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Will The End of The Pandemic Also be The End of The Staycation Boom?

Fleeing the office to board a plane? Peter Hemple looks at the holiday lets sector

On 27 January, England returned to its ‘Plan A’ Covid-19 measures, with rules on mandatory face coverings now lifted. ‘Plan B’ measures were initially introduced on 8 December 2021 to slow the spread of the Omicron variant. These measures meant that people were required by law to wear face coverings indoors in public venues, apart from hospitality, recommended to work from home where possible and required Covid passes to access large events and nightclubs. These measures have now been removed.

However, it is not just in the UK where restrictions are being lifted, and most relevant to this article is the fact that international travel restrictions are being either reduced or completely lifted also. Since the arrival of the Covid vaccine, nothing has been holding back international travel more than Covid-19 test requirements and the possibility that a positive result could mean having to stay in a government-run quarantine facility.

Last summer, a handful of European countries dropped testing requirements for all fully vaccinated visitors. As a result of removing testing requirements for travellers who were fully vaccinated, countries like Spain saw an increase in inbound tourism that was far greater than that seen by countries that did not make these changes.

On 11 February the UK also abolished all testing requirements for visitors who have been fully vaccinated. For fully vaccinated tourists, Cyprus, Sweden and Switzerland are likewise removing all Covid-19 travel testing.

‘Pent up demand’ of Brits wanting to go to France
After Brits were completely banned from travelling to France in mid-December last year, France decided to remove its ban on British tourists in mid-January and shortly after easyJet reported a 600% rise in UK bookings to popular French ski destinations. The airlines research also found that 65% of British tourists were planning on prioritising going abroad this year.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said: “With France welcoming British tourists once again, skiing is well and truly back on. We know that there is pent up demand with many desperate to get away this year, which we continue to see each time restrictions are removed. With flying already scheduled to increase in the coming weeks we will continue to review our schedule to meet demand.”

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