The world is recovering from the damage caused by the rampant and devastating spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. For the most part, Europe is open for holiday travel except for residents from specific countries like the USA. And this is primarily because of the high virus infection rate.
At the outset of this article, it is an imperative to note that there is a caveat to the freedom of movement between European countries, and it is best described by citing the scenario of the sudden and rapid increase in COVID-19 infections in Spain. No country in the world wants a resurgence of the coronavirus in the country. So, when the numbers started rising in Spain, countries like the UK quickly imposed a 14-day quarantine on all visitors,or residents returning from Spain.
The salient point here is that travel arrangements might need to change at short notice because of the infectious nature of the virus. And while this uncertainty is upsetting for all concerned, the world cannot afford another round of the COVID-19 infection and death rate that it has already seen. So, governments will react quickly, and even though these reactions might seem as over-reactions, they are intended to protect its residents.
Therefore, the question that must be asked and answered is, how do you survive the latest travel restrictions and service disruptions caused by the COVID-19 flare-ups. By way of answering this question, let’s consider the following points:
Accept That the Virus Is Here to Stay
This point seems counter-intuitive to the world’s attempt to get back to normal living. However, it merely notes that until a successful vaccine is found, and due to its highly infectious nature, there will still be localised flareups for the foreseeable future. To support this statement, the World Health Organisation’s emergencies director Dr Mike Ryan “warned against trying to predict when the virus would disappear. Even if a vaccine is found, controlling the virus will still require a massive effort.”
Therefore, it is essential to learn to live safely with it; to follow safety protocols like social distancing, sanitizing regularly, and wearing a mask. Acceptance will bring a measure of peace, and the inner strength to deal with the virus’s unknowns.
Check-in Regularly with Your Travel Partners
As described above, travel arrangements might have to change at short notice.
Consequently, it is best to connect directly with your travel partners and the company that you booked your accommodation through. They will advise you of the latest restrictions as well as whether these restrictions are lifted or not.
Quarantine or Not?
Let’s consider the scenario of Spain versus the UK and the fact that the UK has implemented a 14-day quarantine on all travellers from Spain arriving at one of the UK’s entry ports or borders.
Statistics show that Spanish holiday destinations were the most popular for British residents in 2019. In summary, 89% of UK residents visited Spain in 2019. Therefore, it is understandable that this quarantine might be a blow for both Spanish holiday venues and UK tourists. And the question that begs is what do you do if you have booked a trip to Spain and now have to include a 14-day mandatory quarantine at the end of your holiday?
The good news is that it seems as though you can self-isolate for 14 days when you return from your holiday to Spain. Of course, this might change. But for the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume you can self-isolate at home, and you do not have to go into a government-run quarantine facility.
Thus, your choices under the current circumstances are as follows:
- You can discuss postponing your holiday with your travel and accommodation providers.
- Or, you can still travel to Spain on holiday, and add a 14-day self-isolation period to the end of your holiday.
Can you work from home during this time? The best way to determine this answer is to ask your employer before you leave on holiday. Bear in mind that you might have to take 14 days of unpaid leave. Can you afford this? And is it worth taking 2 weeks unpaid leave for a holiday in Spain, plus the increased risk of contracting the virus?
As this article describes, there are no simple solutions or easy answers to the challenges and complexities presented by the coronavirus. Consequently, the best thing to do is to take life one day at a time and to be fluid and flexible in your travel arrangements.