Families rush to plan holidays with 400% spike in flight bookings as Covid travel rules are relaxed tomorrow

BRITS have rushed to plan holidays with a 400 per cent spike on flight bookings as the Covid travel rules are set to be relaxed tomorrow.

The new travel rule sees the mandatory day two PCR test scrapped in favour of the cheaper lateral flow test.

From 4am tomorrow, fully -vaxxed Brits will be able to take a lateral flow test instead of a pricey PCR test when they return to the UK.

The government website states: "If you qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England, and you will arrive in England after 4am, Sunday 9 January, you can choose to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test after you arrive in England.

The lateral flow must not be through the NHS, with Covid testing firm prices starting from £22.

If the lateral flow comes back positive, then a PCR test must then be taken, but this can be for free through the NHS.

The change comes as fully jabbed travellers have been able to return to the UK without needing to have a pre-departure Covid test since yesterday.

The new holiday rules are meant to give a boost to the travel industry ahead of the summer season.

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And the announcement has prompted a surge in bookings as sun-loving Brits have rushed to plan their holidays.

Jet2 boss Steve Heapy said there has already been a “huge spike” in bookings after the Government's announcement earlier this week.

“People are desperate to get away, that’s been demonstrated over the past couple of days,” he said.

Meanwhile, EasyJet said it had seen UK bookings soaring to nearly200 per cent with demand to some destinations up over 400 per cent.

The airline stated that according to its own survey, Brits are planning more holidays in 2022 and are will spend more.

A third are planning to splash out up to £1,000 or more than usual on their holiday this year.

Chief commercial officer Sophie Dekkers said the summer should see the company "return to 2019 levels of capacity and beyond".

Alistair Rowland, chief executive of Blue Bay Travel said the day after the government's announcement was the busiest in terms of web traffic and booking inquiries in over a year and that the demand matched that of January 2020

He said the situation is " something we couldn't have imagined a month ago, when these testing rules came in and consumer confidence plummeted."

British Airways searches for holidays on its website increased by nearly 40 per cent in comparison to last week.

Brits should still check the entry requirements of the countries they're visiting as some are increasing travel rules for Brits.

Cyprus now requires negative Covid tests from all arrivals, even if fully vaccinated, and Hong Kong has banned all UK flights from today

We've rounded up the Covid travel restrictions for popular holiday destinations.

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