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Revealed: When The Travel Industry Is Planning To Reopen For Business

It’s the question all travel-minded folk have been asking, as our lockdown thoughts continue to centre around when we’ll next be allowed to jet away on holiday.

New developments have been announced recently by a number of tourist boards, flight operators and cruise companies regarding just when we can expect them to reopen for business, and our team have been busy getting the various bits of information that you need to know together.

We’ve divided the detail up into three different sections below; destinations, airlines and cruise lines - making it super-easy for you to find the info you need.


Disclaimer: All information in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. You should always seek out the latest advice and guidelines before attempting to travel.


Destinations

We begin our look at the various destinations’ planned reopening dates by focusing on some of the more popular countries for UK tourism, before a little run through of other holiday spots across the globe.

Spain: The Spanish prime minister recently confirmed that domestic and international tourism could be set to resume from 22nd June, after previously stating that international arrivals would be welcomed back to the country from 1st July.


Portugal: As things stand, more than a third of the Algarve’s hotels are open, with plans in place to increase this during June, whilst beaches will also begin to reopen under the proviso that social distancing guidelines are adhered to.

Portugal has announced that quarantine measures on arrivals over the next few months will not be imposed as the main touristy areas ready up for the traditionally busy summer season.

Greece: Overseas tourism is set to resume from mid-June, however the country’s tourism minister has suggested they would need to see a further improvement in the UK’s COVID-19 figures before Brits would be allowed entry.

The latest announcements stated hotels can reopen from 15th June, whilst international charter flights are set to recommence from 1st July. A temporary cut in VAT on flights, buses and trains is also planned in to make travel cheaper

Turkey: Local government officials in Turkey have announced that European tourists will not be allowed to enter the country until the end of July. This is likely to coincide with a new health and hygiene certification for various facets of the tourism sector including transport providers, restaurants and hotels in order to allow them to operate as safely as possible later this summer.


France: Borders are set to reopen for non-essential travel from 15th June, however there has been some confusion about when UK citizens will be permitted to visit due to a mutual exemption in a reciprocal 14-day self-isolation plan that has recently been withdrawn.

At present, all international travellers need to complete an international travel certificate to confirm their journey is necessary and carry it with them at all times, though it is not yet known whether something similar to this will be needed once some of the restrictions have been lifted.

Italy: Internal restrictions have steadily been relaxed in the country, with a ban on international tourism, including visitors from the UK, set to be lifted in June.

There may be some restrictions in place when visiting, however bars, hotels restaurants, cafes and museums are slowing readying to welcome back tourists.

Cyprus: Cyprus initially plans to reopen for tourists from nearby countries, which have seen lower cases of COVID-19. Some airports are open, whilst tourism from 20 countries is being considered during summer 2020.


Egypt: Certain Egyptian hotels reopened at 25% capacity in May, and this is set to be doubled during June. In a move that is thought to attempt to lure tourists back to the country, visa fees at some airports have been reduced whilst entry for museums and other historical sites are also due to be halved.

Key Dates For Other International Destinations

Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s prime coastal resort, Sunny Beach, hopes to be able to welcome UK holidaymakers from early July.

Florida Keys: The phased reopening has begun.

Maderia: A date of 1st July has been penciled in for its reopening, whilst the Portuguese island will also provide free COVID-19 tests to visitors on arrival.

Thailand: Domestic tourism was allowed to recommence from early June, with international tourism expected to follow at some point after.

Saint Lucia: The phased reopening of the island’s tourism sector began from 4th June.

Austria: Plans announced to reopen borders with neighbouring nations from 15th June.

Aruba: Expected to reopen borders at some point between 15th June and 1st July.

Germany: Likely to lift travel ban for 31 European countries from mid-June.

Iceland: Due to open to tourists from 15th June.

Dominican Republic: Hotels and beaches suggested to reopen on 1st July.

Poland: Borders expected to reopen for tourism by late June.

Bali: Plans in place to open up by July.

Bahamas: Open to travellers on 1st July.

Switzerland: All EU travel set to recommence by 6th July.

Sri Lanka: Hotels and airports to reopen to tourists by 1st August.

Airlines

With icelolly.com, you’re able to compare package holidays from a number of the UK’s leading travel providers, often including flights from a variety of different airlines. Here, we take a look at just some of the companies you’ll be able to fly with this summer, and from when.

Jet2.com & Jet2holidays: Plans have recently been announced by Jet2.com & Jet2holidays to recommence their flights and holidays programme from 15th July. Destinations on offer to UK travellers will vary depending on which airport they would like to fly from, though some of the holiday spots on offer include places in Spain, Turkey, Greece, Portugal, France, Cyprus, Italy and Croatia.


