More Britons than ever before are planning to travel next year with eight out of 10 planning trips following months of coronavirus lockdown, a study shows.
Around half of those surveyed said they would book more weekends away from home in 2021, while a third will visit their friends and family more often.
Some 40 per cent said they plan to go abroad next year, following Grant Shapps’ announcement that holidaymakers returning to the UK from countries not on the travel corridor list will soon only need to quarantine for five days if they test negative for the virus.
Thomas Cook today told MailOnline it has experienced a huge surge in those booking holidays for June, July and August next year compared to two weeks ago.
Bookings for next summer have tripled compared to two weeks ago as Britons experience a ‘big shift in confidence,’ the travel agency said.
Around half of Britons surveyed said they would go for more weekends away from home in 2021, while a third will visit their friends and family more often. Pictured: Port Isaac, Cornwall
Many of the 2,000 Britons surveyed said they have plans to go on staycations or to take weekend breaks in the UK in 2021. Pictured: Haystacks overlooking Buttermere in the Lake District
Across all their bookings for the next 12 months, 40 per cent are for the summer.
Experts have suggested an increase in plans for travel following the UK’s coronavirus lockdown ‘shows just how much this year has made us all value our freedom.’
Psychologist Sarah Rozenthuler added: ‘It really does prove that you don’t appreciate the wealth of opportunities you have until you lose them.
‘Human beings are by nature adventurous and curious, but often in our busy lives we will have said no to adventures because we are too tired or don’t want to spend money.
‘Covid appears to have pushed the reset button to allow us to embrace having fun again.’
Those wishing to head abroad next year can currently book an all inclusive, week-long break at the Bahia Principe Sunlight resort in Tenerife, Spain for £694 per person, leaving in May.
The most popular destinations are on the coast, where 56 per cent will venture, with 51 per cent opting for the countryside and only three per cent hoping for a city break. Pictured: The Yorkshire Dales
Top locations include the Lake District, Cornwall and the Yorkshire Dales. Pictured: Glenfinnan in the Highlands of Scotland
Elsewhere, the four-star Atlantica Imperial Resort is available in Rhodes, Greece. Here, holidaymakers can currently book a week of half-board accommodation for £922 per person at the peak of getaway season in June.
Many of the 2,000 Britons surveyed, however, said they instead have plans to go on staycations or to take weekend breaks in the UK in 2021.
The most popular destinations are on the coast, where 56 per cent will venture, with 51 per cent opting for the countryside and only three per cent hoping for a city break.
Top locations include the Lake District, Cornwall and the Yorkshire Dales.
Those looking for a British staycation next year can head to Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa near Keswick in the Lake District for £1,250 for two adults over six nights in February.
The four-star hotel, which overlooks Lake Derwentwater, features the AA Rosette award-winning Lake View Restaurant.
Most popular British staycation destinations for 2021
1. Lake District
3. Yorkshire Dales
4. Scottish Highlands
8. Isle of Wight
9. Jurassic Coast, Dorset
In the Scottish Highlands, holidaymakers can book a caravan at the picturesque Linnhe Lochside holiday park in Corpach for £677 for a week in July.
James Taylor, General Manager at Zipcar UK, said: ‘It’s interesting that, while people are obviously keen to go abroad again, they have fallen back in love with exploring Great Britain and huge numbers plan to holiday in the UK next year even once restrictions have been lifted.’
A Thomas Cook spokesman added it has seen a marked increase in the number of families booking holidays for June, July and August next year.
He said: ‘We can see families returning to our site to book their main getaway for next year.
‘Only a few weeks ago, most of our customers were booking last-minute sun-soaked beach holidays to the Canaries but now nearly half of our bookings are for the peak summer months of June, July and August.
‘It seems that people are really starting to plan ahead and look forward to a brighter – and sunnier – 2021.’
It comes after the Transport Secretary announced travellers returning to the UK from locations not on the travel corridor list will only need to self-isolate for five days if they test negative for Covid-19.
Currently, people coming from countries not on the safe list need to self-isolate for 14 days.
But in a boost for tourists and business travellers, Mr Shapps unveiled the new ‘Test to Release’ service, which will come into effect on December 15.
Writing on Twitter, he said passengers could ‘opt-in’ to shorten the self-isolation period to just five days if they receive a negative test result from ‘specific providers’.
However, in what is a major blow for the travel industry, he added that the Canary Islands are being removed from the exemption list because of rising weekly cases and tests in the popular Spanish destination.
Announcing the shortened self-isolation time for some, the Transport Secretary wrote: ‘From Tues 15th, the new ”Test to Release” service for passengers arriving in England starts.
‘This means that all passengers from any location NOT in a Travel Corridor may “opt-in” to shorten self-isolation to five days with a negative COVID-19 test result from specific providers.’
However, his decision to take the Canary Islands off the travel corridor list means anyone arriving from the islands after 4am on Saturday, December 12 will need to go in to self-isolation.
Mr Shapps added: ‘Data indicates weekly cases and positive tests are increasing in the CANARY ISLANDS and so we are REMOVING them from the #TravelCorridor list to reduce the risk of importing COVID-19.
‘From 4am Sat 12 Dec, if you arrive from these islands you WILL need to self-isolate.’
Self-isolation period for contacts of positive Covid-19 case will be cut from 14 days to 10 days
The self-isolation period for contacts of a positive coronavirus case will be cut from 14 days to 10 days, the UK’s chief medical officers have announced.
Those required to quarantine after returning from countries which are not on the travel corridor list will also see their isolation period reduced, in an approach agreed by all four nations.
Health chiefs said in a joint statement that following a review of the evidence, they were ‘confident’ that the self-isolation period could be shortened.
This reduction already applies in Wales following an announcement by the Welsh Government earlier this week, while it will take effect in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from Monday.
The new rules will apply to all those who are currently self-isolating, including those who began doing so before Monday.
‘Self-isolation is essential to reducing the spread of Covid as it breaks the chains of transmission,’ a joint statement by the health chiefs said.
‘After reviewing the evidence, we are now confident that we can reduce the number of days that contacts self-isolate from 14 days to 10 days.
‘People who return from countries which are not on the travel corridor list should also self-isolate for 10 days instead of 14 days.’
They said those who test positive for Covid-19 should continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of symptoms, or from taking a positive test if asymptomatic.
‘We urge everyone to self-isolate when appropriate, it will save lives,’ they added.
The joint statement was issued by England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, Scotland’s interim chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith, Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride and Wales’ chief medical officer Dr Frank Atherton.
NHS Test and Trace will tell people to self-isolate for 10 days from Monday, but due to the time taken to develop technical changes, the NHS Covid-19 app will only do the same from Thursday.
Those who receive a notification to self-isolate on the app prior to Thursday will be able to end their quarantine when the countdown timer says three days.