Weekly holiday review 21st August 2020

By | Category: Travel news

Yesterday when the announcement was made about which countries necessitate self-isolation for fourteen days there was some good, some bad and some, frankly, bizarre news.

Praia da Falésia in Portugal’s Algarve is open again as is Maderia and the Azores and all parts of Portugal.

The good is that UK tourists will no longer need to quarantine after holidaying in Portugal. Almost immediately the Portuguese put out a press release welcoming this. With many other popular destinations “closed” Portugal could easily have an extended holiday season as holidaymakers realise that Portugal can be an autumn and winter sun destination.

The bad is that travellers returning from Austria, Croatia and Trinidad & Tobago will need to. The rules come in to force at 4am on Saturday morning (tomorrow)

The bizarre is that, in addition,  – and for Scottish residents only – the Scottish government has imposed 14 day quarantine restrictions on any of its residents returning from Switzerland. This does not apply to those living in England, Northern Ireland or Wales.

I say “bizarre” because how does the Scottish government expect to enforce this. By stopping people driving to or from English airports that have direct flights? Could it be that they cannot enforce this but are hoping people will heed their advice? And will a £540 fine – the lowest level of fines amongst countries in the UK – have any effect?

Readers should be reminded that many regional flights from the UK hub in Amsterdam or Paris. If you do this you will still need to go into 14 day quarantine because both France and the Netherlands are on the “don’t fly” list. This does apply to transit passengers.

In other news, mask enforcement in some French cities is being more assiduously monitored, You will be fined for not following local rules. Face masks are mandatory in all public indoor places across France as well as on public transport but, locally, town halls can order it to mandatory in outside places as well.

In Italy, authorities have shut down all dance venues and to make masks mandatory everywhere from 18:00 to 06:00. There is a similar instruction in Spain

No-one can now enter Tunisia without having had a test showing negativity to the virus. More and more it is becoming the norm for destinations to demand a negative test in order to allow entry. Generally countries want the test performed no earlier than five days before arrival (such as the Bahamas) and some want it within the last 48 hours such as Costa Rica.  

In Malta, rules have been tightened. From 19 August bars may only open if they are serving food and will not be allowed to serve alcoholic drinks on their own. Discos and nightclubs will be closed. Boat parties will not be allowed. Groups, in public places, are limited to 15 people. Masks are mandatory in all enclosed public spaces.

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

From this week, Just about Travel will include countries on the “don’t fly” listss so readers can see the scale of infections. We still only list the most popular holiday destinations in Europe.

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 26.6 (last week, and for the UK it is 21.2 up from 14.3. Portugal – which is now on the green list- is 28.5 so any destination higher than that figure might be on the watch list of the two governments.

Austria – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 33 down on last week’s 18.3.

Belgium – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 54.5 up from 49.2.

Croatia -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 47.2 down from last week’s 20.8.

Cyprus – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 21.3 up from 16.

Denmark – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 31.1

Estonia – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 7.8

Czech Republic (Czechia) – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 31

Finland – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 5.6

France – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 51 up from 23.4.

Germany -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 16.5 up from 11.7.

Greece – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 26.2 up from 18.5.

Italy – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 11.5 up from 6.2.

Latvia – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 2.7 (the lowest in Europe)

Lithuania – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 12.8

Malta – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 114.3 up from 33.

Netherlands -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 46.3 up from 24.

Norway – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 14.1

Poland -14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 26 up from 20.1.

Portugal – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 28.5

Slovakia – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 11.4

Slovenia – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 15

Spain – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 145

Sweden – 14-day cumulative number of COVID-19 cases per 100 000 is 37.6

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