Germany Working to Lift Travel Ban to 31 European Countries

German officials are currently working to lift travel bans in place to 31 European countries starting on June 15.

According to The Local, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in talks with regional leaders about new health and safety guidelines as the country prepares to ease travel restrictions implemented to stop the coronavirus outbreak.

Merkel is warning officials to use caution when developing plans and exercise commonly accepted protocols from around the world to avoid a second wave of infections associated with the viral pandemic.

The German government began work Wednesday on a plan to allow travel to 26 other European Union nations and Britain, as well as the four non-European Union countries; Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Each country had a different approach to the coronavirus quarantines, which has resulted in concerns from officials like Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder that the country is opening its borders too quickly.

“We have in Italy, Spain and France completely different infection numbers compared to Germany so I ask the federal government to think very carefully about this,” Soeder said during the meetings.

There are also local reports claiming Merkel is facing pressure from state premiers to move up the date that social distancing measures are relaxed from July 5 to June 29. Government officials did not comment.

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Greece Opening to Foreign Travelers in June

Government officials in Greece announced Wednesday the country would open to foreign visitors on June 15.

According to BBC.com, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis revealed travelers arriving at popular destinations across the country would be subjected to coronavirus testing and government-mandated health protocols.

Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis said Greece would provide a list before the end of May consisting of approved countries it would allow visitors from based on “epidemiological criteria” from health and safety experts.

Theoharis said the plan is to allow travelers from approved countries to arrive only through Athens International Airport starting on June 15 before expanding the order to all of Greece’s other airports on July 1.

When it comes to determining which countries will be allowed to send visitors, Theoharis revealed the ongoing coronavirus numbers would impact the decision. Tourists arriving will not be subjected to a mandatory quarantine.

In the case of a potential viral outbreak in a region, the government is designating a doctor for each hotel and adding special quarantine areas and testing facilities on islands. The country has been on lockdown since March but has been heralded for its success containing the virus.

With an estimated 33 million visitors arriving in Greece last year, tourism has been devastated by the pandemic, and officials are excited to bring back an industry worth around 20 percent of the nation’s GDP.

Several countries in the European Union are also beginning to remove travel restrictions in time for the summer holidays, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Ireland.

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MGM to Reopen Its First US Properties on Memorial Day

Following roughly two months’ complete closure due to COVID-19, the first two of MGM Resorts International’s properties in the United States are ready for reopening, starting as soon as Memorial Day Monday, May 25, 2020.

Two Mississippi hotel-casinos—Biloxi’s Beau Rivage Resort & Casino and Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica—will first host invitation-only weekends ahead of their actual public reopenings. Room reservations are now available at Gold Strike for dates beginning May 25 and at Beau Rivage for dates starting the following Monday, June 1.

Both properties will initially be opening in a limited capacity, restricted by 50 percent, per Mississippi Gaming Commission guidelines. In casinos, table games and slot machines will be reconfigured to support adequate social-distancing measures, and valet parking will be discontinued for the present, with self-parking for guests available at no charge.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal pointed out that MGM’s website is also allowing for guests to book nights at its Las Vegas properties as early as June 1, although there has still been no official word as to when Nevada’s governor, Steve Sisolak, will allow hotel-casinos to reopen their doors in the state.

MGM Resorts’ Acting CEO and President, Bill Hornbuckle, stated: “As we plan to reopen our resorts, the health and safety of our guests and employees guide all of our decision-making. Getting many of our employees back to work and welcoming guests through our doors once again will allow us to do what we do best—entertain. We can’t wait.”

Last week, MGM released its new ‘Seven-Point Safety Plan’ strategy for the imminent reopening of its portfolio of properties in the US. Developed in partnership with scientific and medical experts, the plan outlines the implementation of several new, enhanced protocols, specifically aimed at preventing viral transmission; protecting both guests and employees through the use of personal protective equipment, rigorous sanitation methods, social distancing, physical barriers, no-touch service options and more.

The complete specifications of MGM’s Seven-Point Safety Plan can be viewed here.

For more information, visit beaurivage.com or goldstrike.com.

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When Can You Travel to Hawaii Again?

It’s a destination for all.

From honeymooners to second honeymooners to vacationers to outdoor adventurists to surfing enthusiasts, Hawaii has something for everyone.

