Travel: Businesses in South East see bookings rise as fully vaccinated can visit France

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Mike Pearse

Travel companies in the South East say they have seen more bookings now that fully vaccinated travellers from the UK can visit France without having to quarantine on their return.

It is after the country was removed from the amber plus list at 4am on Sunday morning (8 August).

Seven other countries were added to the green list for travel, providing a huge boost for those hoping to go abroad this summer.

Eurostar says it has seen a surge in bookings overnight.

Eurostar says passenger numbers are up Credit: PA

A spokesperson said: “We welcome the removal of quarantine restrictions for vaccinated people travelling to the UK from France.  Overnight we have seen a strong increase in bookings on our London -Paris route and traffic to our website has more than doubled.

"We are looking forward to welcoming more passengers on board as early as this weekend, and we are ready to further increase capacity over the coming weeks to carry many more passengers between the UK and the continent during the August holiday season."

Hays Travel Credit: ITV News

Hays Travel, with multiple branches across the South, has also seen more interest in holiday bookings since the announcement was made, not just for France.

Dame Irene Hays said: "Bookings have been very strong. Very strong primarily this summer for Spain and Greece, but as the United Arab Emirates have opened up, we're seeing a lot of bookings going up for Dubai."

"It's understandable that the government want to reopen travel slowly in accordance with the science.

"But obviously the travel industry has been hard hit over the last 16 months, so there are still challenges."

Holidaymakers can now travel to France via ferries without having to quarantine on their return.

Brittany Ferries Credit: Brittany Ferries/PA

For Brittany Ferries, operating from ports in Hampshire, Dorset and Kent, it says the news is a 'silver lining on dark stormy clouds'.

Nigel Wonnacott said: "Something like three quarters of our income comes from passenger transport, and we've virtually lost all of it for the majority of the season.

"So this is good news, but it has to be framed in the context of a dreadful summer season."

Green and amber list travel: What you need to know

What does it mean when a country is on the green list?

It's important to note that just because a country is on the UK's green list, it doesn't necessarily mean the country is accepting UK citizens - Australia being one example - so check with the relevant country's government website for their latest rules on tourist arrivals.

People who are travelling to countries on the green list will need to take a Covid test up to 72 hours before they return to the UK and a single PCR test on or before day two of their arrival into the UK - but you do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.Children aged four and under are exempt from the test.

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What countries are on the green list?

From 4am on Monday 30 August, the Azores, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Switzerland will be added to the green list. These are the other countries already on the list:

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • Brunei

  • Bulgaria,

  • Caribbean Islands (Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Indian Ocean Territory, Barbados, Dominica, Granada, Cayman Islands, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands)

  • Croatia

  • Falkland Islands

  • Faroe Islands

  • Germany

  • Gibraltar

  • Hong Kong

  • Iceland

  • Israel and Jerusalem

  • Latvia

  • Malta

  • Madeira

  • New Zealand

  • Norway

  • Romania

  • Singapore

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

  • Taiwan

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What countries are on the amber list?

No countries are being added to the amber list as part of the traffic light list changes coming into effect on Monday 30 August.There are currently more than 130 other countries on the amber list, including popular holiday destinations such as Spain, Portugal and Italy. The full list of amber list countries can be found on the UK government website.

What does it mean when a country is on the amber list?

If you're over 18 and not had two Covid vaccinations, on arrival in the UK from amber list countries you need to:

  • take a Covid test up to 72 hours before you return to the UK

  • quarantine for 10 days

  • take a test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 after arriving in the UK.

However, if you've been fully vaccinated in the UK or under 18, you don't need to quarantine or take a day 8 test after you get back, but you still need to take a test on or before day 2 after arriving. You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 whole days before the date you arrive in England to be considered as fully vaccinated under the amber list rules.

Separate to these rules for UK citizens, since 2 August people fully vaccinated in the USA or most European countries will not need to quarantine if they have been in an amber list country in the 10 days before arriving. They will still need to take a test on or before day 2 after arriving.

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