British holidaymakers will be treated like pariahs if they go abroad this year over fears they could be coronavirus super-spreaders.
Families hoping to jet off to picturesque destinations in Italy, Germany, Spain or France face a less-than-warm welcoming from panicking locals.
Incredibly the ill-feeling against British tourists is only eclipsed by their worries over whether people from China or the United States could try to visit.
The grim picture has been painted by polling company YouGov, who questioned 1,000 people across popular European holiday destinations.
But the same research showed the snub is unlikely to pose much of a problem – because Britons themselves are too worried by the bug to go abroad.
The study showed only 21 per cent would consider a trip to France or Spain, while only 17 per cent would think of heading to Germany or Italy.
It said ‘The vast majority of people who might normally consider going on holiday are refusing to do so specifically because of coronavirus.’
Polling company YouGov questioned 1,000 people across popular EU holiday destinations, many of whom expressed disquiet about a large number of Britons arriving in their country
A packed St. Sebastian beach in Barcelona, northeastern Spain last month, where many people have concerns over the potential arrival of Brits
Passengers Guy Potter and Sarah Hartstein arrive at Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport last month, as quarantine measures for international arrivals came into force
People enjoy a sunny afternoon at the beach of the Croisette in Cannes, France yesterday, where there are concerns over the arrival of British tourists
Spain was the sniffiest country about Britons visiting with 61 per cent of those questioned wanting them to stay away.
From today English tourists can visit 59 countries and return without having to go into quarantine upon their return.
But despite the loosening of coronavirus restrictions in Britain, many Europeans are reluctant to fully open their borders.
Only the US and Brazil have had more Covid-19 deaths worldwide than the UK, with the findings suggesting locals in France, Spain, Italy and Germany are all more likely to oppose visits from Brits this summer, than tourists from elsewhere on the continent.
Between 40 and 54 per cent of Spaniards were opposed to tourists coming into their country from other European nations but this figure rose to 61 per cent for British holidaymakers.
Across the Channel in France, some 55 per cent said they opposed visitors from Britain, compared with between 32 and 46 per cent from elsewhere, while in Germany and Italy the proportion with concerns was 58 per cent and 44 per cent respectively.
The only country to be the subject of more opposition than the UK was Sweden, given it has not imposed a lockdown since the outbreak.
The YouGov findings also showed where UK tourists would be concerned over travelling to due to coronavirus
The research showed a lot of apprehension towards potential tourists, particularly from China and the US, coming to Britain
Many people from other countries suggested they wouldn’t consider coming to Britain due to the high coronavirus rate
Italy’s Amalfi coast is suffering from this year’s lack of tourists, but there are still concerns over the potential impact of arrivals from the UK
The findings come as Stormont ministers are to consider a report warning that travellers from the rest of the UK present the greatest risk of bringing Covid-19 into Northern Ireland.
Their meeting today is expected to review international travel regulations.
At present travellers arriving in Northern Ireland from outside the UK and Republic of Ireland have to quarantine for 14 days.
Health restrictions like quarantine are set by each part of the UK separately.
From Friday passengers entering England from many countries will not have to self-isolate following the establishment of ‘air bridges’ with areas with an acceptable level of risk.
Northern Ireland’s rate of infection has been running at less than one person infected by each new case.
A Department of Health statement said: ‘The Health Minister said that decisions around travel restrictions is a matter for the Executive and he wants to see this resolved at the next meeting on Thursday.
‘The department would have no comment to make on the content of Executive papers.’
In a joint statement, Colin Neill, chief executive of Hospitality Ulster, and Simon Hamilton, chief executive of Belfast Chamber of Commerce, said connectivity was vital to economic success and will be intrinsic to the post-coronavirus recovery in the weeks and months ahead.
The findings come as Stormont ministers are to consider a report warning that travellers from the rest of the UK present the greatest risk of bringing Covid-19 into Northern Ireland
‘As other countries begin to open up again in a safe and controlled way, we need our ministers to open up these crucial travel links which will give business a fighting chance,’ the statement read.