But the impact of the coronavirus has just about shut off the islands to tourists, who are asking the million-dollar question – when can you travel to Hawaii again?

Right now, it’s a complicated situation and the safe, easy answer is, you shouldn’t travel to the islands right now and probably not until July, at the earliest.

You shouldn’t travel to Hawaii right now.

It doesn’t mean you can’t travel to Hawaii right now.

As The Points Guy blog noted, there really are just too many hurdles to overcome to have the true Hawaii experience right now.

Even GoHawaii.com, the state’s main tourist information portal, there is an announcement on the home page that reads: “At this time, like many of you, we are focusing on the health and safety of our community, visitor industry employees, healthcare professionals and our healthcare system. As a small remote island community, our residents are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis. Hawaii Governor David Ige has asked that you postpone your trips to Hawaii to give us the opportunity to address this health crisis.”

So, for tourists, it’s currently a daunting landscape – even for the few that have come. For the six-week period starting March 26 through May 13, 7,638 visitors came to Hawaii. A typical month this time of year draws more than 850,000 tourists.

But a large part of that is the quarantine that is in effect for tourists, the restrictions and a simple lack of tourist amenities. To wit:

– Once you arrive in Hawaii, you are immediately under a 14-day quarantine. And, truth be told, it is strictly enforced. For the second time in a nine-day span, a tourist was arrested and faces jail time and a $5,000 for violating the order. Posting pictures at the beach on social media probably didn’t help.

– Good luck finding a flight now anyway. Airlines have drastically cut back routes to Hawaii, as evidenced by Southwest going from 12 daily flights to two.

– Gov. Ige says the quarantine, due to expire on May 31, will likely be extended another month.

– Most beaches are closed, except in Kauai.

– Many hotels are closed.

– Most restaurants are open only for takeout service.

Keith Vieira, principal of KV & Associates, Hospitality Consulting, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser that “it’s time for some bravery and risk. We have to set a date to reopen tourism and the Governor should be leading these directives. … If June 30 is the end of the quarantine, we won’t see tourism reopening on July 1. Hotels that have been closed will need 30 to 60 days to get ready to reopen. They need time to order food and supplies and train for new safety protocols. “

If you travel to Hawaii you’ll need to register with the state’s Safe Travels system, something of a way to trace and contact you. It’s going to take a lot of vacation time and a lot of money to be able to go to Hawaii, quarantine for 14 days, and when that’s up then vacation for a week, 10 days, two weeks, whatever.

In short order, this is not the time to go to Hawaii.

“We will be very careful in reopening domestic and international travel because of the continuing virus activity around the globe, which is very different from what we are seeing here in Hawaii,” Ige said. “At the start of the pandemic, most if not all of our cases were travel-related. So we must remain vigilant and take small steps toward reopening travel to the islands in our effort to avoid a resurgence in cases in Hawaii.”

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Air travel won’t return to pre-coronvirus levels until 2023, airline group predicts



a airplane that is parked on the side of a dirt field

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While Florida beaches and Iceland’s Blue Lagoon may tempt some travelers to get off their couches and fly somewhere this summer, air travelers are not expected to return to the skies in large numbers anytime soon.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the largest global airline organization, does not believe traffic numbers to return to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels until around 2023, according to its latest forecast. Domestic flyers in markets like China and the U.S. will return first in about two years and international flyers a year or two later by 2024.

We are eager to fly,” IATA director general Alexandre de Juniac said during a briefing on Wednesday. But eagerness is not enough, at least not yet, to get those fearful of COVID-19 or who have lost their jobs back on planes.

Get Coronavirus travel updates. Stay on top of industry impacts, flight cancellations, and more.

Some destinations are or plan to be open for at least part of the summer. Beaches are open in parts of Florida and Allegiant Air, JetBlue Airways and Spirit Airlines — all of which cater primarily to non-business travelers — are seeing small but noticeable increases in the number of people on flights to the state.

In Europe, the European Union’s economic affairs commissioner Paolo Gentiloni said Wednesday that the bloc “will have a summer tourist season.” Any opening, however, will come with clear health and safety guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

What is not yet clear is whether any EU reopening would welcome both Americans and Europeans, or focus on something of a “travel bubble” among member states.

