Weekly holiday review 31st July 2020

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As we foretold earlier this week, each Friday for the next few weeks Just about Travel will look at some favourite holiday destinations overseas. The purpose is to see whether the number of cases of COVID-19 is increasing and thus might be liable to being placed on the UK government’s “don’t travel” list.

Medical tourism was a growing piece of total tourism business. After coronavirus it takes on a different meaning!

The measure we are using is the 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 as revealed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control website (https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/cases-2019-ncov-eueea. We could talk of the number of cases or the number of deaths but this is only useful if the total population is known as it could be very misleading. And many outbreaks are regional and thus the figure given for a country can be misleading if you were only planning n visiting one of the safer regions.

Obviously there is no point in looking at destinations that are already on the “don’t travel” list such as Spain and its islands, Portugal, Mexico or the USA because who is to say when the British government might lift the advice even if there is a downturn in cases. It would probably have to be a sharp downturn and a sustained one so it is unlikely that it would be possible to holiday in any of these during August or even early September.

Equally there are countries that won’t allow visits at the moment such as Ireland, (although people living in Northern Ireland are free to travel across the border) Cyprus, (it re-opens to Britons tomorrow, August 1st) Vietnam, Cape Verde Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Luxembourg was transferred from the “green” list earlier this week to the “don’t travel” list after there was a spike in cases over the last few weeks. The 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 in the Duchy is 243.3

Of the destinations we can currently visit, Austria, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Cyprus, Croatia, Malta and Poland are the top short-haul and between them account – in a normal year – just over 32 million British visitors.

As a comparative guide, the UK 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 12.6 and Ireland’s is 6.7%. It is very likely that both governments are looking at where the figure per hundred thousand is higher than their own.

Austria – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 19.7.

Belgium – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 35.8.

Croatia -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 25.3.

Cyprus – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 6.1. Visitors from the UK must have been tested for the virus no earlier than 72 hours before arrival.

France – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 19.

Germany -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 8.4.

Greece – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 4.3.

Italy – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 5.7.

Malta – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 28.4.

Netherlands -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 15.1.

Poland -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000is 15.7.

Foe those two countries that are large holiday destinations for the British and Irish, Spain and Portugal, the equivalent figures are 53.6 and 30.2 respectively and well ahead of the UK and Ireland’s figures.

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