Government ministers have confirmed the 12 countries that people can visit without quarantining on their return to the UK.
As England goes into the next phase of the roadmap out of lockdown on Monday (May 17), a traffic light system that divides countries based on their Covid risk levels has been drawn up.
And now the UK’s major airlines have updated their travel guidance in line with the latest advice.
Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, outlined in a Downing Street press conference on Friday evening, the Government’s plans for the ‘traffic light’ style of system for international travel.
It means countries will be ranked green, amber, or red depending on the risk they pose and will have different criteria for travel to and from the UK for passengers.
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Since the announcement, Thomas Cook has already seen a 250% increase in bookings for Portugal holidays.
So we’ve broken down the latest updates from the main airlines which fly out of Bristol Airport or other regional airports.
Ryanair has added additional flights to Portugal, as the country is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the new green list, with 175,000 seats added from May 17.
From Stansted, the budget airline will be putting on an additional 16 flights to Faro, 11 to Lisbon, and 11 to Porto.
To celebrate the news of summer holidays returning, Ryanair has launched a seat sale, with fares available from just £19.99 for travel until the end of October 2021 – however, they must be booked by midnight on Sunday, May 9, according to the Ryanair website.
Are you planning to travel abroad this summer? Leave your comments below.
Ryanair’s director of marketing, Dara Brady said: “We are very pleased to announced 175,000 extra seats to Portugal on the back of the UK’s green list.
“With quarantine-free travel now permitted to the likes of Faro, Lisbon and Porto, even more flights have been added to our UK schedule in order to meet the demand from our customers.
“The UK Summer 2021 schedule comprises 480 destinations, having recently launched 26 new routes and with more to be added as restrictions relax throughout Europe over the summer months.
“UK families can book a well-earned summer holiday safe in the knowledge that if their plans change, they can move their travel dates up to two times with a zero-change fee up until the end of October 2021.
“To celebrate, we are releasing seats from just £19.99 for travel until the end of October 2021, which are available to book until midnight Sunday, May 9.
“Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com to avoid missing out.”
A statement released on Jet2’s website following the announcement read: “We’re getting ready to take you away again from 24 June 2021.
“Following the latest announcement from the government about the new traffic light system, we’re carefully considering what this means for our flights from all parts of the UK.
“That way, we can make the right decisions for our customers and give you the most up-to-date information. As vaccination programmes continue, we look forward to further positive news about where we can fly to in the coming weeks.
“If your booking is affected in any way, we’ll be in touch with you soon. We kindly ask you to hold off from contacting us and wait for us to get in touch with more details as soon as we can.
“You can also visit our website 14 days before you’re due to depart when we’ll have all the latest official information.
“Between now and then, there’s no need to take any action – and we’d recommend that you don’t start arranging things like Covid-19 tests until close to your time of travel, as travel requirements both here and abroad can change.”
Following the announcement, easyJet has updated their site, calling it “great news”.
The budget airline said they are planning to restart holidays from May 17 and they “can’t wait” to take passengers away.
They have also added more flexibility to bookings by enhancing their Covid commitments so passengers are covered under their industry-leading protection promise.
If your holiday is on a green list and you’re departing up to and including September 30 your holiday can go ahead as planned, provided you follow the steps required by the Government.
If your holiday is on the amber list for departures up to and including September 30 and stays on the list in the run-up to your departure date, you can make fee-free changes up to 24 hours before you’re due to travel.
Alternatively, you can choose to cancel your holiday for easyJet holidays credit to put toward a future booking, for when you feel more comfortable travelling again.
Right now, easyJet are not offering holidays to red list destinations due to the mandatory hotel quarantine on arrival back in the UJ.
If your destination is added to the red list within 28 days of travel you’ll be given the option to make fee-free changes or receive the value of your holiday as credit straight away.
If the destination stays on the red list then the holiday will be cancelled no later than seven days before you’re due to travel and you’ll be refunded in full.
The same will apply to any short notice changes from the Government or if the destination is added to the red list within seven days of when you’re due to travel.
Currently, easyJet are operating flights to the green list countries and territories of Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel and Portugal.
EasyJet holiday destinations on the amber list are more expensive, including France, Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Spain and Italy.
The only red list destination easyJet operates flights to currently is Turkey.
Thomas Cook has already seen a 250% increase in bookings for Portugal holidays.
It will offer Portugal (except Azores) and Gibraltar holidays from May 17, and Israel holidays from June 1.
Alan French Thomas Cook CEO said: “The government has today confirmed that now is the time to stop just dreaming about holidays and start planning them instead. The past week has already been one of the best of the year so far in terms of bookings for Portugal and we expect record demand for the Algarve and Lisbon as people flock to our website and call our agents to book a much-deserved getaway.
“Our data shows more than six million people are poised ready to book a summer holiday and we expect many will hold until the next announcement comes. Greece has been our number one holiday hotspot for this summer with families and couples seeking out sunshine and relaxation on the islands of Rhodes, Crete, Santorini and Mykonos.
“People this year are splashing out on four and five star hotels as they look for a spot of luxury after this past year and joining together with other families and friends to spend time away with the people they love. And with the flexibility to amend or cancel if things change we can see confidence to book returning strongly.”
You can find out more on thomascook.com.