One possibility for summer holidays is the approach proposed by Iceland. The island hopes to reopen for visitors by June 15 with either mandatory COVID-19 tests or 14-day quarantines upon arrival.


  • a large crowd of people at a park: People cool off and sunbathe by the Trocadero Fountains next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on July 25, 2019 as a new heatwave hits the French capital. - After all-time temperature records were smashed in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands on July 24, Britain and the French capital Paris could on July 25 to see their highest ever temperatures. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP)    (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • This is what it's like to travel across Europe right now

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Another new thing to expect at the airport: Getting your temperature checked


Air travelers are likely to see yet another change when they start flying again: A pre-boarding temperature check.

a man wearing sunglasses and a hat: Frontier Airlines becomes first U.S. airline to announce passenger temperature checks

Such screenings could become standard as a tool to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, along with face masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

And no, it won’t be like visiting a doctor who sticks a thermometer in your mouth. Instead, the screener likely won’t touch you at all, using either a thermal camera or a infrared thermometer held a few inches from your forehead.

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The airlines are in favor of temperature checks. At least two North American carriers (Frontier and Air Canada) and one airport (Paine Field in Washington State) have already taken the initiative. However, most want the federal government – specifically, the Transportation Security Administration or U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – to be responsible for carrying them out.

“We’re urging the TSA to begin temperature scans as part of the screening process at the checkpoints,” Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, the nation’s largest domestic carrier, told CBS News. He believes that is the most logical place to check temperatures since all fliers must pass through that area.

In an interview with CNBC, he added, “We’ll need to work with the federal government in terms of screening customers to make sure, for example, that you don’t have someone getting on the airplane that has a fever,” he said. “I think that that’s going to be very important.”

The trade organization for U.S. and Canadian airports also wants the federal government to conduct the screenings.

On Tuesday, the Airports Council International-North America said that any health screening, should be “performed by federal government officials, and minimize the impact on airport operations.”

The Airports Council also asked the federal government to adopt guidelines for passengers to wear face coverings in airports. (Right now, the decision on whether to require masks is up to the individual carriers, although once the first did, others followed suit almost immediately.)

Neither the TSA nor the CDC has indicated any plans to take on that responsibility or when they might start. Even if they do, there is debate about whether checking for fevers has much impact on keeping sick people from boarding planes or from entering the country. After all, temperature scans done on travelers entering the country from China and Europe seemingly did little to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Last week, after learning the White House was weighing re-implementing temperature checks at U.S. airports, the CDC’s director of global mitigation and quarantine, urged TSA’s parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, to reconsider the idea, saying it was ineffective the first time they tried it, prior to the travel bans on China and Europe.

“Thermal scanning as proposed is a poorly designed control and detection strategy as we have learned very clearly,”  Dr. Martin  Cetron wrote in an Thursday email to Department of Homeland Security officials obtained by USA TODAY. “We should be concentrating our CDC resources where there is impact and a probability of mission success.” 

Accordingly, Cetron asked that the CDC not be assigned temperature-screening duty again.

In a report released on Monday, the CDC concluded that the screenings were not effective because people can have the coronavirus and show no symptoms. Furthermore, a study published in the journal “Nature” also found that carriers may be most contagious a day or two before becoming symptomatic.

“The benefits of screening for case detection at the airport might be limited for a respiratory disease with the potential for presymptomatic and asymptomatic transmission,” the CDC reported.

Another issue: What happens to the data? The CDC report concluded that monitoring travelers would be labor-intensive for public health officials. 

Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, called it “a logistical nightmare.”

“Even if the CDC had the resources, the information would need to go somewhere,” he said. “All the evidence that we have suggests that is has little or marginal effectiveness.”

In spite of skepticism from the CDC, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows pressed ahead last week, directing the DHS to announce the airport screenings, which would be visible and aimed at instilling confidence in travelers, according to meeting notes obtained by USA TODAY.  

Passengers with fevers, Meadows said, would be referred to the CDC for clearance. However, the full plan has not been finalized. (Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, did not answer questions about the airport screening proposal.) 

Regardless of who ends up holding the thermometer, it seems that temperature checks will become a routine part of the process of checking in for a flight.

