ookings to amber list countries have taken off following the announcement fully vaccinated passengers will not need to quarantine upon their return, travel firms said.
Travel firm Skyscanner said 30 minutes after the announcement, the agency saw a 53 per cent increase in traffic from the UK compared to the same time on Wednesday.
Thomas Cook said web traffic doubled in the moments after the announcement, and has only grown since.
A spokesperson said: “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.”
In his announcement, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said under-18s will also be exempted from the quarantine requirement and that the guidance not to travel to countries on the amber list will be lifted by July 19, when the majority of restrictions are expected to be eased in England.
He said people returning from holidays from amber destinations, including France, Spain and Portugal, will still be required to take a Covid-19 test three days before returning.
They will also have to take a test on or before the second day of their return, but will be exempted from the day eight test.
Mr Shapps added the rules “may differ” in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The move was welcomed by airlines, with Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye calling the changes “a much needed boost to millions of people across Britain looking forward to a more normal summer and reuniting with family and friends abroad”.
Johan Lundgren, easyJet’s chief executive, said: “We have always said that vaccination is the key to unlocking travel and now millions will finally be able to reunite with family and loved ones abroad or take that long-awaited trip this summer.
“But with unnecessary testing staying in place, more needs to be done. We do not want to see a return to flying being a preserve of the rich, and expensive testing could sadly make travel out of reach for some this summer.”
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