Beach holiday bookings rise amid hopes of new quarantine rules for countries on UK’s ‘amber’ list

Jonathan Prynn
·1-min read
Beach volleyball on one of Tel Aviv’s beaches (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)
Beach volleyball on one of Tel Aviv’s beaches (Adam Davy/PA) (PA Archive)

Bookings for beach holidays in southern Europe are starting to rise for June onwards amid hopes that twice-jabbed travellers will be spared quarantine and multiple testing on return.

Operators are seeing the first flickers of recovery in bookings since late March, when government adviser Dr Mike Tildesley said summer holidays overseas were “extremely unlikely” because of the risk of travellers bringing coronavirus variants back to the UK.

Recent announcements from countries such as Spain and Italy that they expect to welcome British holidaymakers back from next month are starting to rebuild confidence, according to travel industry leaders. 

Officials are also looking at whether the current need for holidaymakers from “amber” countries to self-isolate at home for up to 10 days and take two tests could be relaxed for people who have had both vaccinations. Ministers are expected to announce on Friday which countries will be on the green, amber and red lists.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy PC Agency, said: “The good news… is that there will be an extra month of reopening this summer, last year it was not until July.” He added that “the last two weeks have been better than the previous two weeks for most travel operators”.

Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, cautioned that unregulated international travel “can be very dangerous indeed”. Asked about the traffic light system, he told Sky News: “The principle of trying to think carefully about how this is done and to minimise the overall risks is clearly a sensible one.” 

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