THE coronavirus pandemic has put paid to our holidays this year, as airlines cancelled flights and country borders closed.
But when will holidays be back on the menu? Here is all the latest advice from the government and travel experts regarding your next trip abroad.
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Mark Hall, Director of Product at TUI UK told Sun Online Travel that trips abroad are likely to be much later: "Whilst it’s difficult to predict, we do think that autumn and winter getaways could prove more popular than ever as people still want their yearly holiday.
"We may see more late bookers as people cautiously search for the best deals and popular familiar destinations.
"Family favourite destinations such as Florida, mainland Spain and the Canaries are still top on searched destinations and we may see a demand for Caribbean holidays for winter sun at the end of 2020 and into 2021."
It is also worth booking package holidays, as they are ATOL-protected – meaning you are covered if the holiday does not go ahead by a refund or credit note.
When can I travel to France?
French President Emmanuel Macron announced in April that the strict lockdown would be extended into May.
Tourists are not currently able to enter the country if their reason for travel is a holiday.
The lockdown has been in place since mid-March, with stronger restrictions introduced on April 6.
However, shops, schools and businesses will gradually beginning to reopen.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel for trips in the summer, although officials are yet to confirm dates for when tourism will resume.
The Tour de France has been postponed until August, meaning travelling around the country could be on the agenda by then.
Here are some deals for later in the year.
- Two nights at Disneyland Paris with flights in September 2020 – £156pp
- Three nights in Nice with flights in September 2020 – £264pp
When can I travel to Spain?
Spain is beginning to lift their lockdown measures, with outdoor walks allowed and more de-escalation measures next month regarding shops and cafes.
A tourist firm in Benidorm said a spike in bookings for August and September is good news for the industry – although Brits may not be invited back so soon.
President of Benidorm's British Businesses Association, Karen Maling Cowles previously told Sun Online Travel: "I don't personally think that we’re going to start recovering from this until June or July and even that’s maybe early.
"But British tourism I don't see happening until September. Because the UK is still so far behind Spain and until you have it contained, people won’t be allowed to come and have their week in Benidorm."
The Balearic Islands have issued similar sentiments, with Tourism minister Iago Negueruela adding: "There are countries like the United Kingdom that have taken too long to adopt containment measures and that also puts us in a different situation with respect to them."
- Seven nights in Costa Brava with flights in September 2020 – £159pp
- Seven nights in Majorca with flights in September 2020 – £217pp
- Seven nights in Gran Canaria with flights in September 2020 – £345pp
When can I travel to Greece?
Some of the Greek islands, including Santorini, Crete and Kos, are yet to report any cases of coronavirus.
Despite this, tourism is not expected to return to the country just yet, with the flight ban being extended until mid-May.
On the bright side, lockdown measures are beginning to ease and tourists could be welcomed back by July if the virus continues to slow.
- Seven nights in Zante with flights in August 2020 – £297pp
- Seven nights in Kos with flights in August 2020 – £367pp
- Seven nights in Corfu with flights in August 2020 – £365pp
When can I travel to Turkey?
Turkey is looking to resume flights by mid-May although these will be just domestic routes initially.
The country's culture and tourism minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said: "Hopefully, we will see that tourism activities will start again during the Ramadan Feast."
The Ramadan Feast, also known as Eid ul-Fitr, will be celebrated at the end of May.
He added that he expected flight schedules to return to normal by the end of June, with air travel likely to start with Asia, followed by Russia, the Balkans and then Europe.
Tourists are also likely to need health certificates proving they don't have coronavirus to be allowed into the country.
- Seven nights in Dalaman with flights in July 2020 – £227pp
- Seven nights in Bodrum with flights in July 2020 – £362pp
Seamus McCauley at Holiday Extras explained that booking in the future isn't necessarily a bad thing to consider, thanks to new flexible change policies.
He told Sun Online Travel: "Airlines are bringing forward their 2020/21 winter schedule so people can book to fly then.
"That’s sensible for customers who are looking ahead to the end of the current crisis, and good for everyone to have something to look forward to even if it’s towards the end of the year."
However, he added: "But like most travel businesses we appreciate that people are cautious about making plans until the situation resolves, so we’re glad to see so much flexibility and forward-planning in our industry. "
Caution is still advised, with the unprecedented pandemic meaning travel rules and restrictions could change at the last minute.
When should I book a holiday?
The current advice from the government is to avoid all non-essential travel indefinitely, with no date put forward on when domestic or overseas trips can resume.
Any further information on when holidays are to be expected could change at the last minute, with experts and tour operators unable to say for definite when trips will resume – especially if coronavirus cases surge.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned that he wouldn't be "booking a summer holiday at this point" due to the virus continuing to spread.
A trip abroad for the summer may not be out of the question, however.
Flights in April and May have all but been cancelled, excluding repatriation flights.
But airlines are expecting to resume their normal flights ahead of the peak July and August season.
Both Jet2 and Ryanair hope to restart flights in June, while easyJet has launched holidays for late 2020.
Experts have said that a trip in the next three months could be on the cards, although this is likely to be for UK holidays only.
A spokesperson for Aito, the Association of Independent Tour Operators, told the Express: "If luck is on our side, then three months hence should see things calm down on the virus front.
"It’s likely that the first travellers within the UK will venture out again to explore their own country at the traditional start of the summer season."
However, it can also depend on each country, with destinations across Europe facing much stricter lockdowns due to coronavirus.
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