Holidaymakers from the UK still keen to enjoy a southern Mediterranean summer getaway, but not endure 14 days of obligatory self-isolation on their return, have limited options at the moment. One is a destination that might not traditionally be on many people’s travel bucket list, but which ticks most boxes for a memorable beach holiday in the sun.
Straddling the Mediterranean and Atlantic either side of the Straits, the British overseas territory of Gibraltar not only offers an attractive and modern seaside tourist infrastructure, but also direct flights to and from London, Bristol and Manchester.
Plus, exemption from the newly-introduced quarantine for holidaymakers returning from the nearby Costa del Sol and other popular Spanish tourist destinations – as well as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s official advice against all non-essential international travel.
According to the Gibraltar Tourist Board, the Gibraltar Nature Reserve and Upper Rock tourist attractions are now open. Essential health and safety measures are in place, including wearing masks at all times for all people entering the Upper Rock sites. Hand sanitisers are provided at each of the entrances, and must be used before entering and leaving.
Normal opening hours are from 9.30am to 7.15pm (last entry at 6.45pm), and the Skywalk hours are from 9am to 9pm (June to September).
The main beach season began in mid-June, subject to certain restrictions including group gatherings not exceeding 20 people – with social distancing and good hygiene practices strongly advised.
In bars and restaurants, social distancing measures require tables to be a minimum of two metres apart, and all staff must wear face coverings. Restaurants are restricted to a maximum of 50 per cent of normal capacity, additional cleaning measures are in place, and reservations must be made in advance. Bars and restaurants are required to close by 2am at the latest.
Bristol-Gibraltar Flights Set to Resume
The Gibraltar Government announced this week that EasyJet would be resuming its connections between Bristol and Gibraltar from Sunday 2 August.
Flights were suspended during the COVID-19 lockdown, but Manchester and London Gatwick flights were reinstated earlier this month by the low-cost airline. The Gibraltar-Bristol route is scheduled to operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
“I’m delighted to see the return of flights from Bristol to the Rock and it is encouraging to see that EasyJet are steadily resuming their schedules to Gibraltar,” said minister for tourism Vijay Daryanani. “Connections with the SouthWest region of the UK have grown steadily over the last few years and I know that many of our visitors and Gibraltarians will welcome this.”
Click here to check key measures implemented for arrivals at Gibraltar International Airport.