Dr Sarah Jarvis and Simon Calder answer your questions about going on holiday during the pandemic
"I am due to go on holiday to Spain next week, do you think the quarantine will be lifted by then? If it isn't we won't be able to go, where do we stand with getting a refund?"
Simon Calder says: "I don't think, if you're going to mainland Spain, there's any chance of the quarantine being removed before the end of the month. There is huge pressure for the Balearic and Canary Islands to be exempted from it, of course, the Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and so on, but that is by no means certain. The Government's made it clear they like countries either to be regarded as low risk or high risk. Spain is now high risk they say. And it's not the day you go, it's the day you come back that is relevant. However, you have to assume that you will have to quarantine for two weeks and if you do not want to do that then your holiday company may allow you to cancel. The big two, Tui and Jet2, are allowing you to do that. But if for example, you fixed your own trip with your own flights, that airline can turn around and say 'your seats going there, the fact that you don't want to go isn't our problem, use it or lose it'. It's a miserable position for hundreds of thousands of people to be in."
"We're going on holiday to Germany by car, do we need to quarantine when we get home if we've passed through a high-risk country?"
Dr Sarah says: "It slightly depends on whether they're coming back via the same route. If you come back into the UK via a country that's not exempt, it's not in those safe countries, then you're going to have to quarantine for the number of days that make up 14 days from the last day you were there. So if you go through those countries on the way to Germany and you're there for two weeks, you'll be fine on the way back. Even if you keep the windows up and you don't stop. Very few people get through a whole country without a pitstop or two. You'll have to quarantine for 14 days less time you were out of that country. So if you went there and came back a week later, then you'll have to quarantine for a week."
"I live in Manchester (where there is currently a local lockdown), can I travel to Carlisle for a two-night break staying in a hotel but we plan to visit a friends house in the afternoon. Is this allowed?"
Dr Sarah says: "If you're in Manchester nobody can come to your house and you can't go to anybody else's house but you could meet your friends in the park. Bizarrely you can travel to Carlisle and stay in a hotel, although ideally you should try and stay away from other people while you're there, but you can't go to somebody's home and they can't come and see you in Manchester either."
You can find more information on where you can travel without quarantining here.
"I'd like to book a holiday for 2021, has there been any advice or suggestions about future travel restrictions come winter?"
Simon Calder says: "Many of us want something to look forward to. It's been an absolutely dismal year so far but I'm afraid we genuinely don't know what's going to be happening next week let alone next year. There's plenty of people in the travel industry who depend on people making forward bookings and if you're prepared to do that and commit, as long as there's some sort of flexibility built-in that's absolutely terrific. But I'm not going to say whether or not you'll be able to go to, for example, Australia, the US, Dubai or even across the channel to France then, we simply do not know.
"Is there any way of insuring future travel so I feel safer spending my money on a holiday?"
Simon Calder says: "Yes, ideally you want to book with a human travel agent who will be able to guide you through it. Increasingly companies are offering a degree of flexibility because they understand people want to have the chance to be flexible. Certainly, if you book a proper package holiday, that is going to give you an awful lot more rights than having a DIY trip. Otherwise, you can just decide 'I bet there's going to be plenty of empty airline seats and hotel beds, I'm going to put off my decision until it's a bit clearer'."