In some cases, it already is. Air Canada will require temperature checks starting Friday. On June 1,  Frontier Airlines will become the first U.S. carrier to require them. Anyone who registers a temperature of 100.4℉ or above two times on the same day will not be allowed to board, including passengers and employees.

“Temperature screenings add an additional layer of protection for everyone onboard,” said Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle in a statement.

Contributing: Brett Murphy and Letitia Stein, USA TODAY


  • a large crowd of people at a park: People cool off and sunbathe by the Trocadero Fountains next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, on July 25, 2019 as a new heatwave hits the French capital. - After all-time temperature records were smashed in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands on July 24, Britain and the French capital Paris could on July 25 to see their highest ever temperatures. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP)    (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)

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  • The surreal experience of flying during the pandemic

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    Demand for air travel has all but evaporated with the arrival of coronavirus. But airlines are still flying. And now, passengers have to wear masks. Here’s what it’s like to take a flight from Washington, D.C. into Atlanta, the world’s busiest airport.

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  • This is what it's like to travel across Europe right now

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    From Athens to Brussels to London, CNN's International Diplomatic Editor Nic Robertson documents once familiar, now unusual, travel across Europe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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DOT to Allow Airlines to Pause Flights to Five Percent of Destinations

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued two air service notices today, which are destined to impact both airlines and customers. One addresses airlines’ problematic policies regarding ticket refunds, and the other lessens the number of points that airlines are currently required to serve.

A new Notice of Adjustments to Service Obligations provides for incremental adjustments to begin being made to the service obligations originally imposed on airlines on April 7, 2020, as a condition of their eligibility to receive money under the CARES Act.

Fox News reported on the announcement that the DOT will now permit airlines to cease flying to as much as five percent of the destinations that they had previously served. It’s a move that’s intended to help provide some relief for commercial aviation companies that continue to hemorrhage capital while the detrimental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic persist. Through the CARES Act, $10 billion was made available to bolster the airline industry in the month of April alone.

Airlines will need to make their applications to the DOT by submitting a list of airports that they wish to remove from their service rosters no later than May 18, 2020. In reviewing these requests, the DOT said it will ensure every U.S. community that was served by one of these airlines prior to March 1, 2020, will still be served by at least one covered air carrier.

The other part of today’s DOT announcement represented a second Enforcement Notice to airlines concerning the agency’s order to provide customer ticket refunds for flights that were forced to cancel due to the pandemic. The document is intended to ensure that ticket agents and air carriers are complying with previously-issued consumer protection requirements. It also offers answers to some common questions customers have regarding refunds and can help them to understand their rights.

“The Department has received an unprecedented volume of complaints from passengers, and is examining this issue closely to ensure that airlines’ policies and practices conform to DOT’s refund rules,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine L. Chao. “The Department is asking all airlines to revisit their customer service policies and ensure they are as flexible and considerate as possible to the needs of passengers who face financial hardship during this time.”

While the DOT typically handles around 1,500 air travel complaints and inquiries in a single month, March and April 2020 produced over 25,000 air travel service complaints and inquiries, with a major percentage concerning refunds.

For more information, visit transportation.gov.

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Travel Advisors Eager to Lead the Way and Kickstart Travel With FAM Trips

Agents are ready to once again explore the world on fam trips, most notably to help jumpstart client interest in travel once the coronavirus is suppressed.

“Agents are going to lead the way by example in this recovery, so I think it will be important to begin fam trips as soon as possible,” said James Berglie of Be All Inclusive. “Personally, I’m ready to hop on a plane anytime—and yes, I would love to see suppliers open up fams right away, but I also realize they have challenges in being able to do so.”

Added James Ferguson of Travel Edge: “As ambassadors of travel, now more than ever, we can stimulate a return to travel with first-hand experiences and product endorsements—it’s more crucial than ever before.”

As much as agents would like to begin traveling again, they know that, at least for now, they’ll have to wait.

“I think that late summer, fall and this winter would be a great time for fam trips,” said Cal Cheney of Bucket List Travel and Tours, a member Nexion/Travel Leaders. “Advisors should have the time and money to reinvest in their craft. I had trips to Peru and Croatia canceled, so I have the time, money and desire to travel, [and] I assume other advisors do as well.”

