Short overseas breaks surge as test rules ease

More Brits have been booking shorter overseas holidays following the government’s announcement last month of more relaxed rules, according to research.

Pre-departure tests have no longer been required from Monday (October 4) for vaccinated arrivals from non-red list countries.

The Department for Transport confirmed the change on September 17, alongside its announcement that the international travel traffic light system would be scrapped from October 4.

And from the end of October, the day-two Covid test for fully-vaccinated international arrivals from “a select group of non-red countries” can be conducted with a lateral flow test.

The government aims to have this policy in place for when people return from half-term breaks.

The booking trend has been highlighted by ancillaries specialist Holidays Extra, which surveyed 1,000 people at the end of September about their holidays.

It found that bookings for overseas holidays of up to six days rose by 19% in two weeks after the announcement, compared to the two weeks beforehand.

Those booking two-week breaks has dropped by a quarter (24%) and bookings for three-week holidays have fallen by 18% since the government 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.”

Picture by ImYanis/Shutterstock

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