Coronavirus: Where can I go on holiday? A guide to destinations

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image captionBeaches around Europe have seen an influx of holidaymakers since June when many countries lifted border restrictions

The prospect of a holiday abroad is on the cards again, after the UK government eased quarantine rules.

People returning to the UK from certain countries do not need to self-isolate. The full lists of the countries that are exempt from the quarantine rule are here for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Here are details of what to expect when you're in some of the most popular warm weather destinations for Britons.

Spain - back on quarantine list

Need to quarantine on arrival? No

Need to quarantine when back in UK? Yes

Spain is the most popular destination for Britons on their summer holidays, and 400,000 people from the UK own second homes in the country.

It had one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, recording 28,355 coronavirus deaths up to the end of June.

Since then, its borders have reopened to tourists but it is currently facing the worst coronavirus infection rate in Western Europe. Daily cases have risen from fewer than 150 in June to more than 1,500 throughout August.

As of 26 July, people returning from Spain to the UK must quarantine for 14 days. In addition, the Foreign Office is now also advising against all but essential travel to Spain, including the Balearic and Canary Islands.

image copyrightReuters
image captionSome beaches - like Cala Aiguablava Beach near Girona - remain busy

What restrictions are in place?

Visitors arriving from the UK will not be required to self-isolate - but you will have to give your contact details and undergo a temperature check and health check on arrival at the airport.

People must stay 1.5m apart in public. Everyone aged six and over should wear face masks in public spaces where it is not possible to follow the 1.5m distance rule.

However, different provinces in Spain have introduced different measures. For example, masks are compulsory everywhere, even when the social distancing rule can be followed, in areas including Madrid, Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

Some areas have also reintroduced lockdowns after local outbreaks. In July, parts of Catalonia - including Barcelona - faced new restrictions, with cinemas, theatres and nightclubs temporarily closed.

Smoking in public spaces is also banned in areas such as Galicia and the Canary Islands.

Where can you stay?

image copyrightReuters
image captionGerman tourists are greeted by receptionists at a hotel in Ronda, in Spain's Andalucía region

Hotels and other accommodation, such as campsites and hostels, are open - but they are required to put in place capacity limits so all guests can stay 1.5m apart.

What tourist attractions are open?

In most of Spain, bars and restaurants are open but are running at reduced capacity and must follow strict social distancing rules. Nightclubs are also open, although capacity is limited and people must provide contact details and wear masks.

Exhibitions, theatres and cinemas have reopened, again with reduced capacity. Outdoor concerts of up to 400 people are allowed with social distancing measures in place.

Visitors are able to go to the beaches, while most water parks, zoos, museums and theme parks have reopened to a limited number of visitors.

Two of Spain's most visited sites, Barcelona's Sagrada Familia cathedral and the Alhambra Palace near Granada, have already welcomed tourists back.

media captionSpain's Alhambra Palace reopens to visitors

How can you get there?

The country is open to tourists entering by car, ferry, train or air.

However, some travel companies, including Jet2 and Tui have cancelled flights and holidays to mainland Spain, as well as the Balearic and Canary Islands, since the UK government changed its guidance.

British Airways and Ryanair continue to operate scheduled flights to Spain.

France - back on quarantine list

Need to quarantine on arrival? Not currently, but France has suggested measures are to be introduced

Need to quarantine when back in UK? Yes, quarantine measures were imposed on travellers arriving in the UK from France from 15 August at 04:00 BST

France is the second-most popular country for UK visitors, with around 17 million crossing the Channel every year. Some 200,000 Britons have chosen it as the place for a second home.

The country began to ease its strict lockdown on 11 May. President Emmanuel Macron declared on 14 June that France had won its "first victory" against the virus as he lifted more restrictions, which has recorded more than 30,000 deaths.

A quarantine-free travel corridor was established between the UK and France in early July, but after a surge in cases in August, the UK government changed its travel advice, requiring people arriving from France to self-isolate.

image copyrightReuters
image captionTables and deckchairs are set out to respect social distancing on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice

What restrictions are in place?

