Where are the best value holidays while staying safe from coronavirus?


After more than three months in lockdown, many Britons are desperate to escape their neighbourhoods and jet off on holiday.

And the government’s shift from a two-week quarantine for those arriving in the UK to a ‘traffic light’ system showing the safest destinations will make it much easier.

The new process, earmarked for July 6, will see countries rated green, amber or red based on Covid infections, the trust in official data and their test and trace systems.

But with the bug still prevalent across the world and some nations already seeing second waves, questions are being asked over which countries are safe to visit.

Here, MailOnline looks at the how each country is coping with the crisis, what tourists can do when they get there and how much a trip could cost.

Countries across the world are highlighted in green, amber or red based on the infection levels, the reliability of official data and confidence in test and trace systems

Spain

Is coronavirus under control?

Spain has started to reopen to tourists after being one of the worst affected countries from the bug.

The country had Europe’s toughest lockdown, with children shut inside for weeks and the military on the streets to enforce it.

It took two months for the country to get its deaths back to the usual rate – on May 10 – but the country seems to be edging back to normality.

Spain has started to reopen to tourists after being one of the worst affected countries from the bug. Pictured: Benidorm

Spain has started to reopen to tourists after being one of the worst affected countries from the bug. Pictured: Benidorm

But more than 28,000 deaths have officially been reported there, with a much higher-than-average fatality rate of six per 10,000 people.

The popular holiday destination of Catalonia, which is where Barcelona is, has been one of the worse affected areas.

And this week the equally admired Costa Del Sol, where Puerto Banus and Marbella are, has suffered another outbreak of coronavirus.

Some 83 people tested positive just four days after the first British holiday makers were allowed to return.

The spike in cases is believed to have stemmed from a staff member in Malaga’s Red Cross centre, who had recently returned from the Canary Islands.

Some 79 of the 83 positive tests came from young migrants who the centre had rescued from the region’s seas – the remaining four cases were infected staff.

Are tourist activities open?

Spain officially reopened for tourism within Europe on June 21, followed by international visitors from July 1.

But when they arrive, their experience may be different what they are used to, with the country now between Phase Two and Phase Three of its lockdown lifting.

Hotels are only allowed to operate at half their usual capacity, while restaurants and cafes also have limited seating.

 

Cultural activities, which many visit the country specifically for, are only allowed with less than 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

This includes bullfights, where one person is allowed per 9m sq, and tours are only allowed a maximum of 30 people. 

Spain’s parks, such as the stunning Park Guell in Barcelona, are restricted to a tiny 20 per cent of normal capacity.

Even on the beach tourists must stay vigilant, with social distancing being enforced nationwide.

How much will it cost?

Depending on what sort of holiday Britons want to go on, the price fluctuates wildly for Spain.

For those after a cheap deal, a one way ticket to Alicante is as little as £58 with a change at Vienna. 

But for a full package holiday, a return trip to the nearby Benidorm, which would usually be packed to the rafters with young Brits this time of year, can set you back around £421.

Crowds cram on to the beach during warm weather in Barcelona, Spain, on June 13

Crowds cram on to the beach during warm weather in Barcelona, Spain, on June 13

A fortnight at the Jardin del Sol Apartments on Gran Canaria from £640pp departing from Gatwick on August 8.

A fortnight for a family of four from £2,436 at Cristina Villas in Cala Millor on Majorca departing from Manchester on August 16.

A fortnight for a family of four from £2,156 at Villa La Canada, a self-catering property with a pool near Frigiliana in Andalucia with Gatwick flights on August 29.

Greece 

Is coronavirus under control?

Greece has so far reported 3,321 cases of coronavirus, including 191 deaths, a much lower number than in most western European countries.

Comparatively Britain has so far confirmed more than 300,000 cases, including more than 43,000 deaths.

Greece has so far reported 3,321 cases of coronavirus, including 191 deaths, a much lower number than in most western European countries. Pictured: Athens

Greece has so far reported 3,321 cases of coronavirus, including 191 deaths, a much lower number than in most western European countries. Pictured: Athens

But earlier this month Greece was forced to suspend all flights from Qatar after 12 passengers tested positive for coronavirus.

