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Greece or UK possible in August?

We had our 2 week Poland vacation/adventure canceled in June because of Virus.
We got our points back from American Airlines, so we are good.
My Question... we are considering going to either Greece or UK in August or September. Some great airfare deals. Which do you think would have a better chance of places being open and a little normalcy.
My wife a nurse and been working 7 days a week with virus patients and I work near NYC as essential employee, so neither of us are really over fearful of virus at this point, I think we both would have had it by now. We both been tested negative.
We can cancel if travel bans still in place, but just like thoughts on Greece or UK if travel is possible.
We are just thinking at this point.

Posted by
1921 posts

To provide information (though not an answer) on the question of Greece vs UK...

Comparing Coronavirus data for the UK and Greece shows that Greece has had many fewer cases and deaths from the virus due to early government intervention with respect to the virus; data here also show a case rate of 0.2 per thousand in Greece vs 1.7 per thousand in the UK. If you look at the "Daily New Cases" graph, you will see that Greece has very few new cases at this point. Greek hoteliers, however, report that they are facing bankruptcy due to the government's interventions.

Greece is part of the Schengen Area. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen advised against making vacation plans for the EU at least for summer, including August. French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly said that the Schengen Area is considering keeping boarders closed to outsiders until September, identifying the US as a place of concern.

The UK is outside the EU now, of course, so it will be setting its own policy.

Posted by
4128 posts

We have a trip in July that includes England (Cornwall and London) as well as flying on to East Africa for a safari.
The safari company says they will let us know in 2-3 weeks if the safari is cancelled or we do it next year. We would prefer doing it next year.

However, still wondering if the safari is a go, would we be able to enter England and so a week in Cornwall before the safari and 4 nights in London after?

Posted by
1184 posts

I hope it all works out well for you, but I would not plan on anything for this year. Save your money and vacation time and do something extra awesome next year.

Posted by
3978 posts

I like Greece, but it’s too hot in August. I don’t think there’s much chance of either being open this summer. The U.K. government this week have told us not to book any summer holidays anywhere this year.

Germany has indicated that sporting events and things where people congregate will be banned until the end of August and they are one of the countries that have seen fewer infections. Other countries are likely to be later than this.

There are cases of people being reinfected in South Korea. It’s not just an issue of you getting ill, but you potentially spreading it to another country, particularly if your wife is front line medical staff. She will need a break by August, but it would be safer staying nearer to home.

Europe has been obeying the lockdown with little protest. Pictures on the news here from people protesting in America and ignoring social distancing isn’t going to endear Europeans to welcome Americans early on in the process of recovery. Sorry.

Posted by
8569 posts

No one knows. All responses are opinions and speculation. What will really happen---no one knows.

At the present time, governments are running anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks in advance in regards to closures.

You could make plans for August/September but I would make sure they are easily cancelable. Remember, the governments actually have to say they are open to foreigners. Mosts European countries are not. You couldn't go if you wanted to. You wouldn't even be allowed on the plane.

Posted by
5397 posts

No one knows. All responses are opinions and speculation. What will really happen---no one knows.

I second this statement.

Posted by
3200 posts

Sounds like you both will be ready for a break this summer. We made plans for Scotland in July, a long time ago. Trip hasn’t been officially cancelled - so far. Greece took early preventive measures, but may keep restrictions in place longer, not letting up early.

Glad you have both tested negative - so far - but we’re all only as virus-free as our last breath. Stay safe and well.

Posted by
5817 posts

Of course no one knows what is going to ACTUALLY happen but there is still a place for INFORMED speculation.

Based on what we know now the likelihood of having a COVID vaccine and/or treatment by the summer is very low. The likelihood of it actually being in use by the summer is basically nil.

I can only speak for the U.K. but any loosening of lockdowns will be gradual and almost certainly not complete by the Summer. Huge restrictions on travel will also almost certainly be in place.

Based on previous pandemics it is very possible that we will be going into a second, may be even more severe, peak of infections.

Based on this I certainly wouldn’t even be considering a trip to the U.K. this Summer, if I’m being really honest I think it is a waste of time and effort to even consider it this year.. I can’t imagine the situation in Greece will be much different.

Stay home, take a trip there or save your money for next year.

And Jennifer makes a good point, the problem is not so much about you catching the virus it’s about you passing it on to other, potentially more vulnerable, people.

If I am being honest I would be very uncomfortable having foreign tourists wandering around the place in the near future and that includes this Summer.

Posted by
921 posts

"No one knows. All responses are opinions and speculation. What will really happen---no one knows."

All enquiries regarding the virus, as it relates to the possibility of travel, should be redirected to Frank's statement.

