Booking a getaway is currently in the thoughts of many people after the Prime Minister announced his roadmap out of lockdown.
As restrictions are eased over the next few months, it’s clear that holidaymakers are optimistic they will at the very least be able to enjoy a staycation.
Travel agents have seen a huge surge in bookings for foreign holidays, as customers dare to believe they can jet away from it all before summer 2021 is over.
ChronicleLive has been talking to people in Sunderland to ask the question, is it too soon or can you not wait to book a summer holiday in 2021?
Barbara Jameson, 70, from Jarrow said: ”I certainly won’t be thinking about going abroad this year, definitely not.
“Hopefully by the end of the year we might be able to book a break somewhere here in the UK, but exactly when that might not be safe is still very uncertain. I think it might be late in the summer or more likely the autumn before we return to normality.
”We mainly go on holiday in England but last year we didn’t get around to booking anything because of the Covid-19 situation.
“I would like to go somewhere like Devon, hopefully by the end of the year.
”It’s always nice to get away from it all, but I would still be frightened to go somewhere because I don’t think people can be trusted to follow the rules.”
Julie Tye, 56 from Sunderland said: ”I certainly won’t be waiting around, as soon as I get the green light saying it’s ok to go on holiday I will be straight on the plane.
”I’m a bit like Judith Chalmers me, I normally I go on about seven holidays a year, I usually wait until the very last minute when I see a good deal then I just go for it.
”I’m getting the Covid-19 vaccine this week. I am getting it is so I can get away on holiday as soon as I’m allowed.
”Last April I did have to cancel a big holiday with friends to Australia at the start of the pandemic, but I did manage to go on two holidays to Turkey later in the year, one in August and one in September.
”Things were very hygienic there, even at the airport they fumigated everyone’s suitcase, people were very good at respecting social distancing, hotels and restaurants were spotlessly clean and you had your temperature taken to make sure you didn’t have a fever before you were allowed in, it was all really reassuring.
”I did have to self isolate for two weeks when I came back in September because the rules changed while I was away. I stayed at home for the full two weeks, I had no symptoms but nobody checked to make sure I was doing it, not even a phone call or text message.”
Julie added: ”I would happily self isolate at home again if it meant I could go on holiday but I definitely would have thought twice about booking those holidays last year if there was a chance of having to self isolate in one of these Covid hotels when I returned home, because it would cost more than the actual holiday. it would be ridiculous and I don’t see the point in having to do that.”
Lia Watling, 17 from South Shields said: ”Everyone is talking about booking a holiday all of a sudden, even my dad wants to, I don’t really agree.
”I think it’s far too soon to be thinking about it right now, the chances of going on holiday in 2022 will probably be more realistic.
”To me it seems obvious that opening everything up so soon again, like young children going back to school in March before teaching staff have received their vaccine will give the virus a chance to spread. I’m not sure it’s such a good idea at all.
”Like everyone else I would absolutely love to go on holiday but will probably have to wait a while, I was supposed to go away to Ibiza with the girls last August, we were all so excited. There was meant to be eight of us going together but we made a decision to cancel it until we can find a safer time in the future, probably 2022.
”People are talking about needing a vaccination card or some sort of ID to show you have had the vaccine or tested negative for Covid before you travel will be needed before we can go abroad, I would be fine with that if that’s all it took for everyone to be able to travel safely again.”
David Poland, 51 from Sunderland said: ”I have noticed this week that lots of people have been talking about booking a holiday, especially on social media it seems to be the main topic of debate right now.
”There seems to have been a sudden a rush to try and get booked up at all the popular local places like Haggerston Castle and places like that before they are all snapped up by other people.
”I think that’s probably the most people can hope for, because if the numbers of people getting the vaccine continue to go up here it will probably make the UK one of the safest places to be. Why take the risk of going abroad? I’m happy staying right here in England.
”I don’t think it’s worth the risk booking a holiday this year. I think everyone in the country should think about getting back on our feet again, we should all consider trying to get ourselves back to normality as soon as we can, one step at a time.
I think we should forget about international travel until there’s no threat of bringing in new variants into the country which would mean we have to go through the same thing as we have been going through over the past year all over again.”