Holiday bookings “explode” as travel restrictions ease for “low-risk” countries

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Travel companies have said they are struggling to cope with booking demand after the Government announced that quarantine restrictions will be dropped for travellers returning from COVID-19 low-risk countries.

The two-week quarantine will be replaced with a traffic-light system, with countries grouped together according to their coronavirus infection rates. 

People arriving in Britain from countries with a green or amber designation will not be required to self-isolate, as the Government looks to set up a series of “air bridges” with certain European countries. 

Although the full list of countries will not be published until next week, thousands of hopeful holidaymakers have not hesitated to book trips to places like France and Spain. 

Tui, Europe’s largest tour operator, said bookings were up 50 per cent this week compared to last. Likewise, TravelSupermarket said it had seen its busiest weekend since lockdown started, with searches doubling and bookings up 50 per cent.

Tui Managing Director, Andrew Flintham, told ITV news: “We’re pleased the Government has finally confirmed that holidays overseas will be able to go ahead, and the full list of green and amber destinations will be released on Wednesday.

“It’s a hugely positive step forward for the travel industry and I know our customers will be ecstatic that their summer is saved.”

A Government spokesperson said: “Our new risk-assessment system will enable us to carefully open a number of safe travel routes around the world – giving people the opportunity for a summer holiday abroad and boosting the UK economy through tourism and business.

“But we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if any risks re-emerge, and this system will enable us to take swift action to reintroduce self-isolation measures if new outbreaks occur overseas.”

 

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