HOLIDAY bookings to the Balearic Islands have boomed since the UK government scrapped the travel traffic light system and pre-departure tests for vaccinated holidaymakers.
The traffic light system has been replaced with a single red list of countries and double-jabbed tourists will no longer need a pre-departure test, as long as they’re not returning from any red list country, in the changes from October 4.
British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also said that from October travellers returning to England will no longer have to take a PCR test two days after arrival. Instead, they can take the quicker and cheaper lateral flow tests.
Since Mr Shapps’ made the new travel announcement airlines are lining up more flights to cope with the huge demand in holiday bookings.
Steve Heapy, chief executive of Jet2, told the BBC that there had been a “phenomenal” consumer reaction since the announcement, with “huge” demand for holidays in the next few weeks.
He added that destinations across the board were “selling well” across late summer, winter and summer 2022 dates, and the firm had seen a “surge in bookings” for family holidays during October half-term.
EasyJet is adding 51,000 seats in October with Chief commercial officer Sophie Dekkers saying, “We’ve seen a huge surge in bookings.”
Some travel firms are offering more than a third off trips to Spain, Greece and Portugal. British Airways has launched a flash sale with up to £300 off trips booked before September 21.
Thomas Cook said: “Half-term bookings are up more than 200% compared to August.”
The number of countries on the red list has dropped from 62 to 56, with UK travellers now able to visit Turkey, Pakistan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh, Kenya and Egypt from 4am on Wednesday September 22.