Portugal's easing of travel restrictions discussed by Simon Calder
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It has been reported that PCR testing is likely to be scrapped for double-vaccinated passengers in October. If the Government gets rid of the PCR test requirement, it is expected that international travel is likely to boom.
Currently, all double-vaccinated British tourists must take a pre-departure test before arriving in the UK from an amber list country.
After arrival, double-jabbed passengers must then take a PCR test on or before day two in the UK.
Testing companies have faced heavy criticism for offering overpriced tests at the expense of British tourists.
Travel experts have called for the testing regime to be scrapped for double-jabbed passengers as is the case in France and Germany.
Following reports that the PCR test system is likely to be scrapped for double-vaccinated tourists from October, prices for package holidays have fallen.
It is reported that package holiday prices in Spain are as much as 38 percent cheaper than pre-pandemic levels.
The holiday comparison website, TravelSupermarket, looked at prices for package holidays in September and October, including over the half-term break.
Prices for the popular island hotspot of Majorca are down by 15 percent on average while the Costa Del Sol is cheaper by 14 percent.
TravelSupermarket spokeswoman, Emma Coulthurst, said: “The cost and administration surrounding testing is still proving a major barrier to people travelling.
“With fewer people holidaying compared with pre-pandemic, for those who take the plunge, there are holidays available from the UK to the likes of the Spanish Costas in September and October from as little as under £150pp for seven nights.
“Many travel companies are trying to extend the season to make up for the lack of opportunity to travel at the beginning of the summer in May, June and early July.
“There are many people who haven’t holidayed abroad for more than a year and who will be keen to experience some foreign sun on their faces.”
Prices have also fallen in Crete where a package holiday is 15 percent cheaper than before the pandemic.
The Istrian Riviera in Croatia has also seen a price drop and holiday prices have fallen by 20 percent in the region.
On the other hand, prices have risen in Malta and Dubai by more than a quarter. Both destinations are almost guaranteed to have winter sun.
Travel experts are expecting a surge in bookings for late September and October as families take advantage of lower prices.
Many families chose to have their summer holiday as a staycation this year due to the UK Government’s expensive testing regime and changing restrictions.
Every British tourist is advised to check the local restrictions in place before booking a summer holiday.
A review of the current travel restrictions is expected from the UK Government on October 1.
It is expected to announce that double-vaccinated passengers will no longer have to take PCR tests to enter the UK.
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