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UK Tourists Rush to Book Tickets to Greece After Amber List Change

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UK tourists are likely to flood into Greece over the next couple months. Credit: Greek Reporter

UK tourists are expected to enter Greece in droves following a decision announced Thursday by the British government which changes requirements for arrivals from “Amber List” countries.

The new decision by the government means that fully vaccinated Britons can travel to Amber List countries such as Greece without needing to quarantine or take a day eight test upon their return.

UK tourists to flood into Greece

Although the decision was announced Thursday, the change does not take effect until July 19, which is the UK’s final date for lifting almost all domestic coronavirus restrictions.

Reports show that this glimpse into a future where traveling is easier for UK residents has led to a boom in bookings for international travel. The new government policy exempts both vaccinated individuals and those under the age of 18 from quarantine and some testing requirements.

British Airways reported a 96 percent increase in the number of views on its website, and it is likely many of these pertained to holidays to Greece, as the country is a favorite among British holidaymakers.

Travel agency Thomas Cook also released a statement on the huge surge the UK travel sector is experiencing noting that, “searches for Greece have tripled in volume and will be the biggest winner from families booking last-minute summer holidays.

“(Before Thursday) we have been selling very few holidays to amber countries and so with Greece, mainland Spain and Canaries all now available to people who’ve been double jabbed we’d expect a flood of bookings over the weekend.”

EasyJet recorded a 400% surge in bookings to amber list destinations, with the Greek island of Corfu being one of the most in-demand vacation spots for the carrier.

“We have always said that vaccination is the key to unlocking travel and this means that millions will finally be able to reunite with family and loved ones abroad or take that long-awaited trip this summer,” The chief executive of easyJet, Johan Lundgren, said.

Changes to Amber List requirements

Britain announced on Thursday that fully vaccinated tourists and other travelers will no longer have to quarantine on their return from amber list countries from 19 July.

At present, travelers arriving from a country on the amber list, which includes top tourist destinations Greece, Spain, France, the United States and Italy, are required to isolate on arrival.

British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said those who have received two jabs will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days after their return to the UK – but will still have to take a PCR test on their second day back.

“I can confirm today that from 19 July, UK residents who are fully vaccinated through the UK vaccine rollout will no longer have to self-isolate when they return to England,” Shapps said.

“They will still be required to take a test three days before returning, the pre-departure test, demonstrating they’re negative before they travel, and a PCR test on or before day two, but they will no longer be required to take a day eight test.

“In essence, this means that for fully vaccinated travelers, the requirements for green and amber list countries are the same.”

But he warned that amber list countries could still turn red – and said there would be no changes made for people arriving from those places.

Arrivals from red list countries are required to quarantine in a government-approved hotel.

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