Travel search and comparison websites reported a spike in searches for Greek islands following the announcement that five have been added to the government’s ‘air corridors’ list.
The destinations added to the ‘safe list’ are Lesvos, Tinos, Serifos, Santorini and Zakynthos, meaning arrivals in the UK from those destinations no longer have to quarantine.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the additions via Twitter on October 8 and changes to the restrictions come into force from 4am on Saturday, October 10.
Icelolly.com said searches for Santorini and Zante rocketed like “Greece lightning” following the removal of the islands from the quarantine list.
The meta-search and travel deals platform said searches to Santorini soared by 627% and Zante by 200% on the evening of October 8, compared to the previous day. Other Greek islands such as Rhodes and Kos, which were already quarantine-free, also saw search increases.
Jon Thorne, a travel expert at flight search website Skyscanner, told that there is plenty of pent-up demand and travellers are reacting quickly to government announcements.
However, the Telegraph also reported widespread confusion among travellers about new rules for British travellers heading to Italy.
The Foreign Office said on October 8 that UK visitors to Italy must now produce evidence of a negative Covid-19 test on arrival.
Travellers need to show they have taken a test within 72 hours of arrival along with a negative result.
The Telegraph said the fear of not getting test results in time, or tests not being available at the airport, is too much of a deterrent for some travellers who have cancelled their trips.