British holidaymakers are betting on trips to Greece rather than Spain, despite an increase in coronavirus cases in the country.
The government has changed travel advice requiring people returning from Spain to England to be quarantined for two weeks, devastating tourists awaiting their summer vacation.
But Britons desperate for an overseas getaway have set their sights on destinations in Greece, such as Crete, Corfu and Santorini, as the Sunday Telegraph reports.
Previously, the most searched destinations on Skyscanner, a flight booking website, were Ibiza, Barcelona and Malaga, but now they are out of the top 10.
Jon Thorne, an expert at Skyscanner, said the government’s changes to the quarantine list had a direct impact on consumer behavior.
Tourists sunbathe at Palmanova beach on the island of Mallorca at the end of July
He said: ‘The significant drop in searches and bookings to Spain from the UK on Skyscanner last week was a direct reaction to the current restrictions in the UK and the uncertainty surrounding travel to and from the UK. vacation favorites there.
“Over the past few months, we have seen a direct correlation in search and booking data following direction changes.
Greece has recorded a relatively low number of Covid-19 cases compared to other European countries.
But it recorded 121 new cases on Tuesday, its highest number since April 22, but still well below peaks in France and Spain.
Appearing on Sky News on Saturday, Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, warned holidaymakers that there was “always a risk of disruption to travel plans.”
Appearing on Sky News on Saturday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said there was “always a risk of disruption to travel plans”
Martyn James, a consumer rights expert at Resolver, has warned that anyone booking overseas vacations right now is taking a risk.
He added: “Any stay outside of this country booked at the moment carries a risk that you may not be able to go or that you will have to quarantine on the way home. People who engage in it should be aware of this by now.
“I advise people to send it in writing that you can move your hotel reservation before you go. You may not get your money back.
Italy and Turkey are also proving to be popular destinations for Britons wanting to travel to areas with lower levels of coronavirus infections.
It comes as Portugal could soon be included in the list of non-quarantined trips, if coronavirus cases in the country continue to decline.
The preferred holiday destination could be added to the ‘safe list’ in a few weeks, meaning UK tourists would be exempt from the 14-day isolation on their return.
Portugal was excluded from the list of countries exempt from quarantine published by the British government in July.
The list has since been updated, but Portugal has continued to be excluded from the list of ‘travel lanes’ amid fears over its level of coronavirus infections.
The decision angered Portuguese officials at the time, with Portugal heavily dependent on tourism.
The Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and State said: “It is a decision which is neither supported nor supported by the facts. “
A source from Whitehall told The Sun: “Portugal has made a lot of progress, but the process of dropping quarantine is much more gradual, where we monitor progress in weeks rather than days. “
This will likely delay the green light for another two weeks.