Holidays are allowed again from today – but only some are on the green list, which indicates you can travel there without having to quarantine when you return.
Of course, the rules in the country you are visiting vary – so even though the UK allows travel there, you might still have to quarantine on arrival or face closed borders.
Portugal is a popular destination as all you need is proof of a negative PCR test. Other possibilities for a trip include Iceland and Gibraltar.
Sadly despite Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Faroe Islands and the Falkland Islands all being on the list, they aren’t currently allowing UK visitors.
There are also some lesser-known destinations including Ascension Island and St Helena, which you might want to read up on.
We’ve put together some of the information you need if you’re thinking about a trip.
Portugal & Islands
Holiday factor: The Algarve is famed for its beaches, while the Alentejo has wilder scenery. Hip Lisbon and slower-paced Porto make for beautiful city breaks, while the Douro River delights wine buffs.
As for the islands, Madeira offers great walking, while the volcanic, far-flung Azores archipelago excels in whale-watching. Across them all, internal restrictions have mostly eased.
Get in: Mainland Portugal and the Azores are due to join Madeira in welcoming Brits from today. Proof of a negative PCR test 72 hours before departure will be needed for quarantine-free travel.
How to do it: From £720pp including flights, car hire, eight nights’ B&B at two quieter Algarve hotels and four PCR tests, via sunvil.co.uk
Holiday factor: Gobsmacking geography is Iceland’s big draw -gushing geysers and waterfalls here, lichen-covered lava fields or iceberg-dotted lakes there.
Other attractions include whale-watching, foodie capital Reykjavik and two geothermal spas in the Blue Lagoon and the new, more chic Sky Lagoon. Internal Covid restrictions should ease on May 26.
Get in: Visitors must take a free Covid-19 test on arrival, then wait up to 24 hours for results before travelling freely. Unvaccinated Brits must also quarantine for six days before another test. Much gentler conditions are anticipated from June 1.
How to do it: From £1,395pp including flights, car hire, six nights’ B&B across the island and whale-watching, via regent-holidays.co.uk
Holiday factor: You can’t miss the Rock, a promontory on which macaque monkeys live, but leave time too for La Caleta, a pastel-coloured fishing village beside golden sands.
With every adult now vaccinated, life in this British Overseas Territory — to which Wizz Air (from Luton), Eastern Airways (Birmingham and Southampton) and British Airways (London City) have all announced new routes — is largely back to normal. Summer often sees 30C temperatures.
Get in: Britons won’t need a negative test result to enter, nor to be vaccinated. International flights should resume shortly.
How to do it: From £255pp including flights and three nights’ B&B at the central Bristol Hotel, via easyjet.com
Not right now…
Other original green-list members — Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, the Danish-owned Faroe Islands and the Falkland Islands — aren’t currently admitting UK visitors.
Singapore and the Faroes seem the likeliest destinations to open up first but Australia has said its borders may stay closed until the second half of 2022 and New Zealand may be similarly cautious.
For updates and advice on Israel (also on the green list but currently under conflict), visit gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Sites to help
Put it to the test
The UK’s first platform for comparing PCR tests for travel enables travellers to compare not just prices and types of tests on offer (eg five-day Test to Release, Fit to Fly, etc) but also customer satisfaction scores.
Gauge the current climate
Climate guide Weather2Travel.com’s interactive Covid-19 travel planner identifies holiday destinations with a summary on new cases and vaccines and ever-changing regulations.
Keep up to date
Unlocked Travel is a new tool to learn about restrictions from and to any country in the world. Users can check on whether travel is permitted between global locations, restrictions in their chosen destination and travel insurance.
The lesser-known green-listers
Location: The South Atlantic, 1,200 miles west of mainland Africa.
What’s it like? Just ten miles by five, this beguiling British territory is where Napoleon was exiled and died. An empty tomb commemorates that, while other distractions include diving with whale sharks (December to April), a distillery and subtropical hiking. Titan Airways flies direct from Stansted every five to six weeks.
Can I visit? Yes but there’s a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
For more information: sainthelena.gov.sh
Tristan da Cunha
Location: 1,730 miles from South Africa and 1,515 miles south of St Helena.
What’s it like? Earth’s remotest inhabited archipelago comprises six islands — two wildlife reserves, three empty specks and the 38 square miles of Tristan da Cunha, which has 250 locals but no airstrip. After a six-day boat trip from Cape Town you could hike up its volcano, fish, see penguins or wander Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, the capital.
Can I visit? Not until early 2022.
For more information: tristandc.com
Location: 805 miles north-west of St Helena.
What’s it like? Dinkier but more populous than Tristan da Cunha, sweltering Ascension is topped by the 2,800ft Green Mountain. Hike up that, past ferns planted by a Kew Gardens botanist, before playing golf atop a lava field and visiting the ruined Nasa centre where Apollo tested moon buggies. ThoseSt Helena flights also come here.
Can I visit? Yes, but 14-day quarantine is required, ascension.gov.ac
South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands
Location: About 1,090 miles east of South America’s tip, and slightly closer to Antarctica.
What’s it like? The population — 16 in winter — resides on South Georgia itself, enduring a polar climate and 11 grisly, glacier-scored peaks. Visitors watch penguins and visit explorer Ernest Shackleton’s grave.
Can I visit? Only during cruises. Due to the absence of land-based accommodation, you’ll have to take a PCR test every 72 hours, gov.gs
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