Corona easing: British book trips like crazy | Economy | DW

After the announcement of the UK’s opening plan for the corona lockdown, many British people booked holidays. Flight bookings from Great Britain had risen by 337 percent compared to the previous week in the hours after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech and vacation bookings even increased by 630 percent, said the low-cost airline Easyjet on Tuesday. Destinations in Spain such as Malaga, Alicante and Palma, Faro in Portugal and destinations in Greece such as the island of Crete were in demand. The world’s largest tour operator TUI also saw a booking increase of 500 percent overnight. TUI boss Fritz Joussen recently predicted a travel boom in the summer. On the London Stock Exchange, the shares of the companies rose sharply on Tuesday. The British-Spanish aviation group IAG and TUI rose by six percent, Easyjet gained more than nine percent.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson presented a four-step plan on Monday. After this, almost all corona restrictions will lapse from the end of June if the infection situation allows. Great Britain is hardest hit by the pandemic in Europe, but already furthest with the COVID vaccination campaign.

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Everything depends on vaccination

“The Prime Minister’s address gave many customers in the UK a much-needed confidence boost,” said Easyjet CEO Johan Lundgren, according to the announcement. TUI UK boss Andrew Flintham offered the government to jointly develop a “risk-based framework” so that vacationers can travel abroad this summer. “People can look forward to a well-deserved break after what has been a very difficult year for many,” Flintham told the PA news agency. Health Minister Matt Hancock emphasized that the effectiveness of vaccines against new corona variants will play a major role in allowing international travel. “We have to arm ourselves against the new variants, which is a great challenge,” said Hancock on Tuesday the broadcaster Sky News. “If the vaccine doesn’t work against it, it will be much more difficult.”

Airlines and tour operators have high hopes for the summer travel season after their business has largely been on the floor since the outbreak of the corona pandemic a year ago. As Easyjet further explained, most bookings were received for August, followed by July and September. It remains to be seen how the British government will proceed with the travel warnings.

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So far, most travel destinations are still banned until May 17th. The government has announced a reassessment for April 12th. Airlines and tour operators hope that the deterrent ten-day quarantine obligation after the return trip will also no longer apply. In addition, the destination countries would have to lift British entry bans that France and Spain had imposed because of the presumably more contagious virus mutation in Great Britain.

hb/bea (dpa,rtr)

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