What are the new rules for foreign travels?

Thousands of British holidaymakers have begun taking advantage of the easing of lockdown rules on overseas travel.

Travellers from England, Scotland and Wales are jetting off to some countries in what the crisis-hit tourism industry hopes is the start of a recovery.

Travellers can now visit 12 countries on the government's green list, including Portugal and Israel, without isolating on their return.

The bosses of British Airways and Ryanair said confidence was returning.

The vast majority of tourist destinations remain on the amber and red lists, meaning travellers must quarantine when they get back.

Bookings also remain well down on pre-pandemic levels.

Small Steps

However, BA chief executive Sean Doyle told the BBC that the airline's six flights due to depart from Heathrow on Monday to "green" destinations such as Lisbon, Faro and Madeira were "very busy".

He said the latest relaxation of restrictions was "a small step in the right direction".

Blog Image

Passengers checking in at Gatwick.

Splashing out

Many of those who do intend to get away plan to do so in style. Thomas Cook reported that 85% of customers had booked four or five-star hotels. Before the crisis, only around half of people chose to splash out on that kind of luxury.

Hays Travel has noticed a similar trend. At present around half of its customers are booking for next year but it highlighted a "cautious optimism" among travellers following an almost four-fold increase in bookings for Portugal this summer.

  "People are upgrading to better destinations and accommodation, spending more to treat themselves," he said.

Chief operating officer Jonathon Woodall said the average spend on a two-week holiday for a family of four had increased by £370 to £4,000 as people look to "fulfil their bucket list".