Ryanair: Ryanair have announced plans to resume flights from 1st July, with 1,000 daily flights available, which is roughly 40% of their usual programme. This encompasses both beach and city trips to destinations including France, Ireland, Germany, Norway, Italy, Poland, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Malta, Greece, Morocco, the Netherlands and Latvia.

easyJet: It was revealed recently that flights will resume from 15th June, though would initially be limited to UK routes and journeys to France, with others set to be available in the coming weeks.

TUI: An expected date of mid-July has been discussed to resume TUI’s European flights programme.


British Airways: Whilst not confirmed yet, it is thought that British Airways flights could resume by July.

Etihad Airways: A meaningful return of mid-July has been put forward by the company’s CEO.

Cruise Lines

Cruise holidays were one of the first to be impacted most by COVID-19, though the positive news now is that the industry is preparing to welcome customers onboard again soon. For customers with bookings impacted by the travel restrictions, many companies have released details of Future Cruise Credit (FFC), some up to 150%, which essentially means you’ll get 50% extra to spend on top of what you originally paid to choose a different holiday, as long as it is with the same cruise operator.

We’ve rounded up the latest from some of the popularist lines below.

Royal Caribbean International: All sailings are currently suspended until the end of July, with the first departure set to head for the seas from 1st August. RCCL have also announced that customers impacted by the enforced cancellations can take advantage of 125% FFC to sail with them again by 30th April 2022, provided the rebooking is made by December 2021.


Carnival Cruise Line: A soft relaunch of sailings has been communicated, with eight ships initially set to return to the seas from 1st August, whilst the majority of the remaining fleet with start up again from September onwards.

Those with cancelled Carnival cruises of five days or less are eligible for 100% FFC and $300 onboard credit per stateroom, whilst passengers who had booked for six days or more would also qualify 100% FFC plus $600 onboard credit. Alternatively, customers can apply for a full refund.

P&O Cruises: Sailings until 31st July have been cancelled, with a resumption date of 1st August put in place, whilst a phased return to action has been suggested. All guests with holidays booked up to 31st July will automatically benefit from the 125% FFC scheme, providing a booking is made by the end of 2021.

Customers also have until 30th November to request a refund, though would forfeit the FFC allowance.

Norwegian Cruise Line: Another to announce sailings will recommence from 1st August, Norwegian are offering customers who had embarkation dates between 13th-17th March 2020 150% FFC, whilst those who had made bookings for between 18th March and 31st July 2020 are entitled to 125% to spend on any voyage through to 31st December 2022.

Refunds are also available, though must be submitted no later than 26th June 2020.


Princess Cruises: One of the first cruise lines to announce the voluntary suspension of operations back in March, a slightly earlier resumption date of 1st July has been communicated, though each ship will have its own unique return to service date.

FFC of 125% is available for customers with cancelled sailings, as long as it is used on a booking that departs on or before 1st May 2022.

Celebrity Cruises: In line with what has been announced by parent company Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises also expect to resume sailings from 1st August. Similarly, a 125% FFC is available for guests impacted by the cancellations, providing it is used by 31st December 2021.

Disney Cruise Line: A slightly earlier resumption date of 27th July has been announced, whilst FFC is available for customers with cancelled sailings to use on a future holiday within 15 months of their original sail date, or alternatively there is the option to apply for a full refund.


Fred Olsen Cruise Lines: At present, no official return date has been confirmed by Fred Olsen, and those with cancelled holidays will receive contact from the company regarding their rebooking or refund options.

Marella Cruises: The TUI operated cruise line has cancelled all holidays on or before 30th July, whilst some 2021 sailings are also impacted including Marella Celebration, Marella Discovery, Marella Dream and Marella Explorer routes. Certain ships will resume operation from 31st July, with refund credit or a cash refund available for all customers impacted by said cancellations.

MSC Cruises: It has been announced that sailings will resume from 11th July, and all cancelled bookings between 14th-17th will be eligible for 125% FFC.

Viking Cruises: The first cruise line to announce a temporary suspension of its sailings in mid-March, ocean and river cruises are set to sail again from 1st September. Once more, 125% FFC is available for customers with cancelled holidays and valid for a period of 24 months.

Virgin Voyages: The new cruise line is in its infancy, and so operations haven’t been impacted as much as other companies. Scarlet Lady is currently Virgin Voyages’ only ship, and the inaugural sailing season is set to start from 16th October.

All passengers impacted by the cancellations will be auto-credited double the amount they paid towards their next voyage and, better yet, if you book before 30th June, you’ll get the added incentive of up to $500 to spend onboard. Additionally, payment dates for bookings through to 16th December have been pushed back from 120 days before departure to 60 days.


Disclaimer: All information in this blog is correct at the time of publishing. You should always seek out the latest advice and guidelines before attempting to travel.