues to build and restrictions are relaxed. "During the lockdown period the fleet has been grounded, and the aircraft have been maintained in a flight ready condition to enable the airline to resume flights quickly at the right time."

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Jet2 Meanwhile, last week, Jet2 announced their flights will restart a month later, on July 15: "Due to the ongoing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we've decided to recommence our flights programme on 15 July 2020.

"If you're travelling before this date, unfortunately, your booking will be affected as our flights won't be operating. We're proactively contacting all affected customers in departure date order, which we think is the fairest way." British Airways

British Airways advise customers to check their website for the latest updates, advising: "We recognise the uncertainty that coronavirus (COVID-19) may be causing. This situation will remain under review and we will continue to provide coronavirus (covid-19) travel and service updates. "We will do everything we can to help customers affected.

"We continue to liaise closely with global health authorities and government agencies on behalf of our customers."

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TUI TUI similarly encourage customers get in contact with the airline and check the website to see if travel plans have been affected. They say: "Due to the ongoing situation regarding COVID-19, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advise against all but essential travel.

We'd like to extend a personal thank you for your patience and understanding as our customer service and social media teams work around the clock during such an unprecedented time. "We've been working behind the scenes to make a number of changes to our processes. These changes will make sure that we're able to offer additional support to you going forward and will make managing your booking much easier for you."

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To view the Foreign and Commonwealth Advice in full, visit the government website here.

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