With travel still haltingly opening up across Europe, more and more hotels are reopening, bringing hope not just for economic recovery across the continent but for some much-needed holidays. The UK currently has 25 travel corridors with other European nations and territories, meaning Britons can now fly off for a holiday on the Med or a stay in Alps without having to factor in weeks of self-isolation.
With this in mind, here are some of the best European hotels to have opened so far, eagerly waiting to welcome guests back with open arms (while maintaining at least a metre's gap at all times, of course).
If you are looking for key dates of UK hotel openings, see here.
A few eyebrows were raised when Italy reopened its borders on June 3, with many suggesting that it was too soon for one of the European nations hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Visitors from certain countries, including the UK, can already visit without having to go into quarantine. Bars and restaurants have reopened, but at reduced capacity and with plastic shields between tables. Some tourist sites are also welcoming visitors again, including the Colosseum, Pompeii and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Italian hotels have been steadily reopening for a few weeks now, with some new regulations to help contain any infection. Face masks need to be worn in common areas, and travellers or travelling groups must maintain at least a metre’s gap at all times.
Here are the best hotels in Italy that have now reopened
The situation for UK holidaymakers with bookings in Greece is now a little complicated. The country was granted a travel corridor with the UK, but the quarantine exemption was partially revoked after "enhanced data" led the Government to determine that cases are were rising on seven Greek islands. English travellers must now self-isolate when returning from Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zante, but the Welsh and Scottish governments have imposed different restrictions. Those returning to Scotland from anywhere in Greece must now self-isoalte, while Wales has ordered quarantine for anyone travelling from Crete, Zante, Mykonos, Lesvos, Paros and Antiparos.
It does mean that much of Greece is still a feasible holiday option (unless you're in Scotland), and the hotels in these places will be open for trade. While some changes are to be expected – heightened cleaning protocols, social distancing in restaurants – guests will not have to wear face coverings (although a good rule of thumb for post-coronavirus travel is that all rules are subject to change).
Here are the best hotels in Greece that have now reopened
There was a sense of relief and joy when Portugal was finally added to the UK's 'green list', well over a month after the Government began handing out quarantine exemptions to some of our other European neighbours. But much of the country is now back on the 'red list' again after a spike in new infections saw case numbers rise above the 'safe' threshold of 20 per 100,000 people.
But Britons can still travel to and from the outlying islands of Madeira and the Azores, following the UK's introduction of regional air bridges to localities with lower infection rates. Turismo de Portugal, the national tourism body, has unveiled the 'Clean & Safe' certification , awarded to tourism businesses that can prove they are up to scratch on safety standards, so look for this quality mark when booking your hotel.Here are the best hotels in Portugal that have now reopened
Here are the best hotels in Portugal that have now reopened
The power to tighten or relax lockdown measures has been handed down from the national government to Germany’s 16 federal states, so rules can vary from region to region. Hotels have by and large been universally allowed to start accepting guests, although a recent spike in new infections could cause some states to backtrack on the easing process.
By extension, the various rules and regulations now being foisted on hotel owners differ across the country. Some states are allowing hotels to fill to capacity; others will have to limit guest numbers. Some will open up public areas; others will keep them closed off. Generally though, we can expect to see what are fast becoming the standard trappings of post-coronavirus hospitality: staff with face masks and gloves, restaurant tables spaced out, a zealous approach to wiping down surfaces, and, in some cases, plastic barriers to keep guests from bumping into one another while trying to dig out their key cards.
Here are the best hotels in Germany that have now reopened
Turkey was among the first countries to establish an air bridge with the UK, and Britons have been flocking to holiday resorts on the Turquoise Coast all summer. There are concerns that the link could soon be severed, with the number of Turkish cases having risen a fair bit in the last few weeks. For now, however, it's hovering at around 14 daily new cases per 100,000, well below the UK's cut-off limit of 20.
It's worth bearing in mind that all arrivals in Turkey are subject to a medical evaluation at the airport, and anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19 is required to undergo a PCR test on the spot – this will definitely lead to a period of quarantine (possibly a day or two while the results are being processed), and will extended to 14 days if it comes back positive.
Here are the best hotels in Turkey that have now reopened
From the beginning of the pandemic, Sweden went its own way by refusing to implement stringent lockdown rules. Case numbers subsequently went through the roof, and as Europe's governments began discussing the reopening of borders, the Swedish found themselves well and truly outside the conversation, even among its Nordic neighbours.
The infection rate has since fallen substantially, and following the UK government's update to the quarantine list, you can now travel from Sweden without having to self-isolate. Swedish hotels, by and large, have introduced the standard safety measures to be expected post-coronavirus: social distancing in restaurants, enhanced cleaning, but you're not as likely to find more 'intrusive' protocols, such as temperature checks on arrival.