Flights to Spain low as £15 as travellers look to amber list countries
Flights to amber list countries are available from just £15 with seven night package holidays also selling for as little as £146, new research has revealed.
There has been a surge in demand for travel to foreign countries after the Government revealed double vaccinated travellers could fly to amber list countries without having to quarantine on their return.
But those looking at seemingly cheap trips will need to realise where they stand on having to also pay potentially hundreds of pounds for coronavirus tests for a family of four – and check they are fully insured.
Customers can travel to amber and green list destinations for as little as £15 this summer
Holidaymakers can now visit popular countries including Greece, Italy and Portugal this summer – although they are warned to check the rules in place at the destinations before visiting.
Demand for foreign travel has been so high that on 8 July, the day after the announcement was made, Skyscanner saw the most daily bookings made in over six months.
The holiday site found the most searched for destinations for this summer include Palma, Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza and Barcelona.
However, prices have remained low, thanks to the effect coronavirus has had on the industry. Holidaymakers’ financial concerns include the price of testing and whether they will lose out if the rules change and trips cannot go ahead.
Martin Nolan, Skyscanner Traveller Rights Expert, said: ‘With attentions at home now turning into plans for summer breaks, many are looking to international holidays as the easing of restrictions puts overseas breaks back on the agenda.
‘Weekly bookings were up by 39 per cent last week compared to the previous week, with Spain taking the lion’s share of bookings. Spanish destinations accounted for seven of the top ten most booked since the announcement was made.
‘Many of the major providers have been vocal about their plans to keep prices low to win back travellers in a very competitive travel marketplace.’
Some of the cheapest flights available on Skyscanner include London to Turin for just £15 and London to Barcelona or Porto for only £16.
Other deals include London to Biarritz for £23 and London to Crete for £30.
Package holiday deals are also available from as little as £151, according to Travel Super Market.
Holidaymakers can book flights to Biarritz, a French city, for just £23 return from Skyscanner
Emma Coulthurst of Travel Super Market said: ‘Package holidays tend not to see the immediate steep fluctuations in prices which flights do due to airline revenue management systems.
‘Some holiday providers own their own airlines and can control prices – or the flight and accommodation prices have been secured by holiday providers in advance.
‘Packages are nearly always better value than going DIY and they also give you better financial and legal protections.
‘There are some low prices. There is a package deal for a family of four starting from £114 per person for seven nights in the Canaries which is beyond unheard of.
‘However, it is a sign of what has happened to the holiday market this year as a result of Covid and the devastation which it has wrecked on holiday demand.’
This is Money, with the help of Travel Super Market, takes a look at the best package deals currently available for trips to both amber and green list destinations.
What are the new rules for amber list countries?
As of 19 July, arrivals to England from amber list countries will no longer need to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days ago, or are on a formally-approved UK vaccine clinical trial.
Passengers will need to provide proof of their vaccination status to carriers in advance of travel.
The recommendation for people to not travel to amber countries will also be removed from 19 July but people should continue to check FCDO travel advice before booking travel.
Holidaymakers will still needed to be tested pre-departure and are tested two days after returning.
They cannot use NHS testing and will also still have to pay for the tests themselves which can range into the hundreds – or even thousands – of pounds.
Children under the age of 18 will not have to isolate when returning to England whilst those aged 4 and under will continue to be exempt from any travel testing.
Children aged 5 to 10 will only need to do a day 2 PCR test and 11 to 18 year olds will need to take both a pre-departure test and a day 2 PCR test – as is the case for arrivals from green list countries.
Where: Panoramica Garden, Puerto de la Cruz, 3 star, B&B
When: Depart Stansted on 20 July for seven nights for two adults
How much: £162pp
What to do: Tenerife is the largest and most populated of the Canary Islands with plenty to do.
It is home to Siam Park, a large water park that is perfect for all the family, as well as Teide National Park which is home to Mount Teide, an active volcano.
Where: Apartamentos Lentiscos, Cala’n Forcat, 3 star, self-catering
When: Depart Manchester on 27 July for seven nights for two adults and two school-age children
How much: £285pp
What to do: Menorca is another of Spain’s Balearic Islands popular for its numerous beaches and bays with crystal clear water.
There are a lot of sea-based activities available including sailing, kayaking and snorkelling along the coast.
Holidaymakers heading to Menorca will only have to pay £285pp for seven nights away
Where: So Apartementos, Costa Teguise, 3 star, room only
When: Depart Manchester on 20 July for seven nights for two adults
How much: £146pp
What to do: Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands off West Africa known for its warm weather, multiples beaches and volcanic landscape.
One of the main places to visit is the Timanfaya National Park which is made up entirely of volcanic soil.
Where: Fuerteventura Beach Club, Costa Caleta, 3 star, self-catering
When: Depart Manchester on 29 July for seven nights for two adults and two school-age children
How much: £114pp
What to do: Holidaymakers can explore the 150km of beach, from sheltered bays to wild waters for windsurfing or crowd-free sands to stroll along.
Like the other islands, Fuerteventura is blessed with sunshine across the year with Corralejo and Jandia among the most popular resorts.
