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Holidays will eventually become an option once again when the UK emerges from its current restrictions. Of course, only limited destinations will actually be available due to numerous entry rules in place in countries across the world. Express.co.uk spoke to Simon White at UK travel agency TravelUp for his travel advice.
He shared why Dubai, the Maldives, Barbados and Cuba – all of which are on the travel corridor list – are great post-lockdown holiday options:
Blessed with blissful sun all year round, Dubai is never short of high-end glam and up-market luxury. A long weekend break to Dubai is more achievable than you think, with a flight time of just seven hours from the UK.
There are luxury hotels, left, right and centre, so choosing the right one is important. For families, we’d recommend staying near Jumeirah beach. You’ll be away from the hustle and bustle of the city but close to all the attractions.
Dubai is home to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, standing at a phenomenal 830m and a must-see on any holiday to the city. It is open to the public but it’s advisable to book tickets in advance, you’ll get the very best views of Dubai from here.
The city is also superb for shopping, with some malls open until 2am during certain times of the year. You’ll find everything there from huge designer shops to souvenir shops.
The beaches are also great, with shallow water and reefs to enjoy snorkelling and swimming. For the more adventurous, why not head to the vast sand dunes on a 4×4 jeep safari and a BBQ under the stars?
To cool off, visit one of Dubai’s waterparks. If it’s too hot, there is even an indoor ski centre where you can hit the slopes or even meet the penguins.
For further thrills, there’s Dubai Parks & Resorts which has three theme parks and waterpark in one with hundreds of rides and attractions.
Peak season for Dubai is from February to April, where the climate is somewhat cooler, and temperatures rarely drop below 25°C, so you can enjoy the warm weather without being too uncomfortable.
Tourists will need to present a negative coronavirus test carried out within 96 hours of departure.
What holiday could be more socially distant than staying on an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean?
The Maldives is one of the go-to destinations recently, due to its remoteness and feeling of isolation.
Many of the resorts are small and offer secluded rooms or water bungalows, so you’ll feel like you’re on your own private island, getting there by seaplane or speedboat.
TravelUp found most hotels have social distancing in place throughout public areas, keeping staff and guests as safe as possible.
All tourists and short term visitors must present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 on arrival to the Maldives issued no more than 96 hours prior to departure.
A beach-lover’s dream, Barbados boasts fine white sand, warm emerald seas and a tropical climate.
The birthplace of rum, Barbados offers something for everyone. Discover the Mount Gay distillery, founded in 1703, making it the oldest commercial rum distillery in the world. Take a tour to discover the secrets and mysteries behind the island’s most celebrated spirit, and of course a tipple or two.
A lively nightlife scene can be found in the south. Oistins, a colourful fishing town, is famous for its fish fry on Friday nights. People come from all over the island to sample the fresh fish, chicken and lobster grilled on huge outdoor barbecues.
You can also swim with leatherback and hawksbill turtles, watch green monkeys munching on sticks of sugar cane and hear the calls of tiny, translucent whistling frogs. One of the best places to experience all this and more is at Barbados’ Wildlife Reserve. Here you can also explore the limestone stalactites and stalagmites of Harrison’s Cave and wander through the many world-class botanical gardens.
For a more relaxing holiday, head west to the Platinum Coast, where you’ll find the whitest sands and crystal-clear waters. Here the coral reefs offer amazing snorkelling and scuba diving experiences. The east coast is best for surfing thanks to the strong winds and rocky shores. When you’re off exploring, look out for the curious caves and underground lakes.
The best time to travel is from December to April. With temperatures reaching the low 30’s, they are the driest and least humid months.
All travellers must present on arrival a valid COVID-19 negative test result taken no more than 72 hours in advance of their flight’s arrival.
The vibrant, colourful Island of Cuba has it all. Famous for its rum, cigars and beautiful beaches, there’s much to discover.
TravelUp recommends a twin-centre holiday in Cuba. Spend a few days exploring the capital Havana, followed by a week relaxing on the white sandy beaches in Varadero.
In Havana, immerse yourself in its rich and unique history. Wander through streets lined with classic cars and brightly coloured colonial buildings. Spend time in the chic bars that are opening up all around the city or try some street food such as Cinnamon Churros.
Once you explored Havana, head to Varadero for a well-deserved relaxing beach break. There are plenty of hotels and an all-inclusive option is often a great idea, so you can sip piña coladas by the pool.
If you’re up for more of an adventure, head inland to explore mountains, rainforests and nature reserves.
Much like the rest of the Caribbean, Cuba is perfect for a winter sun holiday with its hot season running from November through to April.
Currently, there are no quarantine restrictions when visiting Cuba. UK visitors can either do a PCR test prior to travel or will be given a mandatory one on arrival. You must also have insurance with Covid-19 cover.
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