You also have to wear a mask in all enclosed public spaces. When travelling by train, you need to make a reservation in advance.

France is one of several European countries to tighten coronavirus restrictions in August, amid a rise in infections - particularly among younger people.

Paris and Marseille are among those areas now deemed so-called "red zones" - high risk areas where local authorities have extra powers to impose restrictions. In both cities, masks are now compulsory in all public spaces.

Where can you stay?

Hotels, gites, and campsites have reopened, as well as private rental accommodation.

Are tourist attractions open?

image copyrightEPA
image captionDisneyland Paris, one of Europe's top visitor attractions, has reopened

Bars, restaurants and cafes are allowed to open inside and outside areas, but they have to follow strict hygiene rules. Customers are asked to wear a face covering when walking inside, but this can be removed when seated. No service is allowed at the bar and a distance of 1m is kept between tables.

There is a limit of 5,000 people for large venues and strict health rules apply for shows and cinemas. Nightclubs remain closed.

Beaches and parks have reopened, and you can now sunbathe or have a picnic, and play non-contact sports. River cruises have been allowed since 11 July.

Museums, monuments, zoos and theme parks are gradually opening their doors again - but a mask is required to visit.

The Eiffel Tower started allowing visitors on 25 June. Disneyland Paris began a phased reopening on 15 July.

Some water parks have new rules in place. For example Aqualand, which has eight sites across the country, has advised visitors to arrive in their swimming costumes to avoid contamination in changing areas.

How can you get there?

It remains possible to get to France by air, sea or train. If arriving by Eurotunnel, travellers are being asked to fill out and carry with them a statement certifying that they do not have any coronavirus symptoms.

The major airlines, Ryanair, EasyJet and British Airways, all continue to fly to France, although at a lower frequency than normal.

A variety of routes across the Channel are on offer from ferry companies at reduced capacity, but since the re-imposition of quarantine measures in August, some companies have reduced passenger services.

Italy - welcoming British visitors

Need to quarantine on arrival? No

Need to quarantine when back in UK? No

Italy, which surpassed 35,000 virus-related deaths in July, imposed one of the strictest and earliest lockdowns on 7 March.

The first European country to be hit hard by the virus, it is the third-most visited destination for UK travellers annually.

Italy reopened its borders on 3 June to travellers from other European countries, although the mayor of the island of Capri has complained that visitors haven't been obeying the rules at its hotels and beaches.

image copyrightReuters
image captionAttractions like the Colosseum in Rome are open for business again

What restrictions are still in place?

The country's tourist board has released an extensive list of guidelines for visitors this summer.

In four regions - Sardinia, Sicily, Puglia and Calabria - tourists are required to register in advance.

People must stay 1m apart in public areas, including hotels and other communal spaces. In most parts of the country, holidaymakers over the age of six will need to wear a mask at all times in public spaces indoors, and outdoors where social distancing isn't possible. However, in Lombardy - the area around Milan, and the location of Italy's original coronavirus outbreak - a mask outdoors is mandatory at all times.

On public transport travellers will be required to wear masks, while temperature scanners may be in operation at train stations and airports.

Where can you stay?

Hotels, campsites, mountain huts and beach resorts have made arrangements to safely welcome visitors. However, an Italian hotel industry trade report said 60% stayed closed in June, with about 20% reportedly deciding not open their doors again this summer.

Are tourist attractions open?

image copyrightEPA
image captionTourists at the Leaning Tower of Pisa have to wear face masks and an electronic device which sends out signals and sounds if anyone gets within 1m

Bars, cafes, restaurants and gelaterias reopened on 18 May, but they are hosting reduced numbers of diners, with tables further apart and plastic shields to separate customers.

Masks must be worn when you go inside and anytime you get up from your table. Many venues are asking customers to provide their name and contact details before using their services.

