“The cost of testing needs to massively reduced" - Sheffield travel agent calls for action over costly tests when travelling abroad
Following the Government’s scrapping of quarantine for fully vaccinated holidaymakers returning from amber list countries – this is what travel operators in Sheffield have said about the move.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps announced on Thursday (July 8) that fully vaccinated people will be able to return from amber list countries without the need to quarantine from July 19.
In his speech to the House of Commons, Mr Shapps said: "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."
"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 travellers, the requirements for green and amber list countries are the same."
The transport secretary also said that children under 18 returning from amber list countries will not have to isolate upon return to the UK but must take a PCR test on the second day.
Fully vaccinated means "14 days have passed since your final dose of the vaccine" - but the rules may differ across the different UK nations.
The news is set to send bookings surging with people eager to travel to Europe’s top holiday destinations over the summer.
Travel operators across Sheffield have cautiously welcomed the news, which will see more holidaymakers jet off after July 19 when the change comes into place.
A spokesperson for Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “Doncaster Sheffield Airport welcomes the news that quarantine restrictions will be lifted for adults arriving back to the UK from amber destinations, provided they have received both doses of a COVID vaccination more than 14 days prior to travelling.
"With the change to come into force from 19th July, coinciding with the UK’s school holidays, and alongside confirmation that children under the age of 18 years are also not required to isolate, this means that many amber list destinations are a viable option for families desperate for a sunny, summer holiday this year.
“DSA already has a number of green and amber list destinations on sale through our airline partners, Wizz and TUI, and we will be working closely with them in the coming weeks to ensure we can meet the pent-up demand from those wishing to get up and away this summer or travel to visit friends and family.
A travel agent from Sheffield said: “I think it's good news for the travel industry because obviously, it needs to get moving at some point, but the only problem is that it’ll still put people off because you've got to have your pre-departure, test to come back to the UK.
“If you are double vaccinated, it's not so bad. You're one of the lucky ones because you can travel to most European countries, but for the children under the age of 18, they’ve still got to pay, and it is ridiculously expensive and stressful, and it has to be done 48 before you fly.
“The cost of testing needs to massively reduced for people to even think that it is worth the hassle.”