Hopeful holidaymakers in the UK have rushed to book trips to their dream destinations abroad as air travel gets the go-ahead following the announcement that quarantine measures have been dropped for select destinations around the world.
The rule initially requiring that persons returning to the UK self-isolate for 14 days has been removed for several popular holiday destinations. Ministers have confirmed this new development which opens up the possibility of trips to Spain, France, and Greece.
Even though details regarding this recent development was made public this week, the Eurotunnel website has not been able to cope with the increased demand it has received.
A spokesman of the company corroborated the fact that the Eurotunnel website has received in one day more bookings than they have had since the beginning of the year.
According to the spokesman, their website has gotten very slow because of the “sheer quantity of people all trying to make a booking”
Under the new rule to be used in place of the old quarantine regulations, officials have positioned countries under an innovative traffic light inspired colour code; with green, amber,and red showing the level of coronavirus occurrence within listed countries.
A list containing countries considered “Quarantine Free” was released on Wednesday, July 1, while the lifting of travel restrictions may follow as early as 6th July.
The Foreign Office will remove its warning against “all but critical journeys” for all the countries placed in the green and amber categories. Travel insurance premiums are expected to decrease following the 6th July announcement and the measures implemented by the foreign office.
To confirm how inundated travel firms have been, Eurotunnel Le Shuttle’s tweet says they had been forced to bring in more hands to help respond to queries on the “very busy” telephone lines, and that they had encountered more problems with online booking systems because “Too many users are trying to make a booking.”
Holidays to Spain and Greece are proving to be very popular with travel firm Tui as they have confirmed 50% more bookings this week as opposed to what they experienced the week before.
“We’re pleased the government has finally confirmed that holidays overseas will be able to go ahead.” Says Tui’s managing director, Andrew Flintham. “It’s a hugely positive step forward for the travel industry and I know our customers will be ecstatic that their summer is saved”
The only passengers expected to self-isolate after entering the UK are those passengers coming in from the countries classified under the red zone. The countries placed in the red category are countries where the coronavirus risk level still gives cause for concern.
Despite the auspicious notes, Ministers continue to sound a note of warning. They warn that it is very easy for countries to relapse into the red box if a sudden outbreak of the virus is noticed. This will mean that holidaymakers returning from such countries may find that they have to self-isolate for the maximum two weeks put in place in June.
While Greece remains one of the major countries touted to be a possible holiday destination for UK citizens, Greece’s minister of tourism, Haris Theoharis, suggested it may take more than a few weeks for his country to consider reopening channels of unchecked travel with the UK. By his estimation, it may take another three weeks as opposed to the one-week readiness plans espoused by the UK government.
According to a government spokeswoman; “Our new risk assessment system will enable us to carefully open a number of safe travel routes around the world- giving people the opportunity for a summer holiday abroad and boosting the UK economy through tourism and business. But we will not hesitate to put on the breaks if any risks re-emerge, and this system will enable us to take swift action to reintroduce self-isolation measures if the new outbreaks occur overseas”
The quarantine rules implemented on the 8th of June have received heavy condemnation. The rules required all passengers, with a few exceptions, to self-isolate at a declared address, for a 14 day period when they arrive in the UK.
In England, individuals who fail to comply with the above rule may be charged the sum of €1,000. Police are also permitted to apply “reasonable force” to ensure that the quarantine measures are followed.
The government has also confirmed that it is compulsory forthwith to wear masks or face coverings on Airplanes and ferries.