Jet2 chief has said holiday demand is back to pre-pandemic levels, as the industry enjoys relaxed testing rules.
Steve Heapy said the company saw a “huge spike” in bookings after the government announced that pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated people would be scrapped today.
The relaxation of the rules has given travellers confidence, and Jet2 said bookings were up 150 per cent on Thursday.
The new rules state that from 4am this morning, people who are fully vaccinated and those aged under-18 will no longer need to take a test two days before travelling to England from countries outside the UK and the Common Travel Area. On arrival, they will have to take a PCR test but they will no longer have to self-isolate while awaiting the result.
From 9 January, holiday goers will only have to take a lateral flow test instead of a PCR test on day two. But this test must be bought from a private test provider. Free NHS tests will not be included.
Unvaccinated passengers will need to continue to take a pre-departure test, PCR tests on day two and day eight, and self-isolate for 10 days
Heapy added that the Omicron variant showed how governments shouldn’t default into full lockdowns, and the science had to be reviewed before any stringent measures were taken.
Tour operator Tui said customers had been given the “reassurance” that travel “will once again be easier and more affordable”, but added it had not seen demand return to levels seen before the pandemic, according to BBC reports.
Jet2 was plunged to a £373.8m loss in 2020 amid what it called “a period of unparalleled operational and financial challenges” due to the Covid-19 pandemic.