Growing demand for travel to the Continent this summer is emerging as France opens its borders and UK travellers become increasingly optimistic of taking overseas summer holidays.

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle bookings are claimed to be up 49% on last week’s figures ahead of a likely government relaxation of travel restrictions to low risk countries and the UK quarantine on international arrivals.

Travellers are taking advantage of a new standard refundable ticket, introduced to offer additional peace of mind should plans change.

Recent research carried out by Eurotunnel has shown that the need to self-distance does not stop after the journey.

More than 80% said they would choose to stay in self-catering accommodation, such as an apartment, house or villa after lockdown measures are lifted.

Deborah Merrens, chief commercial officer at the Channel Tunnel tourist vehicle carrying service, said: “For the last couple of weeks we have seen a gradual increase in bookings, and the ongoing relaxation of lock down rules has meant even more people are looking at their summer holiday options.

“Our most recent enquiries and bookings are reflecting the research.

“People just want to load up the car and get away to somewhere different this summer without compromising safety.

“Travelling with us and booking a self-catered property means they can be sure of the health and safety protocols during their stay and remain in their own contained group from leaving the UK.”