Simon Calder says current UK travel rules are a ‘mess’
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Bookings for overseas holidays of up to six days rose by almost 20 percent in the two weeks after the latest travel update. Grant Shapps announced that pre-departure tests before arrival in the UK would be scrapped and PCR tests are also due to be replaced by lateral flow tests.
Britons were less keen to book longer breaks away with two week holidays bookings falling by a quarter after the announcement.
Seamus McCauley, head of communications at Holiday Extras, said: “This summer and last were the summers of beach holidays.
“UK holidaymakers had to take tests to leave, tests to come back, and a lot of the time only the beach resorts were really welcoming tourists.
“Now that almost everywhere is open to vaccinated visitors and travel tests have been dramatically simplified, people are booking shorter overseas trips.
“Holidays are easy again and city breaks are easy too – just in time for autumn and the upcoming Christmas market season.”
International Christmas market breaks are normally very popular with British tourists and many are back on this year.
Cologne, Salzburg, Berlin, Prague and Strasbourg are all running their famous Christmas markets again in 2021.
Short winter sun breaks are also a fantastic option for Britons looking to get away from the UK’s dreary weather.
Turkey, Spain and Portugal all offer British tourists warm and mild weather well into October.
Many European countries have relaxed their entry rules towards double-vaccinated Britons making travel a lot simpler for UK tourists.
A new Kayak study found Spain and Turkey were the top travel destinations for British families looking for an October half-term break.
If the Government changes the requirement for day two PCR tests to lateral flows before half term, travel could also become a lot cheaper for British families.
Dubai and New York were also top destinations for British tourists looking for an autumn city break.
Although a little further away than a European city break, both cities are easily reached on direct flights from the UK.
The USA is due to lift its travel ban for double-vaccinated Britons at some point in November, although it is unlikely unvaccinated travellers will be allowed entry.
Flight prices to Dubai and the USA have also fallen with cheap deals available for Britons willing to shop around for a deal.
Italy, Greece and Portugal were also popular destinations with Britons looking to catch winter sun.
British tourists should check the UK Government website for the latest travel restrictions in their holiday destinations.
Regulations on facemasks, testing and social distancing are different across countries.
The Government is due to update its travel red list with many experts predicting South Africa will be removed.
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