Parks and beaches have reopened, along with swimming pools, although the tourist board says you need to wear a swim cap in a pool.

Most museums, galleries and archaeological sites are open, but entry must be pre-booked online.

Capacity has been vastly reduced at some major tourist sites, like the Colosseum in Rome and the Uffizi gallery in Florence.

Amusement parks, zoos, fun fairs and water parks are also open but entrance numbers may be limited.

How can you get there?

Airlines running flights include Ryanair, EasyJet and British Airways, although the number of destinations and flights is markedly reduced.

Greece - Britons now allowed

Need to quarantine on arrival? No

Need to quarantine when back in UK? No

Greece acted swiftly to impose lockdown in late February, and it was first eased in late April. As of 27 August, it had a total of 9,280 confirmed cases and a death toll of 248, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Its tourism season officially began on 15 June and it has already opened its borders to some countries. But British travellers had to wait after a ban on flights from the UK was extended.

Since 15 July, British holidaymakers can now fly there, but may be asked to take a test and practice social distancing and self-monitor for coronavirus symptoms until they get a negative result (usually within 24 hours). If the test result is positive Greek authorities are likely to ask you to self-isolate for 14 days.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionGreek islands like Santorini are a big draw for tourists

What restrictions are still in place?

People should aim to stay 1.5m apart and face masks must be worn on public transport - including flights and ferries - at airports, in shops, cafes, hairdressers, government offices, lifts and taxis. Masks are also strongly advised in other closed spaces.

Travelling in a car or taxi is limited to a maximum of three adult passengers as well as the driver, although children do not count towards the limit.

image copyrightReuters
image captionRestaurants and cafes have been open for a while in Greece

Where can you stay?

All hotels, campsites and Airbnb accommodation are allowed to reopen.

Hotels can run at capacity but they have specific rules, including having a doctor on standby. Reception desks must also be moved outdoors where possible, and food served in buffets must be placed under protective acrylic screens known as sneeze guards. Read more on what Greek hotels might be like here.

What tourist attractions are open?

Shops, cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are now able to reopen but with limits on capacity. No more than six adults can sit at a table together, although children are exempt.

Beaches and parks have also opened. Swimming pools can open but the number allowed in will depend on the size of the pool, while water slides may be shut.

Most tourist attractions, including museums, zoos, gardens and theme parks are up and running again, while archaeological sites such as the country's world-renowned Acropolis in Athens have also reopened.

image copyrightEPA
image captionThe Acropolis Museum in Athens has reopened

How can you get there?

The major airlines have gradually reinstated flights to Greece, although they had to cancel some flights in the first half of July when the Greek government extended its travel ban for UK citizens.

For those nationalities allowed to enter, travel to the Greek islands is also possible, although passengers will need to complete a health questionnaire before boarding or take temperature checks. It is obligatory to wear masks when travelling on all ferries, where capacity is limited to allow for social distancing.

Portugal - open despite local outbreak

Need to quarantine on arrival? No, but arriving in mainland Portugal you will be subject to health screening and travellers to Madeira, Porto Santo and the Azores will be tested on entry

Need to quarantine when back in UK? No

Like Greece, Portugal has had fewer coronavirus cases and deaths than some other European nations.

After initially lifting restrictions, it later reintroduced some of the rules following local outbreaks in Lisbon. As of 27 August, it had a total of 56,274 confirmed cases and a death toll of 1,809, according to Johns Hopkins University.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionBritish tourists usually flock to beaches like this one in the Algarve

What restrictions are still in place?

People must keep 2m away from others and there are capacity rules in shops and on public transport. Face masks are compulsory in enclosed spaces such as shops and on public transport for everyone over the age of 10.

Drinking alcohol in public places, except for pavement cafes and restaurants, is banned. Gatherings are limited to 20 people, except for religious ceremonies and family events, such as weddings and christenings.

