Surge in holiday bookings as travel rules eased – follow live

The travel industry has welcomed yesterday’s change to the travel testing rules, with a surge in holiday bookings expected in the coming weeks.

Boris Johnson yesterday announced that both pre-departure Covid tests and the requirement for PCR tests would be scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers and under 18s.

The CEO of Kuoni’s parent company Der Touristik UK, Derek Jones, has predicted that travel will be “90 per cent back before the end of spring”.

Those arriving to the UK from 4am tomorrow, 7 January, no longer need to present a negative PCR or antigen test result, and no longer have to self-isolate while waiting for results of their day two test.

Then, from 4am on Sunday 9 January, double jabbed travellers and under-18s will be able to use lateral flow (antigen) tests rather than more expensive PCRs.

Meanwhile, the Scottish and Northern Irish governments have yet to announce whether they will follow suit with England’s easing of testing rules.

Yesterday Wales’s minister for health and social services, Eluned Morgan, confirmed that she had “reluctantly agreed” to the plans.

Follow all the latest updates below.

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Consumers urged to check for financial protection as bookings surge

With travel testing rules for arrivals in the UK set to ease at the weekend, holiday sales are increasing.

Airlines and tour operators say that the removal of the pre-departure test will restore confidence among travellers.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is urging consumers to be book Atol-protected holidays and look out for hidden costs.

Michael Budge, head of Atol at the CAA, said: “This weekend, typically known as ‘Sunshine Saturday’, is traditionally the busiest time of the year for people booking their holidays.

“With travel restrictions easing, many consumers will be taking advantage of bargain deals, but could be missing out on key financial protection.

“If you are booking a package holiday, make sure you check for the Atol logo to ensure you are protected in the unlikely case that your travel company stops trading.”

The CAA also urges travellers to check what is covered by the Atol certificate.

Extras under a separate booking, such as theme park tickets, travel insurance or seat upgrades, are unlikely to be covered.

Passengers at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal

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Passengers at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal

(Simon Calder)

Simon Calder6 January 2022 07:39

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Good morning

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s travel liveblog, where we’ll be sharing all the latest news and updates.

Lucy Thackray6 January 2022 07:34