Posted by
1159 posts

Every country on the planet is struggling right now, to contain and stop the spread of the virus. Only until we have a vaccine wil we have an endgame and be able to get back to normal and fully reopen our country and borders. From what I read and from all the doctors I saw being interviewed, this will be 18 to 24 months from now. We need to develop a vaccine, then have it tested and then have enough for everyone. Until that happens, most people will not be able to fully return to life as they know it.

The pandemic is not a hurricane or a wildfire. the question is not when this will end, the question is how do we continue.

You may not be able to travel as others on this forum have said, will other countries allow us to go there, will you be able to fly back home and be admitted back into the USA. Will things even be open if they do allow you to fly to the UK or Greece.

So right now, my opinion for what it is worth, is no travel for the rest of the year. Read up on the UK and Greece and find out how they are doing and if they are reopening. Even the prime minister is trying to get better as he as the virus. See what he has to say about reopening the UK in August and September.

Posted by
75 posts

It is true that nobody knows for sure but I agree pretty much with Emma, Ann, and Jennifer. As much as we wish we could just pick up and travel in a few months, unfortunately it seems extraordinarily unrealistic baring some unexpected major medical advance . This greatly disappoints me , an avid and gung ho independent traveler. I never cancelled trips due to fear of terror attacks or other such risks and never let other fears such as pick pockets etc. get out of hand during travel.

I had to cancel our spring trip which would be finishing up in a few days and have concluded there is no use in planning out my fall trip. Even if airlines start flying and some countries start letting tourists in ,the risk to health and the risk of major disruptions are too great. Hopefully 2021 will be a great travel year . Fingers crossed.

Posted by
6133 posts

Greece or UK possible in August?

I would give it the same odds as the Seattle Mariners and Miami Marlins playing in the next World Series, or the Cleveland Browns winning the next Super Bowl.

Thank you both for your work to keep things functioning, but international travel in 2020 seems most unlikely.

Posted by
49 posts

I would check flights .......American airlines has cut 60% of flights and is not going to several European destinations at all...it looked like they were not really starting back up till the fall....I was going to Edinburgh at the end of July but it’s been canceled....as someone said in a previous post...I’m doing something extra special next year.....that being said it’s a huge disappointment.....but in the big scheme of things..............and I am EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY grateful for the traveling I have gotten to do!

Posted by
68 posts

I did check flights with American Airline, After 7/1 we can fly to either Greece or UK for 34k points RT and $49 pp, including seats and bag. Great deal, but just balancing the risks and if travel ban lifted and virus gone.

Posted by
2941 posts

Jennifer, just so you know. Those protesters are a very small minority get very big exposure on the news. I think most people where I live follow the “rules” and understand that we are doing this for each other.

Posted by
950 posts

The low mileage points cost is tempting me as well- i usually have a summer and fall trip planned by now- if I might add one more consideration- if you did travel, and became infected, where would you prefer to seek medical help-- or be hospitalized- or be quarantined, in a hotel or a B n B, or near home ?

Posted by
4128 posts

Europe Borders May Be Closed Until September: U.S. COVID-19 Threat (4/11/2020)
https://www.forbes.com/sites/tamarathiessen/2020/04/11/europe-borders-may-close-until-september-due-to-us-covid-19-threat/#271a55e75056
The Forbes article refers to the French news source BFMTV (France's 24-hr news channel)
"Macron talks about the possibility of closing the borders of the Schengen area until September" https://www.bfmtv.com/politique/macron-evoque-l-hypothese-d-une-fermeture-des-frontieres-de-l-espace-schengen-jusqu-en-septembre-1892361.html
*Macron informed French union leaders on 4/10/2020 re Schengen border likely to be closed until at least September. https://www.lopinion.fr/edition/economie/coronavirus-emmanuel-macron-envisage-fermeture-frontieres-moins-jusqu-215897
*"Macron himself in a video call with other European leaders warned that the ban could even run until September, while European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has warned people not to book summer holidays." (The Local is the news publisher for English-speaking expats in France) https://www.thelocal.fr/20200415/when-will-i-be-able-to-travel-to-france-again
*France had notified EU Commission that its border control will be extended to end of October. https://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/la-france-prolonge-jusqu-a-fin-octobre-ses-controles-aux-frontieres-20200402
(FYI for visitors coming for day-trips in France: expect border inspection, bring passport)

Posted by
42 posts

With Oktoberfest cancelled all our 2020 travel plans have evaporated. No one knows what will happen (nice post Emma) but the 2020 travel season is over. We are thinking about a fly fishing trip in Montana late summer.