Life & Leisure

Flights between UK, Spain up 400% as quarantine rules changed

Madrid, Jul 19 (EFE).- The number of flights between the United Kingdom and Spain increased 400% since July 8 as British holiday-makers took advantage of news rules that mean UK residents returning to England from so-called amber destinations no longer have to observe a quarantine period if they are fully vaccinated.

The data from the Spanish Airlines Association will come as good news for Spain’s tourism industry, which has seen a boost in bookings as British beachgoers scramble to get abroad this summer.

“Today alone there are 31 flights from the United Kingdom, which account for some 6,000 people,” Toni Mayor, president of Hosbec, a hotel and tourism business association in Valencia, told Efe.

Hotel occupancy is around 65%, Mayor said, with some 15 to 20% more tourist establishments open compared to last summer.

Following the announcement of the rule change in England, low cost airlines such as Ryanair and Easyjet added new connections between Spain and the UK.

Ryanair said flight bookings to Spain increased by 500% since last week, hitting a new record since September 2019, with Alicante, Malaga, Tenerife and Murcia the most sought-after destinations.

Despite the fact the easing of restrictions in the UK have had a positive impact on Spain, its summer season remains “highly volatile and unstable,” president of Spanish tourism association Exceltur, Gabriel Escarrer, told Efe.

Last week, the UK government announced it would on Monday take the Balearic Islands, which have reported a spike in coronavirus cases, off its quarantine-free green list, leading to many holiday cancellations as unvaccinated Brits cut holiday plans short.

At least 68% of UK residents who have been fully vaccinated against severe symptoms of Covid-19.

British visitors are key for Spain’s all-important tourism industry, which in 2019 saw over 18 million arrivals from the UK. EFE

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