Holiday bookings surge as the UK relaxes travel requirements from today
The Canary Islands tourism sector has welcomed the reversal of testing requirements for travelling to England, with operators reporting increases of 150% in holiday bookings since it was announced earlier in the week by the UK Government that travel would be more flexible now it is accepted that the omicron variant of Covid is the dominant strain, yet less lethal than others.
From 4am this morning (Friday), fully vaccinated travellers will not have to take an antigen test before travelling to England, something the British Government re-imposed at the beginning of December to stop the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Also once in the country, they are not now required to do a day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until a negative test result is returned, only now having to do a lateral flow test two days after arrival and having a PCR test if that tests positive to help identify new variants.
At the moment, nothing has changed for non-vaccinated travellers, or for anyone heading to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, who are yet to announce any changes to travel requirements.
The tourism sector of the Canary Islands gladly received this news on Wednesday, although they are still concerned about the requirement by the central Government of Spain that requires any travellers from the UK, over the age of 12, to be fully vaccinated.
This measure has been extended again and makes it impossible for British families with teenage children to come on holiday as there hasn’t physically been time to get them vaccinated due to the UK campaign schedule, something that has greatly contributed to losses and cancellations over Christmas and the New Year.
Since the announcement, Jet2.com has reported that they have seen an increase in reservations to Spain of 150%. The airline has confirmed the launch of special offers for those who book their flights or holiday packages before January 18th, and the result has been an increase of more than double in reservations to Spain compared to the previous 24 hours, returning to the level of figures from before the start of the pandemic.
The CEO of Jet2, Steve Heapy, said that “the travel restrictions have done nothing to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant, thus representing the end of disproportionate and useless measures. The increase in bookings to Spain is a clear demonstration that the desire for a well-deserved break and having some and fun are higher than ever."
He also added that they are starting 2022 with "very a good feeling for the industry", and hopes this announcement "will be the first of many bringing good news for our tourist partners in Spain and the Canary Islands."