Beaches around Europe are preparing for an influx of holidaymakers
The prospect of a summer holiday abroad has moved a big step closer, as the government eases quarantine rules in England.From Saturday, the Foreign Office’s warning against all but essential international travel will be lifted for some countries. And from 10 July, people returning to England from certain countries will not need to self-isolate.We won’t see the full list of more then 50 countries that will be exempt until later on Friday, but here’s what we do know for Europe’s most popular warm weather destinations.Where can I now go on holiday in the UK?
UK quarantine: Which countries can I travel to?
Spain – open for businessNeed to quarantine on arrival? NoNeed to quarantine when back in England? NoSpain, including the Balearic Islands and the Canaries, 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’s had one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe, recording 28,355 coronavirus deaths up to the end of June. But it is now in its “new normal” phase and its borders are open to tourists.
Some beaches – like Cala Aiguablava Beach near Girona – are busier than others
What restrictions are still in place?Visitors arriving from the UK will not be required to self-isolate – but you will have to undergo a temperature check.People must stay 1.5m apart in public. Everyone aged six and over should wear face masks on public transport, in shops and in public spaces where it is not possible to follow the 1.5m distance rule.Where can you stay?
German tourists are greeted by receptionists at a hotel in Ronda, southern Spain
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?Bars and restaurants are open but are only running at 50% capacity and must follow strict social distancing rules. Exhibitions, theatres and cinemas have reopened but only at 30% capacity. Outdoor concerts of up to 400 people are allowed but with social distancing.Nightclubs can also open although capacity is limited. To give an idea of what a night out is like in Barcelona, a popular party destination, people have to provide contact details, wear masks and the dancefloor has become a seating area. Visitors are able to go to the beaches, while most water parks, zoos, museums and theme parks are reopening or planning to in July, although with reduced capacity.One of Spain’s most visited sites, the Alhambra Palace near Granada, has already welcomed back visitors.
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Media captionSpain’s Alhambra Palace reopens to visitorsBarcelona’s Sagrada Familia cathedral will reopen on 4 July although to local police officers and health workers first – with tourists welcome four days later.How can you get there?The country is open to tourists entering by car, ferry, train or air. Travellers catching flights in must wear face masks, fill in a health card and undergo temperature checks. Many major airlines are running flights including Ryanair, EasyJet and British Airways. EasyJet has said it will be flying the majority of its routes this summer, and aims to have 75% of routes up and running by the end of August. Its website is taking bookings for July and August but prices vary widely, with many flights to Spain stretching to several hundred pounds.
France – gearing up for holiday seasonNeed to quarantine on arrival? YesNeed to quarantine when back in England? NoFrance is the second-most popular country for UK visitors, with around 17 million crossing the Channel every year, and 200,000 Britons have chosen it as the place for a second home.It 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 measures in the country, which had recorded nearly 30,000 coronavirus deaths by the end of June.
Tables and deckchairs are set out to respect social distancing on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice
What restrictions are still in place?France has a voluntary 14-day quarantine measure for travellers arriving from the UK – although it is expected to be lifted once the UK lifts its quarantine.People should remain 1m apart from others, and wear a mask if social distancing isn’t possible. No more than 10 people may gather in any public space.You also have to wear a mask if you plan to travel by public transport. When travelling by train, you need to make a reservation in advance.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.Where can you stay?Hotels, gites, and campsites are now open to the public, as well as private rental accommodation.Are tourist attractions open?
Disneyland Paris is one of Europe’s top visitor attractions
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 stay and sunbathe or have a picnic, and play non-contact sports. River cruises will be allowed from 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 begins a phased reopening on 15 July.Some water parks have also set dates for when they will accept visitors again, with new rules in place. For example Aqualand, which has eight sites across the country, has advised visitors to arrive in their swimming costumes. How can you get there?It is once again possible to get to France by air, sea or train. Eurotunnel has already attracted a record number of bookings over a weekend. Eurostar is operating a reduced service, with only direct trains to Paris. It will resume trains to Disneyland Paris on 2 August.The major airlines, Ryanair, EasyJet and British Airways, all have flights to France this month, although at a lower frequency than normal.A variety of routes across the Channel are on offer from ferry companies P&O, DFDS and Brittany Ferries.
