Simon Calder talks about new traffic light changes to travel
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The tough restrictions have prevented British travellers entering the US for anything other than “essential reasons” for the last 18 months. As the rules were lifted, UK tourists rushed to book holidays.
Airlines have reported that holiday bookings for trips to the US are up by 700 percent since yesterday’s announcement.
Virgin Atlantic saw a 91 percent increase in bookings just one hour after the news was delivered.
British Airways Holidays said it had seen searches rise by 700 percent as tourists rushed to secure trips.
The most popular destinations searched were New York, Orlando, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and Boston.
Travel experts have warned British tourists that prices are likely to rise due to the increased interest.
Fares to the US were the cheapest they had been in five years before the restrictions were lifted.
This morning, return fares from London to New York in November started at £306 while the cheapest return to Las Vegas was £419.
Boris Johnson has said he is “delighted” that the USA has lifted restrictions for UK travellers.
The Prime Minister said: “It’s great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”
Any British tourists visiting the US from November will need to be fully vaccinated and present a negative test taken within three days of travelling.
They will also have to provide their contact information but will not be required to quarantine.
An exact date for the new rules has not yet been given but officials said it would be in early November.
British Airways CEO, Sean Doyle, said the news was a “historic moment”.
He added: “Our customers should now feel that the world is reopening to them and they can book their trips with confidence.”
Bayram Annakov, founder of App in the Air, told Express.co.uk: “This is the news we’ve been waiting for over the last 18 months, and we’re thrilled that our users will be able to restart transatlantic travel once again from November.
“We’re already seeing a spike in interest for flights for Thanksgiving and Christmas and anticipate a surge in bookings to come over the next few weeks.”
The US has not yet confirmed whether unvaccinated children will be allowed to join their parents on trips to the country.
UK officials have said they expect that children will be allowed in regardless of whether they are vaccinated.
The US is the top dream destination for British travellers booking a holiday in 2022 according to recent surveys.
Senior officials in the US said the decision to allow international travellers in was in response to the science and decreased risk of Covid.
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