2020 might have been the one year that many of us really need to take a holiday from. If fraught politics weren’t bad enough, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a situation that would have been completely unthinkable just a year ago. But of course, the virus has made it extremely challenging to book or go on holiday.
However, if you really feel that what you need is a break, it is not necessarily impossible to take a holiday safely with your family. Many people are choosing to do so and enjoying their time away. So let’s take a look at how and where families can safely take holidays right now.
Current travel advice
At the moment, the British recommend against all but essential travel to all countries aside from a number of exceptions. At the time of writing the list of exemptions includes many countries across Europe, the Americas, and Asia. While many popular destinations such as the USA, India, and the United Arab Emirates (including Dubai) are still under the recommendation against all but essential travel.
This means that there are many places that it is possible to book holidays to or to honor an existing holiday booking. Of course, many of these countries do still have coronavirus cases, but the risk is considered to be low.
Are face masks mandatory?
We have had to become used to the idea of using face masks as a day-to-day necessity, as they have been made compulsory in shops and on public transport. However, you might not currently be aware of the rules surrounding the use of masks on planes. The vast majority of airlines flying from the UK require passengers to wear a face mask throughout the duration of the flight.
Some premium airlines can provide face masks if they are required, while typically budget airlines do not offer this.
Once you have arrived in your destination this can depend entirely on the local laws in place, and it is important that you should take the time to really understand exactly what is required in the country that you are visiting, rather than running the risk of falling foul of the law.
What about legal protections?
There has been some suggestion that many individuals considering taking holidays at the moment are worried that doing so is going against government advice, and that this might impact their legal protections. However, this is not the case, and people going on holiday to businesses that are operating have all of the same legal protections as they would usually.
“Tour operators, hotels, restaurants, and travel companies have a duty to ensure the health and safety of their customers, and that includes during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Paul Fretwell, Head of Personal Injury at George Ide LLP “any failures in this duty can usually be pursued through the British legal system in UK courts”.
Traveling within the UK could be a great option
If you are desperate for a holiday but you are worried about the potential challenges of traveling abroad – staycations in the UK could be a great option. Many campsites are now taking bookings, with social distancing measures in place. And hotels and other accommodation have been able to open since early July.
Increasingly many parts of the UK’s tourist infrastructure are re-opening, although in some cases attractions will have reducing open hours or specific restrictions in place.
Stay up-to-date with government advice
It must be stated that it is essential that you keep up-to-date with the latest government advice regarding travel. The information here is correct at the time of writing, however, as we have seen with the COVID-19 pandemic, things can change very quickly – even to the point where your holiday could be canceled within days of your travel.
The only sensible option here is to closely monitor the situation and ensure that you are allowed to travel before you attempt it.
Families from the UK can take holidays – even going abroad if necessary, as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines set down both by travel companies and by the local laws in the countries they are visiting. And having your holiday within the UK can be another good option if you are at all worried about foreign travel.