Is it safe to go on a UK holiday? Expert advice amid Coronavirus travel concerns

17 March 2020, 11:59 | Updated: 7 April 2020, 10:44

Expert advice on booking holidays this year (stock images)
Expert advice on booking holidays this year (stock images). Picture: Getty

As flights abroad are being cancelled and travel restrictions brought in amid Coronavirus fears, many Brits are wondering whether it's safe to take a UK holiday.

As of April 6th, 2010, The Foreign Office has changed the travel restrictions and are now advising against all non-essential travel "indefinitely".

A previous ban was set on March 17th, 2020 for an initial period of only 30 days, however, that advice has now been extended with no end date.

The FCO has stated on Twitter “Travel update: The Foreign Office indefinitely advises against all non-essential global travel.”

A video attached to the tweet read: “The situation is changing rapidly. Travellers could face severe disruption and be unable to return to the UK.“

Coronavirus was last week officially declared a pandemic, and EasyJet, British Airways and many other airlines have announced major flight cancellations for the foreseeable future.

You can find the latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) advice from the NHS here.

It is increasingly uncertain when Brits will be able to go on holiday abroad again, and travel restrictions for Spain, China and the US have been brought in during the past week.

Many Brits have been left wondering whether opting for a staycation in the UK would be a better option in the current climate.

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Is it safe to book and take a holiday in the UK this year?

Lloyd Figgins, Travel risk expert and Chairman of the TRIP Group Lloyd Figgin, told that - at the moment - there is 'no reason' not to book a holiday in the UK.

He added: "If you have already booked, make sure you follow the latest government advice. If you haven’t yet booked, it would be wise to hold off until nearer the time you are planning on going, in order that you can make the right decision, based on the latest developments.

Lloyd also added that this is a 'very fast moving situation', and that 'flexibility and adaptability are key'.

Is it safe to take a UK holiday this year? (stock image)
Is it safe to take a UK holiday this year? (stock image). Picture: Getty

Is a UK holiday a better option than abroad?

"With so many countries effectively going on lockdown, it would be wise to stay closer to home at the moment, as you don’t want to risk being quarantined abroad and then possibly being quarantined again when you get home," Lloyd added. "We are very lucky in the UK that we have so many great holiday options and our geography and environment is so diverse. There really is something for everyone."

Can you go on a UK holiday now?

Lloyd says: "There are currently no restrictions on going on holiday in the UK."

He does add, however, that you should be aware that many pubs and clubs may be closed - so keep that in mind if you decide to book a holiday.

Lloyd also adds that you should keep in mind that if the UK adopts the same policies as say France, Spain and Italy (who have all introduced quarantines), then "all travel would be impacted".

Read more: Advice for the elderly and their relatives as government announce over-70s self-isolation plans

Many Brits are hoping to take a staycation this year (stock image)
Many Brits are hoping to take a staycation this year (stock image). Picture: Getty

Should you book a hotel or Airbnb?

Lloyd says: "The danger with hotels is that if one guest has a confirmed case of coronavirus, the entire hotel could be quarantined, as we have seen in places like Tenerife. If you can afford to book a holiday cottage or Airbnb, you provide yourself with a degree of self-isolation which is confined to you and your family. You are also much better placed to practice social distancing, as opposed to being in close proximity to others you don’t know."


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