Fully vaccinated travelers returning from countries on the Amber List are anticipated to be exempt from quarantine, but they will still be required to undergo pricey PCR tests.
According to plans presented by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today, limitations might be lifted as early as 19th July.
Even if they haven’t been vaccinated, children are likely to be excused from quarantine and will require testing on day two of their return.
According to the Telegraph, Shapps told the industry: “Day-two testing will remain for arrivals from amber countries, regardless of vaccinated status, as this provides genomic sequencing capability to identify the risk of importing variants.”
PCR testing will be required for persons returning from quarantine-free green-list countries until at least 31st July, when the traffic light system will be reviewed again.
As schools break up for the summer, the updated rules would allow people to travel to more than 140 countries on the amber list without being quarantined, including popular vacation spots like mainland Spain and the Canary Islands, Greece, France, Portugal, and Italy.
Holidays to destinations on the amber list are already in high demand, with operators preparing to increase capacity to accommodate it.
According to TravelSupermarket, more than half (55%) of holiday bookings made in the last week were for vacations in July and August, compared to only 10% a fortnight before when demand was higher for 2022.
The Balearic Islands, led by Majorca, were the most popular package holiday destinations, followed by amber list destinations Tenerife and Crete.
Majorca, Madeira, Lanzarote, Ibiza, and Malta were the most popular international locations in the previous week.
Emma Coulthurst, a spokesman for the price comparison service, said: “Once the government confirms the date when quarantine on return will be dropped for the double vaccinated and more countries are likely to open up to Brits in the coming weeks, demand will increase to getaway. This could see prices going up.
“Currently, seven night package holiday prices are starting as low as from £150pp to amber destinations such as the Canary Islands and the Greek islands which the Foreign Office has given the OK to holiday to.
“Comparing prices across the holiday market there are still good green list package holiday prices too from as little as £185pp for a family during the school holidays to the likes of Malta and Madeira.
“Package holidays tend not to see the immediate steep fluctuations in prices which flights do due to airline revenue management systems. Some holiday providers own their own airlines and can control prices, or the flight and accommodation prices have been secured by holiday providers in advance.
“Packages are nearly always better value than going DIY and they also give you better financial and legal protections.”
Two-fifths (41%) of people plan to spend more on their vacations once international travel begins, according to a study by travel insurer Battleface. Moreover a third of respondents (34%) plan to take lengthier vacations.
Rory Boland, the travel editor, issued a warning: “With restrictions easing and cases rising, it’s been suggested that several million people could be required to self-isolate by law this summer – and if they have travel plans booked, most travel providers currently say they will not allow customers to claim a refund.
“This could leave travellers facing bills of several hundred pounds for trips they can’t take and struggling to get a refund.
“However, the CMA’s guidance is clear that people who cannot travel because they are undertaking mandatory self-isolation should be entitled to a refund.
“Holiday operators and airlines cannot shirk their responsibility to refund customers who cannot travel for a second summer, so companies must ensure they are offering the option of a refund to customers whose plans are disrupted by having to self-isolate.”
Book by: Feb 29th 2024
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