Qatar Airways claimed the passengers who tested positive after landing in Athens were healthy when they left Doha five hours earlier.

A dozen of the plane’s 91 passengers tested positive for the deadly virus – which has officially killed 45 people in Qatar.

Are tourist activities open? 

Greece hopes to be able to set up an ‘air bridge’ with Britain that would allow UK tourists to visit from mid-July.

Britons are among the biggest national groups visiting Greece every year but flights from the UK, which has seen a high rate of Covid infections, are currently barred from Greek airports until at least June 30.

Airlines and Britons wanting to take foreign holidays are stepping up pressure on the UK government to form air bridges, where two countries agree to allow travel between them without quarantine measures.

Greece reopened its main airports in Athens and Thessaloniki to more international flights on June 15 and hopes to reopen all others on July 1, hoping to kick-start its vital tourism sector after three months in lockdown.

Since early May Greece has been relaxing its lockdown rules with shops, archaeological sites, restaurants, cafes, bars, leisure parks, and spas opening

Since early May Greece has been relaxing its lockdown rules with shops, archaeological sites, restaurants, cafes, bars, leisure parks, and spas opening

But it has said additional restrictions on non-essential travel from third countries may apply from July 1.

The country has launched a ‘enjoy yourself, stay safe’ campaign ahead of the return of tourists, to protect both them and Greek nationals.

Since early May it has been relaxing its lockdown rules with shops, archaeological sites, restaurants, cafes, bars, leisure parks, and spas opening. 

Hotels have been allowed to reopen for the last two weeks and ferries have been allowed to dock.

From July 1, cultural events will be allowed. Ferries have been running for more than a month. Face masks must be worn on public transport, in taxis and in some shops.

But there will be drastic changes for visitors to the islands, with businesses such as Corfu Cruises remaining shut due to low numbers.

Nicole Pandis from the family business told the Telegraph: ‘It’s a big change not working in the summer and we’re all worried about winter but we really don’t know if we can afford the costs of operating for just a few people to come on a tour.

‘Then if just a few people come, is it really worth the risk of opening to them at all?’

Tourism employs about 700,000 people and accounts for some 20 per cent of Greece’s economic output.

How the sector fares is significant for the country’s recovery. Greece emerged from a decade-long debt crisis two years ago.

How much will it cost?

Athens has some cheap deals for British holidaymakers this summer, with a one-way trip via a stop over starting at just £76.

And a package holiday to the historic capital city come in as cheap as £178.

A seven-night all-inclusive stay at Crete Maris Beach Resort from £3,332 for a family of four with Gatwick flights on August 7.

A fortnight-long three-star, self-catering break in Aghios Georgios in Corfu from £438pp with Luton flights on August 1.

A fortnight at upmarket Villa Penelope I, sleeping four, with a pool, from £4,691 on August 16.

Italy

Is coronavirus under control?

Italy has been battered by the coronavirus crisis, with huge numbers of deaths and infections.

But it appears to be at a turning point, and has eased restrictions on its population and tourists.

The country registered 30 more deaths of people with coronavirus infections on Friday, with 16 of them in Lombardy, the northern region that continues to still have by far the highest daily tally of new confirmed cases.

Italy has been battered by the coronavirus crisis, with huge numbers of deaths and infections. Pictured: Rome

Italy has been battered by the coronavirus crisis, with huge numbers of deaths and infections. Pictured: Rome

According to Health Ministry data, the nation confirmed 259 new cases since Thursday, raising to 239,961 the number of known coronavirus infections since Italy’s outbreak began in late February.

Meanwhile 28 migrants rescued from the Mediterranean Sea tested positive for coronavirus, Sicily’s governor said on Wednesday.

The positive tests represent the largest cluster yet among newly arrived migrants.

The migrants were being held on a ship off the Sicilian town of Porto Empedocle where some would-be asylum seekers are taken to undergo quarantine after being rescued at sea.

