Weekly holiday review 14th August 2020

By | Category: Travel news

The big news of the week, as if I need to tell you, is that as of 4am tomorrow, you will need to go into a 14-day quarantine on returning from Aruba, France, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Paradise Bay in Malta. The island is now on the “Don’t travel” list

It means that five of the most visited holiday destinations – France, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain are now on the “don’t fly” list all requiring a fourteen day quarantine on your return if you do ignore advice and travel there.

In other news this week, from tomorrow, the 15th of August, Egypt will require all foreign travellers to obtain a negative PCR test certificate in the preceding 72 hours prior to arrival to Egypt unless you are flying directly into the Red Sea airports, Hurghada, Marsa Allam, Sharm El-Sheikh) and Marsa Matrouh. Some people are flying into the Red Sea resorts despite the fact that the British and Irish governments have a “don’t fly” travel advisory for the whole country.

There are no scheduled commercial flight options available to return to the UK from Cuba. Flights are suspended until 15 August 2020 (inclusive).

British Airways is extending its Book with Confidence policy for customers booking flights and holidays throughout September 2020, to cover journeys up to 31 August 2021. This allows customers to change the dates and destination of their booking without incurring a fee, or to cancel their booking and receive a voucher for use at a later date.

It is now compulsory to wear a mask in shops and other enclosed public spaces in Northern Ireland.

The Cayman Islands Government has taken the decision to extend the Islands border closure for an additional 30 days, until 1st October 2020. The air bridge between the UK and the Cayman Islands remains open.   Everyone entering the Cayman Islands must be quarantined for 14 days in a Government facility and will require a negative PCR test prior to returning to their own accommodations.

If you travel to Greece, you will need to complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least 24 hours before travel. Failure to do so in advance may result in your carrier not allowing you to travel, a €500 fine on arrival or the Greek authorities not allowing you to enter the country. Every traveller, including children, must have their details included on a PLF. If you’re travelling together as a household, the Greek authorities ask for you to complete one form with all adults and children included. You can add additional members of your household at the top of the form before you submit. Be aware thought some airlines have different requirements so check both your destination’s website and that of your airline.

If you are unlucky enough to come down with the virus whilst in Greece, all costs related to transfer to alternative accommodation and treatment at state healthcare facilities will be covered by the Greek Government.

From the 15 August, if you wish to travel into Tunisia, you must take a PCR test (which detects the presence of the virus) 72 hours prior to your departure from the UK. You must show evidence of your negative test result at the airport, and ensure that you arrive in Tunisia within 120 hours of the test being carried out. Upon arrival in Tunisia you must self-isolate at your hotel or place of residence for 14 days.

From Thursday in Spain the regional government in Galicia has banned smoking in the street or in public spaces if social distancing cannot be observed. Other regions may also introduce this ban.

Face masks became mandatory in parts of Paris last Monday. It includes areas like the banks of the River Seine, Montmartre but not the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe nor the Champs-Elysees. The fine is €135. Probably the best advice is to play it safe and wear a mask outdoors. It has been a requirement since July 21st to wear face masks in all enclosed public spaces in France since July 21. Biarritz, Le Touquet, Lille, Marseille, Nice, Saint-Malo and Toulouse demand that people to wear masks in busy outdoor areas.

In measuring the number of cases registered each week in comparison to the previous week, may Just about Travel remind readers that we are using the 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 as revealed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control website. 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.

Even these figures are misleading because they are country wide and many outbreaks are regional

Destinations that are already on the UK “don’t travel” list such as Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg, are not included because who is to say when the British government might lift the advice even if there is a downturn in cases. This is the last week that figures will be provided for France, Malta, Monaco and Netherlands will be included until the “ban” is lifted.

Both the Irish and British governments are looking at destinations where the upsurge per 100,000 cases over a 14-day rolling period is greater than their own countries.

In cases where it is substantially higher, potential holidaymakers and travellers must make their own minds up as to whether their governments might impose a “don’t fly” ban and what effect that would have on them.

As a benchmark the latest 14 day figure for Ireland is 18.4 (last week, 9.9) and for the UK it is 17.3 up from 14.3.

Austria – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 19.4 up on last week’s 18.3.

Belgium – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 58.7 up from 49.2.

Croatia -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 24 up from last week’s 20.8.

Cyprus – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 23.6 up from 16.

France – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 34 up from 23.4.

Germany -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 15.3 up from 11.7.

Greece – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 18.5 up from 8.4.

Italy – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 8.4 up from 6.2.

Malta – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 84.1 up from 33.

Netherlands -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 41.6 up from 24.

Poland -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 24.9 up from 20.1.

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