Spain, Portugal, France and Turkey update on when you can go on holiday again

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If you booked a summer holiday long before lockdown was announced in March, then you may be wondering whether you will be permitted to go or not.

Many holidays currently hang in the balance, following lockdown rules and measures.

Last week, Ryanair (which has regular flights to Spain), said it plans to restore 40 per cent of flight programmes from July, although Health Secretary Matt Hancock said foreign holidays are unlikely for Brits this summer.

However, there have been indications from European governments that they intend to welcome holidaymakers from England and Wales.

Here, the Liverpool Echo looks at the timescale of when it is likely countries such as Spain, Portugal, France and Turkey will restart their tourism trade.

Spain

Holidaymakers will be welcomed back to Spain “as soon as possible”, but only when safe to do so, the country’s foreign minister has said.

Spain, like the UK, was among the European countries worst affected by the coronavirus outbreak, and introduced lockdown measures on March 14, more than a week ahead of the UK.

Spain has now begun lifting those restrictions in various regions, with plans to end lockdown next month.

Foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said cities with high concentrations of Covid-19 infection – such as Madrid and Barcelona – remain under stricter rules than more rural areas, but that the country will reopen to visitors at the earliest possible opportunity.

However, she was unable to say whether Spain could welcome UK tourists by the summer.

France

On May 11, France announced that it will very gradually started lifting lockdown measures,  reports Chronicle Live.

There is currently no change for French people living in the UK. Travel to France is permitted only when strictly necessary.

Checks will be carried out at stations, airport terminals, and on roads and motorways.

Masks must be worn on public transport in France.

Anyone who doesn’t abide by these rules may face a fine of €135.

France have not yet indicated exactly when foreign travel to their country will be allowed.

The country has seen 179,927 recorded cases of coronavirus and has 28,239 deaths. Like the UK, it will be taking all precautions until it is safe to welcome holidaymakers.

There is currently no specific indication on when Brits will be able to visit for holidays.

Check here for  updates and more information.

Turkey

Last year, 2.5 million British tourists visited Turkey. It’s important both for holidaymakers and the Turkish economy that the country is able to welcome people from the UK as soon as it is safe.

Flights from the UK to Turkey were suspended from March 17, 2020 due to the pandemic.

Now, two months on from that, the Turkish Embassy in London confirmed that “Turkey is now expected to start going back to normal very soon.”

A spokesperson added: “We hope to start the holiday season in June, by gradually resuming international flights to Turkey.

“Of course, resumption of flights will depend on the progress of pandemic, quarantine measures being taken around the world and general outlook.

“Nevertheless, arrangements have been made to host guests in reliable, healthy and hygienic conditions throughout their visit to Turkey.”

Portugal

The European Council established a temporary restriction for 30 days on non-essential travel to the European Union and then on April 8, the European Commission invited Schengen Member States to prolong the temporary restriction until May 15.

Portugal then suspended flights from outside the EU until May 14.

If you are due to travel to Portugal, their official advice says you must definitely contact your airline or travel company for the latest information.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office explained that Portugal is slowly coming out of quarantine, with a plan that began on May 4 for gradual easing of the lockdown.

Restaurants, cafes and bars are open with strict social distancing rules. Public gatherings of more than 10 are not permitted.

Campsites and motorhome parks have been allowed to reopen as long as they meet hygiene and capacity measures. Anyone travelling to the Azores must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test, agree to take a test or go into voluntary quarantine on arrival.

As mentioned, this doesn’t yet apply to Brits wanting to take a holiday as they cannot travel unless it is absolutely essential.

But it suggests that once lockdown measures begin to ease in the UK and non-essential foreign travel is allowed again, then Portugal will be ready to welcome Brits.



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