Deaths in Italy now total 34,708. Authorities say the number of overall cases and deaths is certainly higher, since many without serious symptoms didn’t get tested, and many died in nursing homes without being tested.

Are tourist activities open?

Italy reopened its borders to tourists from Europe at the start of the month, three months after they were shut as the country went into coronavirus lockdown.

Travellers from most other European countries are allowed in with no quarantine and people are allowed to move freely between regions.

Once in Italy, visitors face restrictions imposed on all Italians which include observing social distance, wearing a mask in public, and a ban on large gatherings.

Hotels, bars, restaurants, museums, campsites and even mountain huts have reopened.

Italy reopened its borders to tourists from Europe at the start of the month, three months after they were shut as the country went into coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: eople gather around a typical horse-drawn carriage decorated with flowers at Piazza di Spagna in Rome

Italy reopened its borders to tourists from Europe at the start of the month, three months after they were shut as the country went into coronavirus lockdown. Pictured: eople gather around a typical horse-drawn carriage decorated with flowers at Piazza di Spagna in Rome

Face masks must be worn in indoor public places, and in outdoor places where one-metre social distancing is impossible.

In Lombardy it is still mandatory to wear masks outdoors. Social distancing on beaches is 1.5 metres. Temperature checks may be requested.

Italy, like many other European countries, is desperately trying to revive its tourism industry in time for the lucrative summer season.

Some areas are offering discounted air fares and extra nights in hotels to try to make up for lost earnings over the past few months.

For visitors things are steadily starting to return to normal. The Piazza San Marco in Venice has people wandering around admiring the architecture, and the Doge’s Palace saw 1,000 tickets sold on its reopening day two weeks ago.

Similarly gondolas are once again meandering their way through the canal system and cafes and shops have reopened for business.

The tourism industry makes up 15 per cent of the workforce and 13 per cent of GDP, so is of high value to the economy.

How much will it cost?

A quick trip to the Lombardy city of Milan would set one person back as little as £30, while a package holiday in Rome would be about £399.

A fortnight at the four-star Grand Hotel Francia e Quirinale in Tuscany is from £952pp.

A week at TUI BLUE Nastro Azzurro in Piano di Sorrento is from £1,076pp all-inclusive on August 24.

Barbados 

Is coronavirus under control? 

The popular holiday island of Barbados in the Caribbean has been well sheltered from the coronavirus.

There have been just seven deaths attributed to the killer bug, with 97 infections and 90 people having recovered.

The popular holiday island of Barbados in the Caribbean has been well sheltered from the coronavirus

The popular holiday island of Barbados in the Caribbean has been well sheltered from the coronavirus

Daily cases spiked at 11 on April 1, but have plummeted to just one as of June 15.

It would be a reasonably safe destination for Britons to jet to and is labelled as green on the government’s new travel traffic light system.

The country had a curfew in place from 8am to 5pm which was lifted on May 31, with the authorities also limiting beach hours from 6am to 9am and 4pm to 6.30pm from May 18.

Are tourist activities open?

The island is expecting visitors mainly from next month, and ahead of their arrival the minister for tourism has pledged to upgrade a number of sites.

St Lawrence Gap, Oistins, Holetown, Bridgetown and Baxter’s Road are all going to get a makeover, Kerrie Symmonds said yesterday.

He told Barbados Today: ‘We need to recognize that as we reenter the global business of tourism we have to do so in a way in which we are selling Barbados to not only Barbadians but to the rest of the world as being an area which is considerably more upbeat and lively.

‘St Lawrence Gap is one such example and so as recently as yesterday Cabinet would have approved a paper which allows us now to focus on the refurbishment in many ways of St Lawrence Gap, the improvement of the product in the Gap and dealing with some of the issues relating to cleanliness, safety, that we’ve kicked down the road for a long time and never properly confronted.’

Prime Minister Mia Mottley added that she will be launching a new tourism brand for the island to attract even more visitors.

How much will it cost?

A one-way ticket to Barbados, which many Brits may dream of, will set you back around £234, while a package holiday costs from £674.

France

Is coronavirus under control?

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