THOUSANDS of Brits headed on holiday to amber list destinations yesterday – despite warnings from the government.
Following the lifting of the latest travel restrictions which banned holidays abroad, many families flocked to the airport for the first time this year.
Many headed to green list destinations, of which there are just 12 which includes Portugal as they don't require UK travellers to quarantine on their return.
However, a number of flights are still heading to amber destinations such as Spain and Greece – of TUI's 21 flights which departed from Gatwick yesterday, just two were headed to Portugal with the rest heading to amber destinations, according to the Telegraph.
While travelling to amber list destinations is not banned, Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned earlier this week that Brits should not head there on holiday unless "absolutely necessary".
He told Times Radio: "People should not travel to amber or red list countries unless it’s absolutely necessary, and certainly not for holiday purposes.
“Our borders, testing [and] surveillance is the best in the world and it means that we can spot problems in other countries sometimes before they know they’ve got a problem themselves.
“So the green list is here for exactly this reason to provide for a safe way where we know that it’s okay and safe to go abroad.”
Brits returning from amber destinations must also quarantine for ten days at home, along with two Covid tests.
Despite this, holidaymakers are still heading to a number of the holiday hotspots on the list.
Nathan Priestley, 31, from Berkshire, told Telegraph Travel that he was flying to Corfu in Greece – he added that it was "neither here nor there" about quarantining afterwards, due to working from home.
Lucy Wilson, 19, a student from London, headed to Nice yesterday, despite France being on the amber list.
She told The Sun: “It’s been a horrible year and I just needed a break. I’m going to see my friend who lives there.
“I don’t mind having to self isolate when I’m at home, all my classes and exams are online anyway.”
Also heading to France were John Wason, 81, from Henley and with his wife Jillian, 83, who said: "We are planning to stay here for six weeks but we are worried about France being put on the red list.
"The weather in Nice is looks great and we are looking forward to a good break and we have had both vaccine doses."
Many countries in Europe are still on the amber list due to their Covid situation, which has seen rising cases, as well as a slower vaccine rollout than the UK.
Spain, France, Greece and Italy have all given the jab to less than 32 per cent of the population, compared to the UK's 54 per cent.
While cases are starting to decrease, destinations such as France saw highs of 61,000 new daily cases last month, while Greece reported their highest daily case rate last month.
This week’s best deals on holidays abroad
- Portugal holidays to book from £131pp now Brit tourists can travel to country
- Get Universal Orlando theme park tickets for adults at kids’ prices
- Gibraltar holidays from £105pp as country makes UK green list
- Cheap Portugal villa holidays and all inclusive hotels
- Flights for Portugal in June from £10
- TUI launches summer sale with £50 off Portugal hols or £100 off Greece & Malta
It is hoped some of the popular holiday destinations could be added to the green list next month, with it due to be reviewed again on June 7.
However, experts have warned it is likely to miss out again.
EasyJet and Ryanair have both said that flights won't go up in price this year due to increased capacity.
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