Fear of quarantine ‘biggest barrier to foreign holidays’ this year

The risk of quarantine is putting two thirds of Britons off from travelling abroad this year, a detailed new survey reveals.

The fear of having to quarantine is the largest barrier to Britons taking foreign holidays (64%).

Government travel rules (52%) and cost of Covid-19 tests (47%) also feature highly as dampening travel demand.

Spain tops list of where Brits most want to travel to once restrictions are removed, followed by the similar amber list countries of Italy, Greece and Portugal.

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The number of people intending to take domestic holidays rose by 12 points between January (44%) and May (56%) due to the vaccine roll-out, according to the YouGov data.

The study highlights the views of around 185,000 global survey respondents from 25 markets on the barriers to travel.

YouGov’s ‘International Travel & Tourism Report 2021: The road back to normality’ shows that while international travel intention in 2020 remained low due to strict travel restrictions in the UK, Britons’ intent to travel domestically for leisure rose sharply at the start of 2021.

Health risks remain the main barrier to travel (48%) for global survey respondents, followed by safety (37%) and travel restrictions (35%).

The proportion of those concerned about health risks from travelling has gradually decreased since January, when it stood at 56%, in line with the rollout of the vaccine.

A clear appetite for travel globally is indicated with more than three quarters planning trips in some form in the next 12 months (77%), and with more than half of this group planning two or more journeys (57%).

But only one in five plan to travel internationally (18%) with the rest planning to stay domestic (51%), meaning that the resumption of travel will start at home, according to the research.

YouGov global travel and tourism sector head Eva Stewart said: “YouGov’s International Travel & Tourism report shows that while Britons are becoming less concerned about the risks to their health from travelling, they feel limited by restrictions.

“Although appetite to travel internationally is slowly returning around the world, in Britain the prospect of quarantine continues to be a notable barrier.

“Many British tourists are instead planning to travel within the UK, and the vaccine roll-out may also have played a role in driving increased confidence in domestic travel.

“YouGov Destination Index data shows that the continent is high on Britons’ wish lists for a foreign holiday, despite many of these countries appearing on the UK’s ‘amber list’.

“It is likely that enthusiasm for these destinations will continue to rise, especially if and when they move to ‘green’ status over the coming months.

“However, any restrictions imposed on British travellers could put Britons off from traveling overseas or encourage them to opt for domestic travel as an alternative.”

More: Quarantine-free travel for double-jabbed ‘in time for school summer holidays’

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