Amber light for travel to France prompts Britons to rush to book vacations | Holidays in France

Holiday bookings in France have increased after the government announced on Wednesday that its “amber plus” status had been dropped – meaning vaccinated holidaymakers will no longer have to self-quarantine upon their return, operators said.

A spokesperson for Brittany Ferries said the phones have been “ringing nonstop” since last night. “There has been a huge spike in interest and bookings. Finally, there is good news and certainties – it’s a beacon of hope for the dark clouds hanging over us. We suspect there are a lot of second home owners waiting to book, as well as last minute vacationers.

The government also announced that no further changes to the traffic light system would be made for at least three weeks. In addition to France’s transition to the amber list, seven countries – Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway – have been added to the green list. The new rules take effect Sunday at 4 a.m., so anyone arriving from France before that date will still have to be quarantined for 10 days.

A Eurostar spokesperson said: “We welcome the removal of quarantine restrictions for passengers traveling to the UK from France. Overnight we saw a surge in bookings on our London-Paris route and our website traffic more than doubled.

“We look forward to welcoming more passengers on board in the days and weeks to come. We have already added services to our schedule for the last two weekends of this month and are ready to further increase capacity to carry as many passengers as possible between the UK and France. “

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle saw a 400% increase in sales immediately after the announcement and said it anticipated substantial demand for a last minute summer vacation.

Ravi Sabharwal, co-founder of villa vacation specialist Oliver’s Travels, said he saw a 43% increase in bookings on Thursday.

“We saw a big increase for France, especially for Loire and Provence, but it was from a low base because people were cautious. We have some availability left – which we plan to fill – but there are only three peak summer weeks left now. Lots of people have canceled 2021 and are only booking for 2022 instead. By comparison, bookings for Croatia, which is on the green list, have increased 200% year over year, he said.

Other companies have warned summer availability in France is tight. Gîtes de France said that with many French people choosing to vacation at home this year, 80% of its accommodation for the month of August was already full.

Sawdays, which saw double searches for France overnight, reported some availability for late-summer rental stays, with options including a barn for two in Lerné, in the Loire Valley, to from 135 € per night; and a Provencal house for 10 in Graveson, from € 499 per night.

For operators offering group tours, the situation was more difficult.

“The inconsistencies in the traffic light system were so difficult to deal with,” said Stephen Brook, co-founder of Ciceroni Travel, which specializes in escorted cultural tours. “A tour in France scheduled for August 21 has been suspended. Now that can move forward, which is good news of course, but now we have to hurry to try and fill the remaining places. “

For others, the news came too late. “We have to plan far enough in advance and we had everything canceled overseas until the end of August,” said Fiona Charrington, CEO of Martin Randall Travel. “We have already lost the summer.

In other changes to the traffic light system, India, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (which includes Dubai) are dropped from the red list. Mexico, Georgia and the islands of Réunion and Mayotte are added to the red list.

About John McTaggart

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