UK set for ‘longest Summer ever’ with Brits booking holidays as late as November

Brits are planning for the 'longest summer ever' as a growing number of people abandon hope for a holiday abroad until later in the year due to the pandemic.

Travel companies have reported a flood in autumn bookings, with reservations said to be up by 80 per cent in comparison to 2019 figures, Mirror reports.

Skyscanner told The Times there was a noticeable shift in Brits’ travel planning, with more people looking to go away in September, October and November.

Chris Wright, managing director of Sunvil Holidays, added: “September has always been a historically strong month for Europe and the Mediterranean destinations we feature.

“This year there is extra pressure.”

Agents at Co-op Travel said 43 per cent of all bookings last week were for late-summer departures while bosses at Club Med said October half term bookings were up 80 per cent from 2019.

This comes after a committee of MPs has warned that the planned restart of international travel next month is in jeopardy with "vague and costly" proposals not enough to reboot the aviation and tourism sectors.

The Transport Select Committee said that international travel has had its "wings clipped" by the "cautious" Government Global Travel Taskforce report.

The committee said the report gave "insufficient" detail to allow businesses and travellers to prepare for the safe resumption of international travel as planned on May 17.

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It also said that, where detail was provided, the costs could be "disproportionate to the risk" and could add £500 for a family of four travelling to the "safest" parts of the globe where vaccine rollout is comparable to the UK.

The lack of clarity does not offer confidence to industry or consumers to plan, invest or recover from the pandemic and puts the planned restart of international travel at risk, the committee added.

Its chair, Huw Merriman, said the Government had failed to provide the certainty the industry craved.

He added: "The aviation and travel sectors were crying out for a functional report, setting out clear rules and offering certainty. This is not it.

"For UK citizens seeking to travel to the parts of the globe where the vaccine has been delivered as rapidly as the UK, the cost to families from testing could be greater than the cost of the flights."

In its analysis, published on Thursday, the committee called for the Government to place destination countries into the traffic-light framework by May 1 and announce the details in a statement to Parliament.

It also recommended explaining the criteria and mechanism by which countries will move between risk categories and offering an "affordable" testing regime by maximising the use of lateral flow tests and providing PCR tests.

The committee said the price of tests was a barrier to restarting international travel and suggested that some of the UK's enhanced testing capacity could be reallocated for resuming travel.

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