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Coronavirus & Holidays: Will holiday prices go up and other questions

Coronavirus & Holidays: Will holiday prices go up and other questions

Last year, many of us were concerned about booking a holiday due to Brexit. This year, we don't know whether we'll be able to go on holiday due to Coronavirus.

Politics can impact us in many different ways, and it seems that it can also have quite a significant impact on our holiday plans.

With the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns it has led to wreaking havoc to people's travel plans, we took a look at how restrictions set by governments could impact holiday plans both this year and in years to come.

 

Will holiday prices go up after lockdown?

This is a question which many have been typing into their search engines recently and is one that those looking for a break on a budget will be particularly keen to find an answer to.

If you've ever booked or even looked for a holiday before, you'll know that holiday prices can fluctuate quite significantly. If you're searching for a holiday, it's not uncommon for the price to change from day to day, and what might cost you one price, may also cost the person sitting next to you a different price. Many travel companies use a dynamic pricing model, whereby their prices change based on market demands.

Some holiday prices for next year and later this year have been reduced, due to low demand on some routes as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Some reports have suggested that package holiday prices for some destinations have been slashed by 40-60%.

The way in which holiday prices are set makes it difficult to say precisely how prices may change after lockdown. There have been some reports of people seeing holidays advertised at significantly higher rates for later this year and next year than holidays in recent times. As airlines try to improve their cashflow and financial stability, it would seem likely that prices may skyrocket at some point, even if not in the immediate future

 

How have lockdown restrictions impacted airlines?

The lockdown restrictions implemented because of the Coronavirus have hit most airlines hard, with most airlines having near to their whole fleet grounded during  the approach to the summer season.

Aviation has long been a difficult industry to operate in - Flybe, Thomas Cook and Monarch Airlines have all collapsed in the last three years and the Coronavirus pandemic could threaten the future of others in the industry.

Regional airline Flybe collapsed into administration on 5 March this year. The previous day it was reported that the airline was struggling due to a general drop in demand for air travel amid the outbreak of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Other airlines have faced financial struggles during the pandemic with many countries shutting their borders due to the pandemic. Most airlines in the UK have furloughed their staff and some including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have announced job cuts.

 

Will I be able to holiday in the UK as a 'staycation' this year?

Holiday resorts and hotels in the UK are currently closed to the public, as are restaurants and other parts of the hospitality sector. However, under the government's plans, much of the hospitality industry in England could be able to reopen from 4 July (provided the government are satisfied that it is safe to do so).

Public spaces in England are generally open to the public as it stands and golf courses have recently started to reopen. It is hoped that beauty spots that aren't open yet will be able to open in the coming weeks and months. The UK has been treated to long spells of sunshine during the lockdown, so if it continues, you might still be able to get a tan this summer but on a beach closer to home.

The devolved nations of the United Kingdom have different guidelines and rules in place to help them respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. For example, tourists from England are not currently allowed to visit Wales. This may change before the peak summer season, but it is something to bear in mind if planning a holiday within the UK.

 

What are the current restrictions on flying?

A number of countries currently have their borders shut due to the Coronavirus. Others are allowing arrivals, but arrivals will have to be tested for COVID-19 and then self-isolate. For many, flying right now or in the immediate future is impractical - for example, someone may fly abroad for a 14-day break but have to self-isolate for the first 7 days and then self-isolate again on arrival back into the UK.

The UK has been imposing quarantine measures on arrivals into the UK since 8 June. Anyone arriving will have self-isolate for 14 days or face potential fines. The measures, which have been heavily criticised by airlines, are to be reviewed every three weeks. It is unknown how long the measures may be in place, but it is thought that a system known as 'air bridges' may be implemented in the not too distant future. Under such a system, arrivals from countries with a low COVID-19 infection rate may not have to self-isolate.

The official advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office remains that British nationals should avoid all but essential international travel. You can read the latest foreign travel advice at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/

For flights that are currently operating, strict social distancing measures are in place at most airports, and many airlines are requiring passengers to wear face masks/coverings while in the cabin of aircraft. Some airlines are encouraging passengers not to bring hand luggage into the cabin but to instead check it into the hold. If you do need to fly, it is advised that you check with your airline for the current restrictions and requirements before you travel.

 

So, will I be able to go on holiday this year?

The simple answer is that we don't really know. Many suggestions are being floated as to when a significant number of flights may resume, but it is currently uncertain as to whether large numbers of people will be able to travel overseas for the summer holiday season. Some countries have indicated that they will start allowing arrivals from certain countries, though this may be subject to change depending on progress in reducing the spread of the Coronavirus.

If holidays do take place this year, they will likely look rather different. Restrictions will vary by location and may change over time, but social distancing and the challenges it can bring may still be in effect for months (if not even longer) to come.

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