Cheney said he plans to fly to Chicago on or around June 1 to visit friends and relatives. “And I plan on telling my clients that,” he said. “It is [a customer’s] personal decision [to travel], but if we show our clients that we are not afraid to travel, isn’t that a healthy thing?”

In Cheney’s view, fam trips are essential to the selling process. “There is no replacement for having been there,” he said. I have only been in this business two years, yet, having been to 35 countries and all 50 states at least twice has given me the confidence and credibility to help counsel others about great places to go.”

On the hotel front, resort fam trips are key in helping agents match clients to the properties that best suit their needs. “Being able to match the right customer to the right resort is crucial, so experiencing the resorts is very important. Each resort has its own unique personality—and it’s something you can’t really know unless you’ve experienced it,” Berglie said.

Claire Schoeder of Elevations Travel noted that she is very selective about the fams she travels on. “I select fams based on the company that is sponsoring it and how likely I am to sell that company’s product to my clients. Fams that stress a few properties over seeing four or so a day are much better for learning.”

Meanwhile, suppliers also believe that fam trips are essential to helping agents kick start travel while also familiarizing them with their products.

“We highly recommend agents visit the destinations personally, as it makes a lot of difference in selling these trips,” said Rajni Pandey, manager-international partnerships at Culture Holidays, whose destination offerings include India, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. “The goal of these fam trips is to help agents build destination knowledge to be more effective ‘sellers of travel.’ Attending a fam trip will help travel agents learn about the pros and cons of the destinations so that they can advise their clients accordingly.

“Secondly, fams help travel agents to get a better understanding of the tourism infrastructure in each destination. For example, they can have a better idea [of what] a five-star hotel looks like in a particular destination and how [it compares] to the standards in their country. It also gives agents the chance to build connections with their supplier, and will help them to know the services they are providing as well.”

Additionally, the Serenade Punta Cana Beach Spa & Casino Resort in the Dominican Republic, which is set to open in September, is taking a proactive approach to getting agents to visit the property.

In commemoration of National Travel Advisor Day on May 6, the 600-room, all-inclusive property unveiled travel advisor rates of $58 per person, double, per night for stays in Tropical Garden View rooms for travel from Nov. 1, 2020, through April 30, 2021.

“Celebrating travel advisors is especially important this year after what the travel industry has faced these last few months with the travel agents assisting their clients through all of this,” said Aimee Tejeda, the property’s director of sales and marketing, Serenade Punta Cana Beach, Spa and Casino Resort. “We will get through this together, and look forward to welcoming travel advisors to experience the resort once this passes.”

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Here's what you need to know about going abroad in the next 6 months

Are we nearly there yet? (PLEASE!) Restrictions are still in place and your plans are all at sea. So here’s what you need to know about taking a break abroad in the next six months…

  • The Foreign Office is currently advising against non-essential overseas travel
  • This means things to do not look promising for foreign holidays this summer 
  • Here, the Daily Mail’s Tom Chesshyre looks at the travel possibilities…  

The Clash’s hit song Should I Stay Or Should I Go feels eerily appropriate for holidaymakers right now.

But with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advising against all non-essential overseas travel, things do not look promising.

So is the idea of a trip in July, August or the autumn just wishful thinking? Here are the travel possibilities…

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is currently advising against all non-essential overseas travel

Q. Is a summer holiday out of the question, then?

A. As matters stand, yes. The lockdown means we cannot move about, either here in Britain or abroad.

Q. So that’s that: no holiday for us this year?

A. Quite possibly, but then again, if Boris Johnson’s address to the nation tomorrow spells out a timetable for the lifting of restrictions, summer holidays of some sort could be given the green light.

Q. Is it true that some airlines have begun offering flights again?

A. Yes. Wizz Air became the first airline in Europe to resume flights, starting with Luton to Sofia in Bulgaria a week ago. There are also now services between Luton and Budapest, Lisbon, Bratislava and Belgrade. Further flights will begin from June 16 to Faro in Portugal, and to Greece from July.

