Holidaymakers waiting to book trips abroad will finally have answers today as the Government prepares to announce the countries on its ‘green list’ at 5pm, but they will also want to make sure they are financially covered if things changed.
Whilst it is thought only a handful of foreign destinations will be on the low risk list, including Malta, Portugal and the Greek Islands, experts believe there is likely to be a surge in bookings thanks to pent-up demand.
Prices to popular resorts have already doubled in price, according to the Mail Online, with British Airways charging £530 for a flight from Heathrow to the Algarve, Portugal on May 17, compared to £234 for passengers flying the same route two days earlier.
But those looking to book up a holiday should not just look out for bargain prices, but consider how to financially protect themselves if trips cannot go ahead. We highlight some top deals below AND highlight how to make sure you are properly covered in case something goes wrong.
Malta is thought to be one of the places on the Green List where travellers can visit from May 17
Britons will be allowed to travel to the locations featured on the green list without quarantining before or after their trip.
They will also not have to be vaccinated but on their return from these countries will still be required to take two tests, one within three days of flying back to the UK and another within 48 hours of arrival.
The news is likely to cause a surge in bookings, experts predict. This in turn may see prices spiral, particualrly as while there is no shortage of accommodation in resorts, flights are in short supply due to schedules being slashed by airlines.
Emma Coulthurst, of TravelSupermarket, said: ‘There are some really good prices at the moment if people decide to go ahead and book now.
‘However, once the green list is announced, there will be an anticipated increase in demand for those destinations on the list and prices are likely to go up as demand goes up.’
For those looking to grab a bargain, This is Money, with the help of TravelSupermarket, have put together a list of the best value package holidays available in destinations thought to be included on the green list.
We also reveal what you need to research before booking and what you need to look out for when buying travel insurance.
Protect your finances: What you need to look out for before booking
There are still a number of things travellers need to look out for before booking their trip away.
1. Check if a country is on the green list as this will determine whether you can travel without quarantining.
2. Look at FCO advice to check that you can travel to the country which you want to go to for non-essential travel ie. a holiday.
3. Check that the country wants you to come and will let you in. Australia and New Zealand for example may be on the green list but you may not be welcome or allowed to travel there.
4. Book a package holiday due to its better consumer protections (Package Holiday Regulations and ATOL).
5. Before booking, check the holiday providers’ terms and conditions for changing the holiday and that you are comfortable with them.
The best holiday providers will cancel a holiday if it moves from the green to amber or red status and then you will get your money back if it is a package which you’ve booked.
If the holiday goes to amber and still goes ahead, the best providers will allow you to have a credit voucher so you can use it for a different date.
6. Get insurance: Having travel insurance has never been more important and choosing the right policy is imperative.
Previous research from Defaqto showed just one per cent of policies will cover you for cancellation of a trip if there is another lockdown.
While most products now include cover for Covid-19, there are big differences between what each policy covers so travellers must read through terms and conditions carefully before purchase.
However, the data revealed 96 per cent of products will cover medical expenses should travellers catch coronavirus while on holiday. This is important as there is no free NHS outside the UK.
A spokesperson for the Association of British Insurers said: ‘When the restrictions on overseas travel are eased, it will be important for travellers to take out travel insurance, primarily to cover potentially very expensive overseas emergency medical treatment bills.
‘Travellers should always be aware of and follow government advice. If you travel against FCDO advice, then your travel policy will likely be invalidated.
‘Make sure to read your policy so you are aware of the scope of cover, as policies bought after the pandemic was declared are unlikely to cover cancellation as a result of Coronavirus as it is a known risk.’
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Where: Oasis Lanz Beach Mate, Costa Teguise, 3 star room only for two adults for 7 nights
When: Depart Heathrow on 15 June
What to do: Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands off West Africa known for its warm weather, multiples beaches and volcanic landscape.
One of the main places to visit is the Timanfaya National Park which is made up entirely of volcanic soil.
Corfu, Greek Islands
Where: Pegasus Hotel, Roda, 3 star B&B for two adults for 7 nights
When: Depart Manchester on 29 June
What to do: Corfu is one of the most popular tourist destinations due to its hot weather and wonderful beaches.
There is also a lot of history to explore with Greek ruins scattered across the island.
Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is known for its sunny beaches and is available from £291pp
Where: Solana Hotel & Spa, Mellieha, 3 star B&B for two adults for 7 nights
When: Depart Birmingham on 8 June
What to do: Malta was named the European Capital of Culture in 2018 and has long been a popular destination for families to visit.
Families can go snorkelling or scuba diving around the island or alternatively visit some of the historical areas of interest, including Grandmaster’s Palace and Ħaġar Qim, one of the most ancient religious sites on earth.
Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Where: Caybeach Caleta Hotel, Costa Caleta, Fuerteventura, 3 star self-catering or B&B for two adults and two children for 7 nights
When: Depart Luton on 3 August
Price: £267pp self-catering or from £295pp B&B
What to do: Lonely Planet has previously said the island has the best in the Canaries.
You can choose between 150km of beach to explore, from sheltered bays for the kids to splash in to wild waters for windsurfing or crowd-free sands to stroll along.
Like its other island siblings, Fuerteventura is blessed with sunshine across the year. Corralejo and Jandia are among the most popular resorts on the island.
Kos is one of the Greek islands that is thought to be on the Green List coming out later today
Crete, Greek Islands
Where: Newcastle Studios, Malia, 3 star self-catering for two adults for 7 nights
When: Depart East Midlands or Birmingham on 29 June
What to do: Greece’s largest island is home to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum which houses Minoan artifacts, and Knossos, a Bronze Age settlement.
It also has a number of mountains, including Mount Ida which holds the Ideon Cave – the birthplace of Zeus, according to Greek mythology.
Where: Natura Algarve Club, Praia da Oura, 3 star self-catering for two adults and two children for 7 nights
When: Depart Birmingham or East Midlands on 17 August
What to do: Holiday goers flock to the Portugese coast for sun, sea and sand with a number of cave formations to explore, boat tours along the coast for visitors as well as many pretty beaches.
Kos, Greek Islands
Where: Bouradanis Village Hotel, Marmari, 3 star half board for two adults and two children for 7 nights
When: Depart Gatwick on 3 August
What to do: Kos is known for its many sandy beaches and Greek and Roman landmarks, particularly in and around Kos Town.
Holiday goers flock to the Algarve for sun, sea and sand with a number of cave formations
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