AIRLINE bookings rose by 400% after the Government confirmed that Brits who received two doses of a Covid jab can skip quarantine when returning from amber list countries.
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Following the announcement, Brits rushed to travel websites to book their summer holidays.
EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said in a statement: “We have been delighted with the customer response to the removal of amber list quarantine for the fully vaccinated, so Europe has now turned green for the double jabbed.
“This means that millions will finally be able to reunite with family and loved ones abroad or take that long-awaited trip this summer.”
But sources have warned that the additional checks at airports and an increased number of passengers following the announcement might create long queues at airports, with people waiting up to six hours at the border.
A Whitehall Source claimed the Border Force is “nowhere near ready” to cope with the latest changes, the Daily Mail reports.
The insider said: “You could easily be looking at queues of six hours to start with.
“The Border Force is nowhere near ready. What no-one knows is how much extra traffic there will be as a result of the change.”
But after the travel announcement, the Transport Secretary also warned that any destination on the amber list is at risk of turning red – meaning people will need to quarantine in a Government-approved hotel, forking out £1,750 per person for their stay.
And while Britain starts to ease restrictions for some of the most popular holiday destinations, countries including Italy, Portugal and Spain recently tightened entry requirements for Brits due to concerns linked to the spread of the coronavirus Delta variant.
Italy, for example, now requires five days of quarantine for anyone returning from the UK.
After Mr Shapps’ announcement, British Airways’ CEO Sean Doyle said: “We’re pleased to see this common-sense approach which is already working safely for many other countries, but there is more work to do.
“While the quarantine requirement for ‘amber’ countries is being lifted for fully vaccinated UK travellers, the Government needs to quickly extend this to all vaccinated travellers, agree a reciprocal deal with the US, add more countries to the ‘green’ list and reduce the need for unnecessary, expensive tests.
“This will allow the UK to catch up with other countries and send a message that Global Britain is now, finally, open again.”
Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA – The Travel Association “strongly welcomed” the announcement.
He said: “Having to quarantine when returning from an amber list country has been a very significant barrier to travel for many people, so it is good that this will be removed for those who have had both vaccinations and for children.
“It’s especially welcome that this will come in time for the school summer holidays.
“We know there is significant pent-up demand to travel abroad – to see family and friends, make business connections and have a well-deserved holiday.
“The Minister today has sent a clear message that people can travel abroad to amber list countries this summer – opening up travel to many popular holiday destinations, but there is a lot more than needs to happen for the industry to get back on its feet, and the need for Government support remains pressing.”