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Coronavirus travel restrictions are slowly beginning to be lifted as country after country sees cases of the virus fall.

But while lockdown measures become less severe in popular holiday destinations like Spain, how you get there remains a mystery.

Planes are currently grounded in the UK, with the FCO still advising against all but essential travel and warning other countries might impose travel restrictions without notice.

When planes start to take off again, there are also likely to be restrictions.

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Some airlines are already insisting passengers wear face masks, while others are enforcing social distancing on planes and telling people to bring their own food.

Nick Careen, from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), predicted other changes to airline passenger journeys could include staggered boarding processes, alongside faster adoption of biometrics and self-service technologies in the airport.

Planes are also likely to need to be cleaned more deeply between flights while easyJet has said it is looking at keeping its middle seats free when flights resume.

A spokeswoman told Mirror Money: "Based on our discussions with EASA and other agencies, it is likely there may be new ways of operating.

"This could include leaving middle seats empty to create more space for passengers.

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"We don’t know what they will be as yet so will assess these as and when we are required to introduce them in order to operate using best practice and in compliance with any rules or new ways of operating as the safety of our passengers and crew remains our highest priority.”

But given that the budget airline model requires keeping planes as full as possible, while taking as little time turning them around between flights as possible, could this mean the end of cheap plane tickets?

In fact, at least at first, it looks like tickets could actually become cheaper as carriers look to stimulate demand.

Ryanair is among those predicting super-cheap deals.

"When scheduled flights return in Europe, sometime in July, Ryanair believes it will take some time for passenger volumes to return," the company said in a statement.

SEE ALSO: Virus pushes US hospitals to the brink, India hits record new cases

"Consumer confidence will be impacted by public health restrictions, such as temperature checks at airports and face coverings for passengers and staff on board aircraft. Ryanair expects traffic on reduced flight schedules will be stimulated by significant price discounting."

And in fact, those cheap deals are already arriving.

TravelSupermarket's Emma Coulthurst said: "Some of the package holiday prices offered by operators for autumn and early winter seem to be aimed at trying to re-stimulate the market."

She pointed to seven-night, all-inclusive breaks from the UK to Turkey from under £360 a person in October, two-night European city trips in November from under £100 each, six-night 4-star holidays to Dubai from less than £500 a person in October and seven night 3-star escapes to New York from around £550 per person in November.

However, she also had a warning.

SEE ALSO: When coronavirus robs you of your sense of smell

"In future, there could be a more limited supply of holidays and flights or there could be a restriction imposed on aircraft load factors."

"That may push up prices. But it is too early to say.”

So, for now at least, it looks like if anything plane travel will be cheaper once travel restrictions lift.

Sadly, when that will be is still very much up in the air.

"When travel and holidays might resume for Brits is currently based on speculation and hope," Coulthurst said.

SEE ALSO: Kazakhstan imposes 'second wave' of restrictions as coronavirus surges

"When the time comes, there won’t be synchronicity.

"The lifting of travel restrictions for tourism will vary from country to country, with actions currently being discussed by governments on how to ensure both local citizens and holidaymakers are kept safe."

As to when things will return to "normal" in terms of flights and prices, Ryanair isn't expecting things to be fully sorted out either this year or next.

"Ryanair now expects the recovery of passenger demand and pricing (to 2019 levels) will take at least two years, until summer 2022 at the earliest," the airline said.


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