AIRLINES and tour operators are slashing their prices for holidays abroad this summer in a bid to maintain profits during the usually busy season.
However, experts are warning that Brits booking trips do so at their own risk, with the current government advice warning against all non-essential travel.
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Countries across Europe, as well as the UK, are enforcing 14-day quarantines on anyone entering the country, making holiday plans near impossible.
It could leave families needing to set aside a minimum of five weeks for a break – two weeks’ quarantine at their destination before a week’s holiday and then another two weeks’ quarantine when they return to UK.
Travel bans are also still in place, with destinations such as France and Spain only allowing residents and key workers to travel through.
Yet cheap deals are reaching extreme new lows not often seen during the summer season, for those who want to take that risk.
Flights to Alicante can be found for as little as £30 return when travelling in July, while a seven day holiday to Costa Dorada is just £133 per person.
Return flights to Portugal are available for under £50 return in the peak August travel season.
A week in Greece can be found in August for less than £190 per person, including flights.
Paul Charles, founder of travel consultancy firm PC Agency said the low prices were “extraordinary,” the Telegraph reported, adding the cheap flights being found would normally be hundreds of pounds this time of year.
Jack’s Flight Club, a flight deal website, found return flights to Turkey in August for around £120 return – half of what they would usually cost.
Some airlines are offering flexible fares, allowing holidaymakers to move their flights free of charge to a later date if travel restrictions are still in place.
EasyJet is waiving the change fee on all flights, and has launched their 2021 schedule early to allow Brits to move their dates.
However, booking flights for the summer comes with its own risks – Ryanair passengers have found their July flights cancelled, only to be offered vouchers instead of refunds.
Which’s Rory Boland told Huffington Post: “Unfortunately, it’s not the time to be booking foreign holidays.
“There’s a high chance of those holidays being cancelled, or worse you could face disruptions and be out of pocket is significantly high.”
With the FCO travel ban still in place, your travel insurance will also be invalid if you holiday doesn’t go ahead.
A spokesperson for insurance trade body the Association of British Insurers said: “We understand people will be keen to book their next trip away however the best thing to do is wait and be patient as FCO restrictions are still in place and we don’t know when they will change.”
Last month, UK transport secretary Grant Shapps warned that he wouldn’t be “booking a summer holiday at this point” due to the virus continuing to spread.
He added: “If you are booking it then you are clearly, by the very nature, taking a chance on where the direction of this virus goes and therefore where the travel advice is in the future.”
Health secretary Matt Hancock also added that summer holidays abroad were likely to be cancelled this year.
Here is everything to know if you do book a holiday abroad this summer, including your rights to refunds.
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