Q. How can airlines do this with travel restrictions in place?

A. There is nothing stopping carriers from providing services. Airlines say flights are for ‘essential’ trips and cargo.

Q. What if I want to fly and it is non-essential travel?

A. If you were to do this you would — currently — be breaking lockdown rules by going to the airport.

Q. So why is Wizz Air selling tickets to tourist destinations?

A. The airline is gambling on the lockdown being lifted.

Many countries have closed borders to tourists and introduced quarantines

YOUR COUNTRY BY COUNTRY GUIDE 

When considering travelling abroad, check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel advice at gov.uk. Its guidance is the bottom line — but here’s a snapshot of what’s happening overseas:

FRANCE: Not open to holidaymakers. Bars and restaurants are likely to remain closed until the end of May, but most shops will be allowed to open from Monday.

SPAIN: Tourists cannot visit. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez wants a ‘new normality’, with some restaurants open by the end of June and schools open by September. It’s unlikely that international restrictions will be lifted before then, although hotel groups on Mallorca this week said they were happy to accept tourists this summer.

ITALY: Requires a 14-day quarantine. No sign of a green light for international travel.

GREECE: Requires a 14-day quarantine. Parks and archaeological sites are opening on May 18, and the strict ‘stay at home’ policy switched to ‘stay safe’ this week. Could be an early country to relax international visitor rules, perhaps as soon as July.

TURKEY: Only open to citizens. Curfews in place. Brits unlikely to be given the green light until August at the earliest.

CROATIA: Requires a 14-day quarantine with hefty fines for offenders. Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic is considering lifting the travel ban for countries that prove they have the virus under control. Not good news for Britain.

AMERICA: Severe restrictions; impossible to enter if you have been in the UK in the past 14 days. It’s not known if the U.S. will loosen international travel restrictions this year.

Q. Are other airlines offering flights now?

A. Yes. Heathrow flights earlier this week included Aegean Airlines to Frankfurt, Alitalia to Rome, British Airways to Cork and Finnair to Helsinki.

Q. If the lockdown is lifted and we can travel to airports, can we fly again?

A. In theory: yes, if you have a ticket. Airlines are not turning passengers away unless they do not have specific entry documents.

Q. So I could take a summer holiday after all?

A. There are a couple of catches. The first is that, if you travel against FCO advice, your travel insurance is invalidated. So you will be travelling without cover, which is highly risky during a pandemic.

Q. What is the other catch that you mention?

A. The entry restrictions of the country you are visiting. Most have closed borders to tourists now and introduced quarantines.

If you travel against FCO advice, your travel insurance is invalidated. You will be travelling without cover, which is highly risky during a pandemic

Q. Can you give an example of a country with a quarantine?

A. Canada has a rule that stipulates you must have strict proof that a place of isolation/quarantine has been arranged. If not, you could be sent to a detention centre. If you break quarantine, you may be fined up to £433,000.

Q. If I quarantined in self-catering accommodation in such a country, would that be allowed?

A. This could be extremely risky as the country’s officials may take a dim view of overseas visitors ‘playing the system’.

Q. If I am going to a country that currently does not have a quarantine, will I be OK?

A. Again, this is taking a chance. Rules abroad could alter abruptly. And there is a possibility that Britain may yet apply a quarantine for returning holidaymakers.

Q. Surely if you are British you will not be quarantined?

A. Not necessarily. A quarantine on all returning passengers could be introduced at any time. This week the Home Affairs Committee discussed this very matter. It is feasible that Boris Johnson could announce a quarantine for Britons returning from abroad tomorrow.

Trailfinders, a leading travel firm, says customers have begun booking trips for October and November

Q. I have heard that temperature checks at airports could become standard — is this true?

A. Heathrow is to trial facial-recognition cameras with heat-seeking technology to identify those with coronavirus symptoms within the next fortnight.

If they are found to have a fever, passengers could go into quarantine or be prevented from boarding.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s boss, believes that an international standard of such health checks needs to be introduced, along with rules regarding on-board hygiene and a requirement for passengers and cabin crew to wear masks. Crew would also need gloves.

Q. Will I have to buy my own mask if I fly in the future?

A. Probably. Wizz Air, Air France and KLM have said masks are now mandatory. Wizz Air is providing free masks initially.

Q. I do not want to travel without proper insurance — when is it most likely I could go abroad safely with full cover?

A. This depends on when the FCO relaxes its travel advice. When ‘non-essential’ travel is given the thumbs up, insurance policies will be valid once again. But check with your insurer about Covid-19.

