Amber list holiday prices plummet as some companies still offer breaks

Holiday prices to amber list countries have been slashed in the past week, following Portugal moving off the green list.

© iStockphoto Praia da Marinha, Algarve, Portugal

Average prices for breaks in Portugal in July or August fell by 64% in the week after the Government moved the country from green to amber compared with the previous seven days, price comparison website TravelSupermarket said.

Seven-night family package breaks during the school holidays are available from as little as £180 per person, according to the firm.

People returning to the UK from amber destinations must self-isolate at home for 10 days and the government is discouraging people from travelling to amber list areas, although it is not illegal to do so.

There are currently no major summer hotspots on the green list, which is a huge blow to those hoping for a break away in the next couple of months.

Summer holidays on Spain’s Canary Islands, which are also on the amber list, are lower than before the coronavirus pandemic.

The biggest savings compared with 2019 prices are on Gran Canaria (25% cheaper), but prices are also reduced on Tenerife (23%), Lanzarote (15%) and Fuerteventura (12%).

Prices for trips to another amber destination, the Greek island of Corfu, are down 20% on pre-pandemic levels.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) does not advise against travel to any of these destinations.

However, the Government is urging people to avoid holidays to amber locations.

Emma Coulthurst of TravelSupermarket said before the pandemic it would have been “fairly hard” to find a seven-night package holiday during the summer school holidays from less than £300 per person, but “the industry has many holidays to sell”.

She went on: “Prices are often the most expensive at the start of the school holidays as people are itching to get away as soon as they can.

“This year, they are some of the cheapest due to the current confusion and chaos over how the traffic light system is implemented.”

The decision to move Portugal from green to amber, and not make any additions to the green list, led to a furious reaction from the travel industry.

Many senior figures claimed data shows destinations such as Malta should have been put on the green list and questioned why Portugal was not put on a “green watchlist” to highlight it was at risk of being switched.