Travel restrictions: As the traffic light system comes to an end ahead of half-term, UK holiday providers are seeing a threefold increase in bookings.
As testing requirements are reduced, bookings for Turkey, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, and city breaks are all on the rise.
As a result of the traffic light system being abolished, holiday companies have seen bookings triple ahead of the October half-term, as Britons seek sunshine breaks.
Turkey, which was recently removed from the red list, and Spanish destinations such as the Canary and Balearic Islands are popular choices.
Bookings for city breaks have also increased as testing requirements have been reduced.
On Monday, the UK’s simplified travel rules went into effect, with the traffic light system being replaced by two categories: the red list and everywhere else.
Due to the changes announced by the government two weeks ago, fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to take pre-departure tests before arriving in the United Kingdom.
Travellers must still take a PCR test on or before day two of their return, but in England and Scotland, this requirement will be changed from a PCR to a less expensive lateral flow test on or before a yet-to-be-announced date in October.
The Government hopes to have the switch from PCR to lateral flows “in place” when people return from half-term breaks, adding to the renewed confidence in booking vacations, according to the Department of Transportation.
“We saw a near-tripling of bookings when the changes were announced,” David Child, Thomas Cook’s head of PR and brand, told i. “Around half of those were for October half-term.”
“Recently, it’s been more stable, but with a much broader mix of holidays booked – and the return of the city break now that testing is reduced,” says the expert.
“About a third of our bookings this week are for October.”
“At the moment, the Canary Islands are the most popular vacation destination – and the biggest beneficiary of the recent announcement.”
When the red list is reviewed on Thursday, there are high hopes that the number of countries on it will be reduced from the current 54 to as few as nine, with popular holiday destinations like South Africa and Mexico possibly being removed.
Customers are returning to making longer-term plans, according to Thomas Cook.
“What we’re seeing now is that people are booking slightly longer vacations: six to eight weeks.”
UK news summary from Infosurhoy
As the traffic light system comes to an end ahead of half-term, UK holiday providers are seeing a treble in bookings.
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Travel restrictions: UK holiday providers see bookings treble as traffic light system ends ahead of half-term