09 Jul COVID-19: Bookings for flights to amber list countries up by 400% after no-quarantine announcement | UK News
Bookings for holidays to amber list destinations increased by as much as 400% after the government announced travel from the UK will become quarantine-free from 19 July.
Anyone who has had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine or is under the age of 18 will no longer be required to self-isolate for 10 days on return from amber list countries, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the Commons on Thursday.
Passengers will still have to take a COVID-19 test three days before they arrive back in the UK and a PCR swab the day after they land.
“In essence, this means that for fully vaccinated travellers, the requirements for green and amber list countries are the same,” Mr Shapps said.
In the hours following the announcement, easyJet said flight bookings to amber list countries were up 400% on last week and the airline had put on more than 145,000 extra seats.
Thomas Cook said searches for amber list holidays doubled in light of the announcement.
A spokesperson added: “Searches for Greece have tripled in volume and will be the biggest winner from families booking last-minute summer holidays.
“(Before Thursday) we have been selling very few holidays to amber countries and so with Greece, mainland Spain and Canaries all now available to people who’ve been double jabbed we’d expect a flood of bookings over the weekend.”
Skyscanner said traffic had increased by 53% just half an hour after Mr Shapps’s announcement – compared to the same time on Wednesday.
Company spokesperson Martin Nolan described it as an “immediate uptick in searches” and a “huge moment for the UK travel industry”.
Consumer experts Which? said it does not expect prices to amber list destinations to go up as well.
The consumer champions say their research shows that previous additions to the green list did not result in a surge in prices.
The US and Mexico are also effectively moving to the green list.
But with the cost of a private PCR test in the UK still at around £100, a family-of-four could face considerable add-ons to their total getaway costs.
To qualify for quarantine-free travel, you have to have had your second vaccine dose at least 14 days ago.
Children aged between five and 10 will only have to take a test on the second day they return – while under-fours are exempt, the Department for Transport said.
The rules only apply to England and may be different in the devolved nations, it added, and the rules for red list countries will remain the same.