Gibraltar and Iceland bookings surge amid summer holiday fears

Desperate holidaymakers are snapping up flights to the few accessible destinations on the government’s green list amid fears popular resorts will remain off-limits until the end of summer.

Data from flight booking site Skyscanner reveals seat sales on flights to Gibraltar have increased by 115 per cent with easyJet, Wizz Air, British Airways and Eastern Airways all adding to their schedules.

There has also been a 40 per cent increase in demand for flights to Iceland, despite the country being hit by freak snowstorms.

Both destinations are currently on the UK’s green list, meaning holidaymakers do not have to quarantine on return.

A spokesperson for the Department for Transport said the traffic light system “cautiously balances the reopening of international travel with managing the risk of imported variants.

“This list is regularly reviewed using the most up-to-date, robust data to ensure we keep the general public safe.”

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Travel expert Paul Charles said it was his “clear understanding” that government ministers “do not intend to open up travel to mainland Europe or the USA before the end of July.”

He continued: “Ministers have fallen into line to protect their future careers and potentially benefit from an upcoming Cabinet reshuffle. And that means sacrificing the early opening of the overseas travel sector.

“Now thousands of jobs are at risk – as are some airlines and travel firms – because June and July will be lost in travel terms.”

He claimed decisions on travel restrictions were “highly political, not based on data at all.”