The Greater Lisbon area is in a state of contingency due to localised outbreaks. Restrictions currently in place include gatherings are limited to 10 people, while shops have to close at 8pm.

Where can you stay?

Tourism accommodation that meets the so-called "Clean and Safe" hygiene standard are allowed to open.

What tourist attractions are open?

image copyrightReuters
image captionPortugal has recently seen a rise in new cases around Lisbon

Restaurants, cafes and bars are allowed to open with capacity rules and 2m distancing in place. Last orders are at 11pm. It is up to the local area whether markets will open.

Beaches are open but with measures in place to limit capacity and people must stay 2m apart. There is a mobile app to assess how full beaches are.

Water sports have also been given the green light.

Museums, art galleries, monuments, palaces and historic buildings have all reopened, as well as zoos.

How can you get there?

Many flight routes between the UK and Portugal have already resumed.

United States

Need to quarantine on arrival? Yes, but British nationals are not allowed in anyway

Need to quarantine when back in UK? Yes

Holidays to the US are still not a likely prospect. British nationals are not allowed to enter the USA if they have been in the UK (or a number of other countries) within the past two weeks.

Those who are eligible to enter the US - such as US citizens flying in from the UK - must be prepared to quarantine for 14 days. Even US travellers arriving from some US states must quarantine.

And, since the US is not exempt from the UK's quarantine, anyone returning to the UK will have to self-isolate for 14 days. What's more, the Foreign Office still advises against non-essential travel to the US.

The US has reported more than 5.8 million cases of coronavirus, and more than 179,000 deaths nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionDisney has shut its resort in Hong Kong, but its Florida one is open

What restrictions are still in place?

Well, it varies state by state. You can check individual states' rules here. A number of US states have now made face masks compulsory while in public.

Where can you stay?

Hotels are reopening across the country, the Foreign Office says, but there will be local rules on capacity.

What tourist attractions are open?

Again, it depends on the state. Shops, restaurants, bars, beaches and other leisure activities are likely to be following local regulations.

California - a popular holiday destination for Britons - reintroduced sweeping restrictions on 13 July following a surge in cases. It ordered all indoor restaurants, bars, shopping malls and cinemas to close again.

Churches, gyms, shopping malls, zoos, museums, hair salons and non-essential offices must shut indoor operations in some of the state's worst-affected counties, including Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Florida - another popular destination - is fast becoming the centre of America's latest Covid-19 outbreak. However, its Disney World resort reopened with limited capacity on 11 July.

image copyrightEPA
image captionSupermarket chain Walmart announced it would make all customers wear masks

How can you get there?

Some flights are running between the UK and US, but on a reduced schedule and at higher than usual prices.

What about elsewhere?

You can also return to the UK from these destinations without needing to isolate, as well as many others listed here.

Turkey: It reopened its borders to UK visitors on 12 June, and passengers are required to complete a form before arriving. Face masks are compulsory in crowded places and on public transport. In certain provinces, face masks are compulsory at all times outside the home. Those aged over 65 (although this doesn't apply to those visiting for tourism) require a permit to travel between cities and must remain at their destination for a minimum of 30 days unless travelling for an international flight.

Germany: The country is open to travellers from the UK, but people must keep a distance of 1.5m. Face masks are required in some public spaces but it varies by state. All shops, tourist accommodation and restaurants are open - but bars and cafes in some states are shut. Travellers using Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg airport to return to the UK will transit France and therefore will be required to self-isolate.

Switzerland: Self-isolation rules might change soon for travellers returning from Switzerland to the whole of the UK, following Scotland's decision to tell people to self-isolate on their return. Social distancing here is 1.5m. Most places are back open including shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. Masks are compulsory when travelling on public transport, except for children under 12. In the Alps, mountain railways and cable cars are running.

Australia: Its borders are closed to foreign nationals, and all travellers entering must undergo a 14-day quarantine. Travellers entering the UK from Australia do not have to self-isolate.

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