Many tourist hotspots are now open to British holidaymakers after officials eased coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office recently relaxed its blanket travel ban which advised against all but essential international travel, and has produced a list of countries that are deemed safe to visit.

Of those is Spain, where Brits no longer need to quarantine on their arrival, nor on their return to the UK.

Changes have also been implemented in airports and on flights, along with new rules at hotels and on beaches.

While some may be worried about the whole process as the pandemic continues, one jetsetter has spoken to the Liverpool Echo about what it’s actually like to go on holiday in the current climate - and is already wishing to go again.

Nick Cox, a senior hardware and software developer from Liverpool, recently travelled to Spain from Manchester Airport with his girlfriend and two of their friends for a holiday.

The 29-year-old shared his experience of what it was like in Torrox, Spain, where he stayed for a week.

From restrictions at the airport to stricter rules on wearing masks, this is what he learned.

At the airport and during the flight

Nick flew from Manchester Airport, which was also a different experience entirely as no shops were open inside the airport at the time.

“I couldn’t even get a bottle of water,” Nick said.

Travellers are required to wear masks in the airport

"We were in Terminal 3, and there was one drinks and one snacks vending machine for the entire terminal so the queue for that was pretty big and there was nothing left in it pretty much as we were on a night flight."

When it came to security, Nick said because the airport "was obviously pretty empty", it meant he and his three travel companions could get through straight away.

"It was compulsory to wear a mask throughout the airport, which wasn't much of an issue and everyone was,” Nick continued.

"The outgoing flight was okay, the plane was 95 percent full so it wasn't separated much and there wasn't a gap between seats.

"The pilot then announced that masks were to be worn at all times, unless you are eating and drinking. We were then told that they would be doing a full trolley service. 

“But the problem with that though was that as soon as the trolley came and people got food and drinks, everyone had their mask off - so what was the point in the masks, really?

"Other than that, the flight was fine.”

Nick said his party were made to fill out a form for a Spanish visa, which explained where they were staying during their trip.

"They weren’t interested in the visa paperwork and also didn't take our temperatures," he added.

Getting to their accommodation

Empty streets in Torrox, Spain

In Nick's experience, getting off the flight and entering passport control saw a lapse in social distancing.

He said: "There was no social distancing in the queue for it and as soon as we got through we could leave the airport, so from leaving the plane to to the exit was around 10 minutes in total."

Nick and his pals rented a car to get around, especially as they were staying at his friend's mum's home in Spain, not at a hotel.

He continued: "We had rented a car, so had to get picked up outside the airport in a shuttle bus straight to the car collection. We were told masks were to be worn in the shuttle bus, but it was only a few minutes down the road.”

Nick said that all staff at the rent-a-car place were wearing masks and that it’s a requirement “everywhere”.

"You have to have one on you while walking to and from places, and you can take it off when not walking past people but are required to have it round your wrist if it's not on your face.

"The police are quite strict about that and can fine you on the spot."

Bars, restaurants and shops

The rules on wearing a face mask are much stricter in Spain

Unlike in England, masks are a requirement at all times in shops and supermarkets.

Some streets have implemented a one-way system, with painted arrows adorning the pavements for clarity.

Masks can be taken off when tourists are inside bars or restaurants, but staff were required to wear their masks at all times.

Nick said his holiday destination wasn't particularly busy.

He added: "In terms of it being busy, no not really, there were more locals around in the bars - they require tourism so they are hoping more people come out and help out the economy.

"The prices had not gone up at all and it is so cheap over there for drinks and food.

But Nick warned that there was no social distancing being implemented in the bars.

“We only saw a couple of places by the beach that had a queue for people to get in, but mainly a popular paella restaurant for locals.

"All the bars have hand sanitiser everywhere and most places squirt your hands as you walk in, which is reassuring."

The beach

Nick said that sun beds on beaches were covered in plastic wrap so they could be cleaned once someone had finished with them.

He said it was easy enough to reserve one as most locals don’t use them.

Plastic sheets on sun beds

"I would say in terms of masks, that around 60 percent of people wear them on the street at all times and then some have it on their wrists or hanging down from their face if not,” Nick continued.

"Some people do not wear them at all, but in general they do.

"My friend's mum, who has a shop there, says people do look at you funny if they can’t see a mask, but in general most locals are fine with it and the majority of people just have it with them."

Returning to England

Nick and his friends' flight back to England wasn’t as busy as the one they were on to Spain.

They had a row of three to themselves and in some instances, there was possibly an entire row per person.

The flight was similar to their journey to Spain, where a full trolley service was on offer and masks were compulsory.

Again, people took their masks off when eating and drinking but as they were so far spread apart, Nick said it didn't feel as much of an issue.

Landing in England was "quite bad".

Nick said: "Manchester Airport on return was quite bad and slow.

"We had to fill in a visa form online again for returning, giving our address and contact details but considering there was only our flight landing at that time and there were around 50 people on it, it still took 20 minutes to get through passport control.”

Nick said the holiday was worth it, even with the safety measures and alterations.

He said: "I am glad I went and had a great time, it was good to get away and get some proper sun.

"We had over 31, 32 degrees every day and clear skies so it was amazing.

"We had great meals and enjoyed the draught cold beers in the sun.

"I would go on again if I could without any hesitation and wished we had booked a longer stay.

"The only advice I would give is to take masks and have a backup one or two just in case - and make sure you have it on you at all times even if it is just in your handbag or pocket or something.

"The police can be strict so just bear that in mind and as long as you are following their rules, they are very welcoming and love the money you spend.

"They also love the British as we drink and eat a lot more than the locals when out."