Looking for ideas of places to travel without having to quarantine on return to the UK?
With travel advice, quarantine exemptions and travel restrictions changing incredibly quickly, all of us who live in the UK have been faced with even more uncertainty as Spain, for example, has been removed from the list of Countries and territories with no quarantine from the UK once you return from your trip. This list is updated on this Gov.UK page.
Why travel to a place that is exempt from quarantine on return?
In one word: insurance. As stated by most insurance companies, you will not be covered if you travel to a country that is not on the list.
Our insurer, American Express, states that “if the government advises against all travel, you will not be covered by your insurance policy if you do choose to travel against this advice. If the government advises against all but essential travel, you will only be covered if your travel is essential”.
There may be specialist insurance policies for specific countries that require quarantine measures, but we chose to stick to the rules for many reasons – because we want to, because we are in the middle of an adoption process and also because it would violate my husband’s company travel policy (a very small but very big detail).
If you book a trip to somewhere without quarantine rules and at the time of booking, you are following official travel advice, you will be covered by your insurance policy in theory. Please take the time to review your insurance policy and any additional conditions recently introduced due to Covid19.
The 3 big questions are: can you afford or are you prepared to quarantine on arrival or test on arrival at home if things change as you are travelling from the UK? What happens if you get sick on location? The European Health Insurance Scheme will cover your medical needs whilst the UK is part of the EU – but if your family has to remain for an extra 2 weeks for example at that destination, how will it work? Also, will a delayed arrival have any impact on UK travelers with children returning to school in September?
Where can I go right now on holiday?
The list keeps changing (and we almost got caught short on a recent trip to Spain in July 2020 and was nervous for a few days while we were in Greece in August), so bear this in mind. I thought that travel advice was valid for ‘3 weeks’ but as quarantine restrictions change in other countries, this will too. Is last minute best? Who knows… I think we need to accept that the privilege of travelling may be revoked at any minute and live with this.
To keep things simple, I kept this list tight: it’s only European countries for simplicity (with one exception: Turkey) and also because if something happens before returning to England, you can hire a car and drive back to the UK if something happens to flights.
I have collated a list of places I have visited in the past and have reviewed in the blog, so you have a bit of extra information.
I have booked a variety of hotel stays in the UK, and I have had to cancel 2 because of the coronavirus pandemic and the other 2 have been cancelled by the hotels recently – so I am in limbo right now. But this list of luxury hotels in the UK with an outdoor pool may be helpful to some.
Four Seasons Hampshire, England
An hour or so from London, this is a great option for families and/or couples who want to have a weather-proof break whilst they’re stuck in UK quarantine, as there are plenty of things to do in case it rains. From horses to a fabulous spa, nearby pubs and walks, you will be ok.
Read my review of the Four Seasons Hampshire.
One of my favourite UK destinations, Bath works not only as a city break, but also as a countryside escape… if you rent a house nearby.
We have done so on Airbnb a few times now for family and friends reunions, and you have a great selection of beautiful properties 20 mins from the city centre.
Bath also has a good handful of nice hotels, so it works!
Read my review of a weekend in Bath for some ideas.
Lido di Jesolo, Italy
A little gem under an hour from Venice, Almar Jesolo offers Italian delights, a lovely beach, a great spa and obviously food.
We have been twice in the last couple of years – which tells you something.
Read about my stay at Almar Jesolo.
In 2019 I visited Florence for the first time in 10 years with one twist: to avoid the crowds. We found a lovely hotel outside the city which incredible grounds which were made for social distancing; ideal for British travellers who want to stay safe.
Click here to read about our long weekend near Florence.
Park Igls, Austria
Maybe you fancy something completely different and on your own. I have toyed with the idea of returning to Park Igls again, after an incredible detox week a few years ago.
I did the destress programme and it really helped me in a variety of ways.
Click here to read about my detox at Park Igls.
The Romanos, Kalamata, Greece
The Romanos, in Kalamata (on Greece mainland), was probably one of the nicest trips to Greece I have been to.
I chose to highlight this destination as it is on the mainland (and again, if something happens, you could find other modes of transportation to return back to the UK).
This hotel is part of the Luxury Collection so you could also pay for it with Marriott Bonvoy points, if you have some.
Other good options in mainland Greece could be Sani Dunes and Ikos Olivia (all inclusive), both in Halkidiki (close to Thessaloniki).
Click here to read about my trip to Kalamata in the past (and we returned in August 2020 – and it was fantastic)
D-Maris Gocek, Turkey
I hadn’t realised Turkey was on the ‘list’ nor that BA had direct flights going to Dalaman until I wrote this article.
We visited this hotel in Gocek last Summer and were booked to go again this May (but obviously didn’t happen). I liked how small and boutique it was and would be perfect for social distancing for arrivals from the UK.
Click here to read about our trip to Gocek, Turkey
I hope you find this round-up of places to visit this Summer that are countries exempt with no quarantine from the UK. Whatever decision you make, please be safe and I hope you have a good Summer, wherever you may be.
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