When can I go on holiday abroad? Latest travel advice

HOLIDAYS in the UK have been given the go-ahead but a trip abroad is yet to be allowed, with the government confirming a traffic light system will open up countries this summer.

But when will we be able to go abroad? Here is everything we know so far about holidays starting again.

? Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Can I go on holiday abroad?

No, holidays abroad are currently banned in England due to lockdown.

Brits face fines up to £5,000 for going on holiday abroad under new lockdown laws if returning to England or Wales.

The only reasons for travel to be allowed are essential reasons such as for work or education reasons, or extenuating circumstances.

What are the current travel restrictions?

For people who are still travelling for essential reasons, such as work or education, there are new travel restrictions in place.

All arrivals must have three negative coronavirus tests – taken before departure, and on day 2 and day 8 of quarantine.

The two tests taken during the quarantine period must be booked through the government portal, before departure, and cost £210 for both.

A Passenger Locator Form must also be completed, with up to ten years in prison if providing false information.

Most arrivals can quarantine at home for 10 days, or five days if taking a fourth Covid test through the Test to Release scheme.

However, arrivals from a "high-risk" country which includes the UAE, South American and South African nations, must pay £1,750 and quarantine at a government-mandated hotel for 10 days.

This price includes the room, the two coronavirus tests and food.

How many Covid tests do I currently need when returning to the UK?

  • Before arrival – mandatory PCR test taken up to 72 hours before departure
  • Day 2 – mandatory PCR test
  • Day 5 – optional PCR test (only if leaving the Test and Release scheme)
  • Day 8 – mandatory PCR test


When will holidays go ahead?

Holidays abroad hope to restart by the summer, although this is yet to be confirmed by the government.

The government is launching a traffic light system for travel when holidays abroad are finally permitted, but they have not yet revealed when that will be – the earliest date being from May 17.

In the case of “green” countries, passengers can travel and return home without having to quarantine but will need to have a negative test to come back into the UK — it is anticipated the cheaper lateral- flow tests will be acceptable — and then take a PCR test within two days of returning.

Which countries will be on the green list is yet to be given by the government, but it is thought countries including Gibraltar, Malta, the Caribbean and the US could be on it due to their vaccine rollout success.

“Amber” countries will involve spending ten days in quarantine as well as a lateral-flow test to get back into the country and two PCR tests, on days two and eight.

“Red” countries will mean a ten-day stay in managed hotel quarantine, with a test before before returning to the country and tests on days two and eight. It currently costs £1,750 per person for hotel quarantine.

Should I book a holiday anyway?

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said that he is no longer warning against booking a holiday abroad.

Many tour operators and airlines are now offering coronavirus protection as well as free changes or refunds.

TUI offers free changes if you contract COVID-19 before you travel and overseas medical assistance.

Jet2 has a Holiday Refund Guarantee that promises a quick refund to customers if the company has to cancel your holiday due to coronavirus, while easyJet lets you move your hols up to 28 days before you’re due to travel.

Brits should be aware that if they cancel their holidays, they may face last minute changes or being left out of pocket.

UK holidays can go ahead from today at self-catered accommodation for one household.

Hotels will reopen with the rule of six from May 17, while completely non-restricted England holidays will resume from June 21.

However, families who hold out to book even a UK holiday may also be faced with shortages or more expensive choices.

Cornwall tourism boss Malcom Bell has warned that some people have even been placed onto a waitlist for holidays in the region to to demand this summer.

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