Coronavirus has swept across the globe, forcing whole nations into lockdown and creating a new way of life that we have had to quickly learn to adjust to. For months, many of us were confined to our homes, businesses closed their doors to the public and any travel arrangements came to a screaming halt. With countries not wanting to open their borders to holiday makers and many travel bans in place, people were forced to cancel or re-arrange their holidays.
But as things begin to reopen and we learn to live with our ‘new normal’, people understandably want to escape their homes and get away on a little break. The problem is, Coronavirus is still very much a global pandemic, meaning that even travelling and holidaying in your own country is a little different to usual.
Below, we’ll take a look at what you can expect if you’re planning a holiday this year. Whether you’re travelling abroad or you’ve booked yourself a staycation, this is what it’s like to go on holiday right now.
Some places have mandatory quarantine periods
If you’re going abroad, some countries have mandatory quarantines in place which means you’ll have to prove you have somewhere to stay and isolate for a minimum of seven days upon your arrival. This can very adversely affect your travel plans of course, so always check whether you’ll be required to quarantine before booking a getaway.
You will be asked to wear a mask
In the UK, it is now mandatory to wear a mask in shops and on public transport, it is also recommended that you do so in busy public spaces. The rules are fairly similar across many other countries but you must always be prepared to pop on a mask if you’re asked. You can expect to see many other holiday makers and locals doing the same.
What’s more, if you’re planning on flying anywhere you will be required to wear a mask throughout the duration of your flight (providing you don’t suffer with breathing difficulties). This is to protect you, the airline staff and everyone else on the plane.
Places are a lot quieter than normal
One of the main differences you might notice, particularly if you’re travelling abroad, is that some of the cities, towns and beaches that are usually bustling with tourists, may appear a lot quieter. This is because many vulnerable people are still shielding and others are still wary about spending too much time in public spaces. It’s also because businesses, including hotels, are limiting their capacity, meaning less people are booked to stay in any one area. So if you’re used to the bustling streets of your favourite destination, prepare for something a little bit tamer this time around.
You need to check your health insurance
If you already have health insurance, you may need to check that it will cover you if you do become sick, particularly in places where Coronavirus is rife. If you need to get insurance, you might find that the prices are much higher than usual because of the increased risk of contracting the virus.
You may be tested
Many nations are running tests on flyers before and even after they board the plane to check their temperature for symptoms of Coronavirus. In some cases, you must provide two negative tests at least 48 apart if you hope to skip the quarantine period when you arrive. It might seem like a more stressful experience than your usual holidays, but remember, it’s vital to stop the spread of the virus and therefore you must follow the rules and do what is asked of you by airport and airline staff.
You won’t be able to do everything you want to do
Just because you’re being allowed to travel more freely than the first part of the year, this doesn’t mean everything is back to normal. Remember, with reduced capacity and many businesses still closed, you might not be able to do everything you want when you’re on holiday. From walking into your favourite restaurant and being given a table, to taking part in water sports and other activities, the rules have changed and it pays to get clued up on the regulations so you aren’t too disappointed.
If you do want to go out or take part in activities while you’re away, you may need to book ahead of time, something you might not have had to do in the past. While this shouldn’t affect your trip too much, just be aware that things are different right now and we aren’t in the clear, so social distancing and reduced capacity could have an impact.
Technology will be your best friend
In a bid to reduce the amount of human interaction most airports, hotels, bars and restaurants are relying heavily on contactless technology to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Because of this, you may be asked to check-in to your hotel online before you arrive and in many places you may be asked to download an app or scan a QR code in order to access menus, useful information and to order food/make bookings.
If you’re not a whizz with your smartphone, it’s a good idea to get practising because technology will likely play a key role in your holiday experience.
You run the risk of a localised lockdown
Last but not least, if you go on holiday right now you may have to prepare yourself for a localised lockdown. If this is a risk you can’t take then it might be better to delay your holiday until next year. Throughout the pandemic, people have found themselves locked down in hotels, accommodation and campsites across the globe – and this is still happening.
If anyone in your particular hotel, flight or even local area tests positive, there is the potential that a lockdown could be imposed for at least two weeks to help stop the spread. So you need to be prepared for this eventuality.