Travel stocks rally as UK quarantine rules relaxed

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Stansted airport by twilight, London, UK. See my similar photos:
There was optimism in the travel sector as some COVID-19 restrictions eased. Photo: Getty

Travel stocks rallied in London on Thursday as airlines breathed a sigh of relief at the latest news that COVID-19 travel restrictions would ease. 

Travellers who have received two coronavirus vaccinations returning to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland from France will no longer need to self-isolate after Sunday. 

EasyJet (EZJ.L) shares were 1.1% higher by late morning in London. British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG.L) was also 1.6% up and Ryanair (RYA.L) jumped 1.4%.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG.L) also ticked up 0.2%. As did package holiday supplier On The Beach (OTB.L), which was up 0.7% and Tui (TUI.L), which rose 0.3%. 

Over the past year, travel companies have had to constantly adapt to changing rules and restrictions. Many in the industry had hoped for more widespread unlocking. 

France is now being moved from the "amber plus" list to "amber". It has been on the list since last month as concerns about the spread of the Delta variant grew. 

Mexico is now moving to the red list – one of four countries now considered to be a high-risk destination.  

The decision is causing issues for several thousand holidaymakers who are still there. 

The price of hotel quarantine in the UK on return is £2,285. 

Spain will continue to be on the amber list, meaning travellers returning from holiday who are fully vaccinated will not have to quarantine. 

India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE are being moved from the red list to the amber list as part of the changes.

Meanwhile, the British Chambers of Commerce called on the government to fundamentally simplify the traffic light system for travel. 

“Businesses need the confidence and clarity provided by a system which places countries in either green or red categories, removing the ambiguity of the amber designation, which now relies on very different rules for the vaccinated and non-vaccinated," said James Martin, director of policy at the BCC.

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