COVID-19 update. When should I book a holiday?

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Let’s face it, it been a tough 12 months. I for sure never thought when the mention of a novel Coronavirus had been found in China, it would have had such a lasting effect.

However, following the government announcement on Monday 22nd February it feels like there could be light at the end of the tunnel. The new announcement could mean you can travel abroad and have a much-needed getaway before the end of the year.


So, what are the stages of the roadmap and when should I book a holiday?

Most of this information applies to England only.

Stage 1 is in 2 parts:

8th March

  • Schools and colleges will reopen.
  • University students can return to classes where they are unable to complete tasks remotely.
  • Secondary school pupils will require a face mask in classes where social distancing is not possible.
  • Two people from different households can meet outside for recreation, which can include “a coffee on a bench”.
  • One person can visit a loved one at their care home given they arrive in appropriate PPE and complete a lateral flow test.


Stage 1 part 2

29th March

  • Groups will be able to meet outside in two households or following the rule of six, this includes private gardens.
  • The stay-at-home rules will end; however, the government will ask the public to remain vigilant and stay in their local area.
  • Outdoor sports will re-open including football, golf, tennis, and basketball.
  • Weddings attended by up to six people can take place.


Stage 2

No earlier than 12th April:

  • All non-essential shops will be able to re-open.
  • Restaurants and pubs can re-open when serving customers outside.
  • Gyms and spas can re-open.
  • Hairdressers, barber shops, and beauty salons can re-open
  • Domestic, self-contained, self-catering holidays can be taken with members of the same household.
  • Weddings with 15 attendees can take place.



No earlier than 17th May:

  • Groups of up to 30 can meet outdoors.
  • Pubs and restaurants can serve customers inside.
  • Museums, Theatres and cinemas are to re-open
  • Hotels, hostels and B&Bs are to re-open
  • Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can start up again.


Stage 4

No earlier than 21st June

  • All legal measures on social distancing will be lifted.
  • No limit on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals, and life events.
  • Night clubs will re-open.


So, when can I go on holiday?

Please be aware that the information provided is conditional to change. The Government have made it clear they will monitor ‘the four tests’ and if these are met, the roadmap can go ahead as planned. These include the vaccine rollout going smoothly and no surge in COVID-19-related hospital admissions

In England from April 12th, you will be able to travel for leisure, and book a self-catered getaway. If you would rather a hotel stay or similar you will have to wait until 17th of May at the earliest.


If I book a trip and it’s cancelled due to COVID-19 will my insurance cover me?

Yes, if you follow the terms of your policy. If you are unable to travel due to changes to newly initiated government restrictions your policy will cover you. If you are showing signs of COVID-19 and do not feel well enough to travel, we strongly advise you not to. If you are unable to travel as you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will be covered.


We urge all customers to review our COVID-19 page thoroughly before making a booking.

Find out more


When can I travel abroad?

From May 17th given the four tests have been met. You can make a booking now and polices purchased to cover international travel will be valid after this date and as long all terms of the policy are met.


Is it wise to book a holiday now?

There is no reason not to if you are doing so after the dates set out above. But please be aware the government has not outlined its plans for quarantine on your return. This may mean you could book a holiday and must self-isolate for 10 days or stay in a quarantine hotel on your return. In both cases your travel insurance policy will not cover you for any costs incurred by enforced quarantine procedures.

Your destination of choice may also affect both your need to isolate or stay in a quarantine hotel. Currently the government has created a list of ‘red destinations’ which force the traveller into  quarantine on return.


Which countries trigger hotel quarantine?


Where do holiday providers stand?

Almost all major holiday companies will be taking bookings. “Despite questions over the return of international travel, the UK’s biggest holiday firm, Tui, said bookings for foreign trips jumped 500% overnight. The owner of UK-based holiday firms Hoseasons and said it sold a record 10,000 breaks.”

Reference the BBC (24/02/2021)


“EasyJet said flight bookings from the UK jumped 337% and package holiday bookings surged 630% compared with a week earlier, with Málaga, Alicante and Palma in Spain, Faro in Portugal and the Greek island of Crete among the top destinations. August breaks are the most popular, followed by July and September.”

Reference the Guardian (23/02/2021)


So, not surprisingly there has been a surge in bookings. Destinations like Spain and USA will have their own rules on travel, especially those that have identified a new variant, so it is imperative to check the rules for the country you plan to travel to.

We cannot stress enough the importance when booking a trip or choosing your policy that you review our COVID-19 page and your policy terms and conditions. We have made essential changes to all of our policies to include conditions relating to COVID-19, however due to the ever-changing rules around travel, ensuring you are covered adequately is essential.



Andy Cresco

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