Italy – welcoming British visitorsNeed to quarantine on arrival? NoNeed to quarantine when back in England? NoThe first European country to be hit hard by the virus, it is the third-most visited destination for UK travellers every year. Italy, which surpassed 34,000 virus-related deaths in June, imposed one of the strictest and earliest lockdowns on 7 March. It reopened its borders on 3 June to travellers from other European countries, although the mayor of the island of Capri has recently complained that visitors haven’t been obeying the rules at its hotels and beaches.
Attractions 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. 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 (except in Lombardy where a mask outdoors is mandatory).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% had remained closed in June, while more than 20% are expected to still be shut in August.Are tourist attractions open?
Tourists 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.Other attractions are opening later this summer, such as Verona’s Roman amphitheatre which will hold its first event on 25 July.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.Ryanair and British Airways were operating flights to Rome in June, while EasyJet is currently set to fly there from 17 July.
Portugal – open despite local outbreakNeed to quarantine on arrival? No, but travellers to Madeira and the Azores will be tested on entryNeed to quarantine when back in England? We don’t know yet.Portugal has had fewer coronavirus cases and deaths than some other southern European nations. After initially lifting restrictions, it later reintroduced some of the rules following local outbreaks in Lisbon. By the end of June, Portugal had recorded 1,576 deaths.Its border is open to British citizens – but anyone going to Madeira or the Azores will face tighter health screening.
British 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.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.In Lisbon, there are tighter restrictions with gatherings limited to 10 people, limits on the sale of alcohol and shops having to close at 8pm.If you are travelling to Madeira, Porto Santo or the Azores, there are further requirements including showing proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test or taking one on arrival. 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?
Portugal has recently seen a rise in new cases around Lisbon
Restaurants, cafes and bars are allowed to open with capacity rules and 1.5m 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 1.5m 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. Flights vary vastly in price, with a single Ryanair ticket from Manchester to Faro costing between £30 and £386 in July, although prices drop heading into August.
Greece – Britons not allowed (yet)Need to quarantine on arrival? No, but UK travellers cannot go until at least 15 JulyNeed to quarantine when back in England? We don’t know yet.Greece acted swiftly to impose lockdown in late February, and it was first eased in late April. At the end of June, it had a total of 3,409 confirmed cases and a death toll of 192, according to Johns Hopkins University.Its tourism season officially began on 15 June and it has already opened its borders to some countries. However, travellers from the UK cannot fly to Greece until 15 July at the earliest.
Greek 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 lifts and in taxis. Masks are also strongly advised in other closed spaces.Travelling in a car or taxi is limited to a maximum of two adult passengers as well as the driver, although children do not count towards the limit.
Restaurants 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.
The Acropolis Museum in Athens reopened last month
How can you get there? The major airlines are gradually reinstating flights to Greece this month, although some flights were cancelled after 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.Travel by yachts and private sailboats is now allowed. But cruise ships and ferries coming from other countries are banned from landing in Greek ports.
What about elsewhere in Europe?We are yet to find out if the UK will lift quarantine rules for these popular destinations.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. There remains an ongoing curfew for those aged over 65, those born after 1 January 2002, and those who have a chronic medical condition.Croatia: Visitors from the UK must complete a form in advance and have proof of accommodation. Restaurants, accommodation and beaches are open, along with pools and aquaparks, although social distancing rules apply. Large public gatherings are allowed and nightclubs can also open. Passengers on public transport must wear masks. 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. However, one area was put back into a local lockdown.Netherlands: UK visitors are currently “strongly advised” to go into quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Tourists must reserve accommodation in advance. There is no maximum limit on the number of people allowed inside places including shops, museums and at outside venues like zoos and theme parks – provided people stick to 1.5m social distancing. Face masks are mandatory on public transport for anyone aged 13 and over. Nightclubs will not reopen before 1 September.Belgium: Its borders are open to Britons. Everyone should keep 1.5m apart from others and people aged 12 and over should wear a masks on public transport. Restaurants, bars, cafes and shops are open but with strict rules, and tourist accommodation and activities can resume. Swimming pools are still closed. Switzerland: No travel restrictions for UK travellers. Social distancing here is 2m. Most places are back open including shops, restaurants, bars and cafes are open with a limit of four customers per table and tables 2m apart. Passengers are advised to wear masks on public transport. In the Alps, mountain railways and cable cars are running.
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