Following the announcement yesterday that the government would relax quarantine rules for double-jabbed travellers later this month, there has been a surge in bookings for holidays and flights. Both holidaymakers and the travel industry welcomed the news, and the impact is already starting to show.
The changes mean that from 19th July – ‘Freedom Day' – travellers who have had both Covid jabs will be able to return from amber list countries without having to quarantine. With the summer holidays coming up, many were eager to book trips abroad but held off because of the cost and inconvenience of going into quarantine upon return. However, the changes mean that they will no longer need to do this, which has led to flights and holidays being snapped up.
A rapid rise in bookings
After the announcement was made, airlines reported a surge in flight and holiday bookings to amber list countries. Bookings started to take off within hours, with easyJet reporting a 400% increase in flight bookings to amber list countries. In addition, the company revealed that its holiday bookings had increased by 440%.
The Chief Executive of easyJet, Johan Lundgren, said that the new rules meant that the amber list had effectively become a green list for those who were fully vaccinated.
He said, "We have always said that vaccination is the key to unlocking travel and this means that millions will finally be able to reunite with family and loved ones abroad or take that long-awaited trip this summer."
British Airways also revealed that viewings on its website had increased by 96% within hours of the announcement by government officials. Holiday company TUI reported a similar situation, adding that demand for holidays abroad was very strong.
Many people had chosen not to book holidays abroad this summer because of the strict quarantine rules attached to many popular destinations. However, now the government has revealed these rules won't apply to those fully vaccinated, there has been a mad rush for bookings. The bad news is that this could now lead to a drop in bookings for staycations, as many may cancel any plans to holiday within the UK now that they can book to go abroad.
Impact on pricing
Many people are concerned about the impact of the relaxation on prices of flights and holidays to amber list countries. There was much speculation over whether prices would surge, but Rory Boland from the consumer group Which? said that this was not necessarily going to be the case.
He stated, "Repeated checks by Which? have found flight and holiday prices do not rise because the government has eased restrictions on international travel, as demand remains relatively low and airlines are able to add more capacity to routes."
The group also said that after the government announced its green list destinations, holiday prices to those countries actually fell rather than going up. It added that there had been no increase in prices for popular travel destinations on the amber list so far.