Travellers to Rhodes can stay at a 3 star B&B for seven nights with a cost of £176pp in July
Where: Achousa Hotel, Faliraki, 3 star, B&B
When: Depart 22 July from Stansted for seven nights for two adults
How much: £176pp
What to do: Rhodes is another popular destination for tourists with a number of pretty beaches and a water park for families to visit.
There are also plenty of attractions including the Monolithos Castle, the Medieval City and the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes.
Where: Amoros Hotel, Cala Ratjada, 3 star, half board
When: Depart Luton on 20 July for seven nights for two adults
How much: £347pp
What to do: If you’re looking for a pool to sit next to for a week, there’s plenty of choice here and some stunning beaches.
Magaluf favours the party crowd, while Cala d’Or and Cala Millor are better for those seeking a bit of quiet. Port de Pollença and Alcudia are great for families.
Vacation time: Kos is known for its many sandy beaches and Greek and Roman landmarks
Where: Iris Hotel, Kos Town, 3 star, B&B
When: Depart Liverpool on 22 July for seven nights for two adults
How much: £167pp
What to do: Kos is known for its many sandy beaches and Greek and Roman landmarks, particularly in and around Kos Town.
Where: Vila Ventura, Canico, 3 star, self-catering
When: Depart Luton on 24 July for seven nights for two adults
How much: £285pp
What to do: There are plenty of tourist attractions in Madeira including Pico do Arieiro, Madeira Island’s third highest peak, Cape Girão, a sea cliff lookout point and Pico Ruivo, Madeira’s highest mountain.
Holiday: Funchal is the largest city in Madeira and is known for its harbour and gardens
Where: Thalassi, Prinos, 3 star, half board
When: Depart 21 July from Bristol for seven nights for two adults
How much: £308pp
What to do: Greece’s largest island is home to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum which houses Minoan artifacts, and Knossos, a Bronze Age settlement.
It also has a number of mountains, including Mount Ida which holds the Ideon Cave – the birthplace of Zeus, according to Greek mythology.
Don’t forget restrictions for your destination
Whilst travellers can now take advantage of heading to amber list countries, there are still restrictions when arriving and what you will have to do depends on the destination.
Currently, for all locations in Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, all arrivals must present either a negative Covid-19 test, or proof of vaccination upon entry.
Before travel to Spain, all passengers travelling by air or sea must also complete and sign an online Health Control Form no more than 48 hours prior to travel declaring any known history of exposure to Covid-19 and giving contact details.
Meanwhile, for Greece and the Greek islands, travellers must fill in a Passenger Locator Form no later than 11:59pm at local time in Greece of the day before arriving in Greece.
Arrivals from the UK must also provide proof of a negative Covid-19 PCR test, undertaken within the 72 hour period before arrival into Greece, or proof of a negative Covid-19 rapid antigen test from an authorised laboratory, undertaken within the 48 hour period before the scheduled flight.
Travellers will often have to show proof of a negative test or their vaccination status for entry
Travellers can also show proof of two Covid-19 vaccinations completed at least 14 days before travel. Any of these will ensure you are exempt from the need to self-isolate on arrival to Greece.
Greece will also accept proof of recovery from Covid-19 for entry. While the NHS does not provide proof of recovery records, evidence of a positive Covid-19 PCR test result taken between 30 to 180 days of your travel dates can be used.
Meanwhile, for Italy, until 30 July, travellers who have been in the UK in the previous 14 days must present a negative molecular or antigen test taken in the 48 hours preceding entry into Italy and fill in a digital localisation form.
They must also self-isolate for five days, at the end of which they must take a rapid antigenic or molecular swab test for Covid-19 and test negative for release.
Everyone arriving in Italy must also call the Covid-19 helpline for the region they are travelling to within 48 hours, to inform them of your visit. Children under the age of 6 do not need to test or self-isolate.
For those travelling to mainland Portugal, including Madeira and the Azores, they must quarantine for 14 days, unless they can prove they are fully vaccinated.
All holidaymakers, apart from children under 12, must also show proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
The test can be a PCR test, taken within 72 hours of travel, or an Antigen test, such as a lateral flow test, taken within 48 hours of travel.
For those heading to Madeira or the Azores, there will be extra forms to complete.
However, in Madeira, you can show proof of vaccination or recent recovery from Covid, instead of a negative test. The NHS Covid Pass can be used as proof.
Meanwhile, in the Azores, you can show medical proof of recent recovery from Covid but will have to take more tests if staying longer than a week.
Currently the UK is on France‘s Amber list which means those who are not fully vaccinated will only be permitted to travel for essential reasons.
Those who are not fully vaccinated will need to present a completed International Travel Certificate to confirm their essential reason for travel.
All travellers will also have to complete a ‘sworn statement’ form certifying they are not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus and have not been in contact with confirmed cases in the preceding fortnight.
More importantly, this will confirm that those not vaccinated will self-isolate for seven days after arrival.
Those who are vaccinated do not need to isolate but will need to show proof of the jabs.
Meanwhile, everyone aged 11 years old or over will need evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or an antigen test within 48 hours of departure.
There will also be random antigen testing for unvaccinated arrivals.
These stipulations may change over time and anyone looking to head abroad is encouraged to regularly check the rules to ensure they can comply.
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