Holiday flights to 'green' countries drop in price
- Credit: Archant
Prices for holidaymakers hoping to travel to places like Portugal and Gibraltar have gone down after an initial surge, said a Norfolk travel agent.
Flights to Lisbon and Faro doubled immediately after the government announced which countries were on the green list in terms of not requiring people to quarantine.
But after airlines put on a huge amount of extra flights to those destinations, the cost has levelled again.
Avoiding school holidays such as half-term in May, two people can currently fly from Stansted to Lisbon in June for a total return price of £186, including seat reservations. Faro is even cheaper, with two return tickets in June from Stansted being a total of £97.
Two return flights to Gibraltar from Heathrow in June currently costs a total of £288, a similar price to before the government announcement, again avoiding school holidays.
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Nick Lee, who runs independent Broadland Travel in North Walsham, predicted prices would go up as more people booked up.
"Prices have come down after the airlines put on a massive amount of new flights to Portugal and Gibraltar. But there really isn't much in Gibraltar, only a few hotels, and the airport is prone to getting closed because of the weather, meaning you have to fly to Spain, which isn't on the green list.
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"Is there a rush to go to Gibraltar is a bit like saying is there a rush for Cromer? I'm very busy but this is to rebook people's holidays after Spain, Greece and Egypt weren't on the green list as expected.
"Jersey from Norwich airport is proving popular. We are now waiting on the next update from the government on June 6, and expect Malta to be put on the green list then as it has very low cases of coronavirus."
With more people looking to stay closer to home, with all the disruption to foreign travel, prices of UK holidays are rising.
However, holidaymakers who have had both doses of a coronavirus vaccine will be able to "prove" their status to other countries, health secretary Matt Hancock said.
He recently confirmed that people in England who travel abroad will be able to use the NHS app to demonstrate they are fully vaccinated.
'I can't afford a holiday'
Pensioner Carol Fisher, from King's Lynn, said prices for a week in Cornwall had gone up this summer from £700 to £2,250, for exactly the same holiday.
Mrs Fisher, 69, contacted this newspaper saying: "A lot of we poorer mortals won’t be getting any holiday not just because of Covid jabs but because of cost.
"A holiday in Cornwall cost my family £700 for one week before all of this kicked off and we saved all the previous year for it. This year the same place is £2,250 for one week. This is daylight robbery.
"Do people who can afford to pay these prices this year consider that these prices will fall back down next year? I can’t see that happening. That’s us out of the holiday market, probably for ever.
"I receive just under £600 a month pension so just won't be able to afford a holiday this year."