In perhaps the best piece of news for the UK hospitality industry in several weeks, the Canary Islands have been added to the quarantine safe list.
This means visitors returning from the destination will no longer have to self-isolate for two weeks, clearing the way for a number of last-minute half-term breaks.
At the same time, Mykonos, the Maldives and Denmark have been added to the travel corridor list following a decrease in confirmed cases of coronavirus.
From 04:00 on Sunday, October 25th, passengers arriving to the UK from these destinations will no longer need to self-isolate, so long as they have not been in or transited through any other non-exempt countries in the 14-days preceding their arrival.
However, people arriving into the UK from Liechtenstein from Sunday will need to self-isolate for two weeks as the country has been removed from the travel exemptions list.
Data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has indicated a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Liechtenstein, leading to ministers removing the country from the current list of travel corridors.
Data from Liechtenstein shows that the weekly incidence (cases) per 100,000 has increased from 65.1 on October 16th to 244.9 on October 21st.
This equates to a 276 per cent increase.
Commenting on the latest changes, an ABTA spokesperson said: “After a terrible summer season, the removal of the need to quarantine when returning to the UK from the Canary Islands, the Maldives, Denmark and Mykonos is a bit of light at the end of a very dark tunnel for the travel industry.
“We have been highlighting the need to move to a regional approach to quarantine, citing the Canary Islands as a specific example, so it is good to see the government take action on this today.
“But we must remember that the pandemic brought foreign travel to a standstill and for most companies there has been little or no chance to start a recovery.”
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) also welcomed the government decision.
WTTC president, Gloria Guevara, said: “The opening of ‘air corridors’ between the UK and the Canary Islands, the Greek island of Mykonos and the Maldives is great news for British holidaymakers and a boost for the hard-pressed tourism sector.
“Hard working British families can enjoy relaxing in the late autumn sunshine at these island holiday hotspots while hotels, bars and restaurants will all benefit from the influx of tourists.
“It will also bring much needed welcome news and a glimmer of hope to travel agents and tour operators up and down the UK, desperate to secure whatever business they can after a dismal summer.”