People rush to book holidays after Covid travel rules relaxed
After the testing rules for foreign travel were simplified, holiday bookings grew and demand increased.
Jet2 reported that demand had recovered to pre-Covid levels. After the government announced that pre-departure checks for fully vaccinated people would be abolished, the holiday company experienced a “massive surge” in reservations, according to CEO Steve Heapy.
EasyJet reported a nearly 200 per cent increase in bookings over the previous week, while Tui reported a “significant bump.”
According to EasyJet, flights to Tenerife, Alicante, Malaga, and Lanzarote were the most popular, with bookings for the latter increasing 427 per cent week on week.
For summer 2022, the airline has added around 1.1 million more seats from London Gatwick. Mr Heapy of Jet2 told the BBC’s Today programme that reservations were “far below” normal levels before the regulation changes on Wednesday, but that the easing of procedures gave passengers confidence that they might not be caught in resort quarantine, with Thursday bookings up 150 per cent.
He claimed that Jet2’s summer vacation package for 2022 is greater than that of 2019. According to EasyJet’s survey, Brits are planning more vacations than normal in 2022 and will spend more money on them.
Boris Johnson announced the changes to the travel rules on Wednesday, following complaints from travel companies that the controls were ineffective now that Omicron has spread worldwide.
The following are the new rules:
•Fully vaccinated adults and those under the age of 18 will no longer be required to undergo a test two days before travelling to England from countries outside the UK and the Common Travel Area, starting at 04:00 GMT on Friday, January 7. They’ll have to take a PCR test when they arrive, but they won’t have to self-isolate while they wait for the results.
•On day two, they will only be subjected to a lateral flow test rather than a PCR test, which will commence at 04:00 GMT on Sunday, January 9th. Free NHS tests are not permitted; this test must be obtained from a commercial testing provider.
• Passengers who have not been vaccinated must undergo a pre-departure test, PCR tests on day two and day eight, and ten days of self-isolation.