Jet2 reports a 30% surge in bookings for Spain, Italy and Portugal

Jet2 reports a 30% surge in bookings for Spain, Italy and Portugal as Tui sees a welcome spike for holidays after testing and self-isolation rules for people arriving in UK were dropped

  • From February 11, fully jabbed arrivals will no longer need to take a Covid test
  • Jet2 saw a ‘notable increase in demand’ after new policy was revealed yesterday
  • Andrew Flintham, managing director at Tui, said move was a ‘huge leap forwards’
  • Grant Shapps claimed change will bring overseas travel ‘back to good old days’ 

Airline Jet2 has reported a 30 per cent surge in bookings for Spain, Italy and Portugal while Tui has seen a spike for holidays after testing and self-isolation rules for people arriving in England were dropped. 

From February 11, fully vaccinated arrivals will no longer need to take a Covid test, and the requirement for those not in that category to self-isolate will be dropped.

Jet2 and tour operator Jet2holidays reported a ‘notable increase in demand for holidays and flights’ after the new policy was revealed yesterday afternoon, said chief executive Steve Heapy.

Traditional hotspots such as Spanish islands, mainland Spain, Italy and Portugal are all proving popular with customers. 

Andrew Flintham, managing director at tour operator Tui, described the move as ‘a huge leap forwards in getting travel back to normal’. 

And Paul Bixby, easyJet holidays’ Commercial Director, told MailOnline the firm saw a ‘significant increase’ in holiday bookings less than 24 hours after the announcement. 

Traditional hotspots such as Spanish islands, mainland Spain, Italy and Portugal are all proving popular with customers, said Jet2 chief executive Steve Heapy (file photo taken in Barcelona)

Mr Heapy said: ‘Before yesterday’s announcement demand was already strong, however bookings have jumped by another 30 per cent when compared with the previous week, demonstrating just how much of a game-changer the removal of all testing is for fully vaccinated holidaymakers.

‘With international travel starting to look like it did before the pandemic, customers are jumping at the chance to book their flights and holidays.’ 

EasyJet holidays’ Mr Bixby said Reykjavik, The Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and Turkey proved particularly popular with those booking a getaway.

He added: ‘We know from our own research that there is pent up demand for travel and yesterday’s news proved this as we saw a significant increase in holiday bookings less than 24 hours after the announcement, with strong demand for city breaks.’ 

Tui’s Mr Flintham said he expects holidays bookings for this summer to be ‘back to pre-pandemic levels’. 

He continued: ‘The relaxation of testing rules has already resulted in an increase in bookings, with customer confidence growing every day in recent weeks.

Andrew Flintham, managing director at tour operator Tui, described the move as ‘a huge leap forwards in getting travel back to normal’ (file photo)

Jet2 and tour operator Jet2holidays reported a ‘notable increase in demand for holidays and flights’ after the new policy was revealed yesterday, said chief executive Steve Heapy

Huge boost for half-term holidays as return Covid tests for the fully jabbed are scrapped from February 11

Holidaying Britons will not have to take a Covid test after returning to the UK within weeks under plans designed to ‘set Britain free’, Grant Shapps confirmed yesterday.

From 4am on February 11 the requirement to take an LFT tow days after getting back will be removed, in time for people heading away on half-term breaks.

The Transport Secretary told MPs that it was clear the border test regime – which costs around £120 per family – had ‘outlived its usefulness’.

He said: ‘We promised we wouldn’t keep these measures in place a day longer than was necessary and it’s obvious to me now that border testing for vaccinated travellers has outlived its usefulness, and we’re therefore scrapping all travel tests for vaccinated people.

‘Not only making travel much easier but also, of course, saving about £100 per family on visits abroad, providing certainty to passengers, to carriers and (the) vital tourism sector for the spring and the summer seasons.’

He used a Commons statement to confirm that vaccinated children aged 12-15 will be able to access digital Covid passports from February 3.

Rules for arrivals who are not fully vaccinated are also being eased, meaning they no longer have to isolate for 10 days. Instead they will just have to do a day two LFT. 

‘We now look to the governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to adopt the same approach.

‘Many families look to go on holiday over the February half-term, so we are delighted these changes will come into effect in time. 

‘Going abroad will finally start to feel more normal again and without the added expense of testing.’ 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps claimed the change in rules will bring international travel ‘back to the good old days’.

The Cabinet minister told LBC: ‘You will be able to come to this country, and if you’ve been fully vaccinated, in other words two vaccinations, you will not need to take any tests at all, either before you leave to come here or when you get back here.

‘Of course, no quarantine. In other words, kind of back to the good old days.’

Mr Shapps told MPs yesterday the UK is also set to recognise vaccine certificates from 16 further nations.

He said reconnecting to key markets will not only ‘boost’ the UK economy but also help the aviation industry to ‘take back to the skies’.

Heathrow Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye welcomed the easing of restrictions for people arriving in the UK, but warned many destinations still require travellers to take tests.

He told Sky News: ‘We need to get the tests lifted at the other end of the journey, because for most countries you might need to go to you will still need testing before you’re allowed into those countries.

‘So that’s something we’ll work on.’

Gary Lewis, chief executive of The Travel Network Group which represents more than 1,200 travel businesses in the UK, said: ‘The removal of all testing for double-jabbed travellers feels like a significant moment for the industry and another positive step on the road back to recovery. 

‘We’ve already seen the green shoots of growth as holidaymakers look with confidence to booking a holiday in 2022 and this is another shot in the arm. 

‘Confidence is returning and, although we’re not yet out of the woods, this is welcome news for our industry.’ 

Among the destinations which require arrivals from the UK to take a coronavirus test, even if they are fully vaccinated, are Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Morocco, mainland Portugal, Switzerland and the US.

The Transport Secretary told MPs yesterday that it was clear the border test regime had ‘outlived its usefulness’ and he was ‘setting Britain free’

The UK’s most popular foreign holiday destination, Spain, does not require testing, but only fully vaccinated visitors are permitted to enter.

Meanwhile, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has climbed to its highest level for 10 months.

A total of 1,382 deaths registered in the week ending January 14 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.

That is up 50 per cent on the previous seven days and is the highest number since 1,501 deaths were registered in the week to March 12 last year.

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