British travellers can now fly to Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and other amber list countries from next week without quarantining on their return. But with rules relaxed too late for most summer tourists, property buyers are taking the opportunity to take viewing trips to half empty resorts.
The government announced on Thursday that travel rules for countries on the UK’s amber list would be relaxed from Monday 19th July.
British residents who are fully vaccinated or under the age of 18 will be allowed to return to the UK without the current 10-day self-isolation quarantine period.
By fully vaccinated, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps explained, they must have had both Covid-19 vaccinations, from the NHS, with a minimum of 14 days from the last jab.
He added that they hoped soon to extend the no-quarantine rule to those vaccinated abroad too.
Shapps warned, however, that “an amber list country could still turn red”, meaning that you could still end up having to quarantine if that country’s designation changed.
You will still need to complete a PCR Covid test before traveling and the day after their return. However they will not have to take the current eighth-day test.
The current price for these is currently between £50 and £100.
Beware other countries’ rules
While the new rules will allow vaccinated British people to book holidays and trips abroad confident that they will not have to self-isolate on their return, before booking a trip you should be aware of the rules in the country you are visiting.
Most long-haul destinations, including the USA, still prevent almost all travel into their country.
Even in Europe you can still be subject to controls. In Germany, for example, your children aged between 12 and 18 will have to quarantine for at least five days, assuming they remain unvaccinated.
A unique opportunity
This summer and autumn represents a unique opportunity to buy a property in our usual tourism and retirement hotspots abroad.
Property Guides overseas buying specialist Yasmin Smith says: “In an ordinary July and August, buying in the busy summer season can be tricky, with properties and hotels full. This year not only are hotels almost empty but many holiday properties have been empty for two years.”
The extra bonus for buyers this year is the strength of the pound. The UK’s relative success in the vaccine roll out has helped the pound-euro rate to at least 5% stronger than last year. “A €200,000 property is costing you a good £10,000 less than last summer, but that rate might not last,” said Yasmin Smith.
She added that buyers should still maintain the usual caution, using an independent lawyer and a trusted payments specialist.