Q. When is the FCO likely to allow travel?

A. No one knows — events will determine this. It could be later in the year. It is not expected that overseas travel will be given the go-ahead in the Prime Minister’s statement tomorrow.

Heathrow is to trial facial-recognition cameras with heat-seeking technology to identify those with coronavirus symptoms

Q. Any hints on when it might get the go-ahead?

A. Trailfinders, a leading travel firm, says customers have begun booking trips for October and November, with most opting for the latter and hardly anyone making any earlier plans. So late autumn/early winter seems possible, if you ‘follow the money’ being spent.

Q. What about going by Eurotunnel or ferry to France?

A. Currently the French are not allowing ‘non-essential’ trips, so you cannot pop over in your car for a holiday. But French beaches will be allowed to reopen next week, which is a good sign.

Q. What if I have bought a trip already and I’m due to leave in the summer?

A. If you have booked a package holiday and it is cancelled, you are due a refund within 14 days under the Package Travel Regulations.

If you have booked a flight, you are due a refund within seven days under EU law. Be aware that some tour operators are merely offering Refund Credit Notes, and some airlines only vouchers.

Both say that these ‘exceptional circumstances’ allow this.

Q. So, what is my best bet for going on a summer trip?

A. A staycation is the best bet, if the lockdown is eased. For a trip abroad, you should wait it out until the FCO advice changes.

IF YOU’RE DREAMING OF A DEAL… 

  • See India’s Golden Triangle — Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur — in October on a seven-night trip priced from £979 pp with flights (trailfinders.com).
  • Relax on a seven-night B&B break at Blue Waters Resort & Spa in Antigua, costing from £1,635 pp including flights (turquoiseholidays.co.uk).
  • Or visit Bali, with a seven-night stay at Capella Ubud costing from £2,792 pp with flights and transfers (inspiringtravelcompany.co.uk).
  • An 80-day guided tour in Costa Rica is from £2,133 pp, including flights, hotels and meals (trafalgar.com).
  • Upgrade for free to half-board at five-star Coco Bodu Hithi hotel in the Maldives during November, including flights (trailfinders.com).
  • Board the new Spirt of Adventure for a 15-night cruise from Dover, calling at St Petersburg, Stockholm and Oslo from £3,472 pp (travel.saga.co.uk/cruises).
  • A week’s all-inclusive stay at the Fairmont Mayakoba, near Cancun, Mexico, is from £2,099 pp in November (turquoiseholidays.co.uk).
  • A seven-night cruise on the Iberian Peninsula’s River Douro with wine tasting is from £1,299 pp including flights and meals (rivieratravel.co.uk).
  • Take an eight-day guided tour in New England in October from £2,895 pp, including first-class hotels and flights (insightvacations.com).

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Americans Ready and Willing to Travel Again Soon

A recent study found that travelers are surprisingly willing to travel in the near future despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

According to a Harris Poll breaking down the attitude of Americans toward the viral pandemic right now and moving forward, one of the focuses was to determine how long it will be before travelers feel comfortable hitting the road again.

The airline industry was one of the hardest hit by COVID-19, but 37 percent of respondents said they would travel via airplane within three months of government officials announcing the flattening of the curve. Another 57 percent would fly within the first six months and only 22 percent would wait a full year.

As for the cruise industry, which has been almost completely shut down by the pandemic, 25 percent of Americans surveyed said they would sail on a cruise within three months of being allowed. An astounding 39 percent would return to sailing within six months and 30 percent would wait one year.

“My cruise clients are eager to ‘get back in the water’ and to the seamless experience of cruising,” Travel Edge Luxury Travel Advisor James Ferguson told TravelPulse. “My bookings for September onward are holding firm. Initially, there probably will be a trend to cruise local within North America waters.”

Travelers hitting the road again will need a place to stay, and the hotel industry is looking forward to a significant post-coronavirus rebound. The survey revealed that 41 percent of respondents would book a hotel within three months, while 62 percent would wait up to six months and 21 percent would wait a whole year.

When asked how people will view travel once the pandemic is over, 33 percent of Americans said their perspective on hitting the road would be very different, 36 percent said it would change slightly and 31 percent said it wouldn’t change at all.

Respondents were also asked about major purchases planned once things return to normal, with 28 percent said they would go on vacation or hit the road in some form or fashion.

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