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Surge of holiday bookings after Covid quarantine rules relaxed

Airlines said there was a rapid rise in ticket purchases within hours after the government announced it was relaxing quarantine rules on Thursday.

EasyJet said bookings to amber-list destinations increased by 400%.

Despite suggestions prices could rise, analysts thought this unlikely.

The need to quarantine on return to the UK has hindered the travel industry’s recovery from the pandemic, with many people choosing not to holiday abroad.

Under previous rules, those returning to Britain from its top holiday destinations – Spain, France, the US and Italy – all had to self-isolate for up to 10 days.

The travel agents’ association, Abta said the industry was “very much led by supply and demand”, so prices could rise as more people booked after the rule change.

EasyJet said flight bookings from the UK to amber-listed countries had surged 400% following the government’s announcement on Thursday, adding that holiday bookings were more than 440% up on the previous week.

Alicante, Malaga, Faro, Nice and Corfu are among the top destinations for flights this summer, the airline said.

Johan Lundgren, easyJet chief executive, said Europe had “now turned green for the double-jabbed”.

He urged the government to “remove expensive testing” for fully vaccinated people travelling to green and amber-list destinations “as we do not want to see a return to flying being a preserve of the rich”.

British Airways said “within a couple of hours” of the government’s announcement, it witnessed a 96% increase in the number of views on its website compared with Wednesday last week.

What are the new travel rules for double-jabbed passengers?

Fully vaccinated UK residents arriving in England from amber travel list destinations will no longer have to quarantine from 19 July

  • They still need to pay for tests before and after their return.
  • The rules apply to people 14 days after their final dose of the vaccine
  • Under-18s returning from amber list places will also be exempt from quarantine
  • The guidance that people should not travel to amber list countries will also be removed from 19 July

The next review of countries on the green, red and amber lists will be on 15 July – next Thursday

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