‘The past few months have been challenging for everyone but as restrictions are eased it is time now to get back to some sense of normality – allowing our airports to operate fuller services, with more airplanes in the sky, will go some way in this regard.’
EasyJet have already started opening up a number of flights to and from mainland Europe from Belfast International Airport, with further routes expected next month.
The business organisations added: ‘Our airports are the lifeblood of industry. Regional connectivity is crucial, and it is important that these routes are restored to full capacity also.
‘Great Britain is our largest tourism market and without that regional connectivity, our sectors will take a real hammering.’
No further deaths have been recorded with Covid-19, the Department of Health said, leaving the total number of people who have died at 554.
Another four positive cases have been notified since Tuesday, bringing the total confirmed cases in the region to 5,765, according to the department.
EasyJet have already started opening up a number of flights to and from mainland Europe from Belfast International Airport, with further routes expected next month
Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon said tourists travelling from Spain will have to continue to quarantine, as she rejected some countries on the UK Government’s list of air bridges.
Speaking at her daily briefing on the virus, the Scottish First Minister said the 14-day quarantine restriction will be lifted on July 10 for people returning or visiting from 39 countries with a low prevalence of Covid-19, including Germany, Norway and Malta.
Other countries which have a lower or not significantly higher prevalence of the virus than Scotland – including France, Greece, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland – will also be included on the list.
But she said the restriction will not be lifted for Spain or Serbia.
She said the ‘difficult decision’ had been driven by the evidence.
‘I know how many people from Scotland enjoy travelling to Spain and I know how much we love welcoming Spanish tourists,’ she said. ‘My hope is these restrictions can be relaxed soon, and possibly very soon.’
While Spain is not currently on the approved list, the First Minister said that will be kept under regular review to see if cases of the virus there decrease enough.
She also said that if necessary data becomes available, the Scottish Government would consider accepting people travelling from Spanish islands such as the Canaries or Ibiza.
She said there will not be ‘a way around’ the quarantine rules by flying into English airports, because Scottish health officials will have the details of those who are travelling back into the UK.
Ms Sturgeon also emphasised that those who travel to Scotland from countries on the approved list will still have to adhere to the latest social distancing and hygiene measures.
Nicola Sturgeon said tourists travelling from Spain will have to continue to quarantine, as she rejected some countries on the UK Government’s list of air bridges
And she warned quarantine measures could be reimposed if virus cases begin to spike again.
Ms Sturgeon said she hopes the agreement will be reciprocal, with travellers from Scotland able to go to the approved countries without the need to quarantine.
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport welcomed clarity on an issue he said had ‘dragged on far too long’.
But he added: ‘However it does still pose some serious questions and threats to the industry with the exclusion of Spain.
‘This is one of Scotland’s biggest and most important destinations for inward and outward tourism, and that impacts on airline decisions about where to base their fleet. We hope to see this resolved quickly.’
The First Minister said the prevalence of the virus in the Scottish population is currently 28 in every 100,000 people.
‘We’re not yet at the stage where we can say we’ve virtually eliminated the virus in the community, but that prize is clearly attainable and brings with it the prospect of a brighter future and more sustainable recovery,’ she said.
But she warned the prevalence of the virus is higher elsewhere, including in the rest of the UK where 180 people per 100,000 have the virus.
She added: ‘This is relevant to the decisions that we take in relation to quarantine.’
Ms Sturgeon also gave the latest Covid-19 figures for Scotland.
She said a total of 2,490 patients have died after testing positive for coronavirus, up by one from 2,489 on Tuesday, and 18,309 people have tested positive for the virus, up by seven from 18,302.
The National Records of Scotland earlier revealed 4,173 people have died with Covid-19 under its weekly measure, which records all deaths with a suspected or probable case of the virus involved.