The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

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The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe - and you could save up to 76%

  • Britain's travel websites saw inquiries for some destinations rise by 350 per cent
  • Bookings this weekend were up by as much as 80 per cent on the week before 
  • Travellers are being tempted by promised savings of up to 76 per cent on trips 

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Holiday bookings have exploded as ministers are poised to confirm which countries will be connected to the UK through 'air bridges'.

Over the weekend, Britain's biggest travel websites saw inquires for some European destinations rise by 350 per cent and bookings were up by as much as 80 per cent on the week before.

Travellers are being tempted by promised savings of up to 76 per cent.

The reductions mean it is possible for a family of four to save more than GBP500 on the headline price of a sunshine break.

Such was the surge in interest that the Eurostar website ground to a halt under the weight of bookings.

Holiday bookings have exploded as ministers are poised to confirm which countries will be connected to the UK through 'air bridges' (stock image)

The Travel Supermarket website saw a doubling of price comparison searches this weekend on holidays to Spain, Italy and France compared with the previous weekend.

Searches for breaks to Croatia on the website increased by 350 per cent, while those to Greece increased by 220 per cent. The most popular Greek destinations were Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Santorini.

Irene Hays, from Hays Travel, the company that bought Thomas Cook after the operator collapsed last year, said the phones 'had not stopped ringing' with inquires.

EasyJet said it was monitoring demand and would look into increasing the number of flights if there was a surge in bookings.

It is currently planning to fly on 50 per cent of its routes in July and 75 per cent in August, but a lower frequency of flights would mean it would only be providing around 30 per cent of its normal summer capacity.

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

Britons can book seven nights half-board at Alegria Caprici Verd in Santa Susanna, Spain (pictured), in September, including flights, with Travel Zoo from GBP159pp

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

Holidaymakers could also book a B&B for two at Hotel Nap in Nice (pictured) in July, August and September with Travel Zoo from GBP59 a night 

Garry Wilson, chief executive of easyJet holidays, said: 'Our website has seen a very promising flurry of activity this weekend.

While we wait for all the confirmed details, traffic to the website was up more than 50 per cent compared to last week and we're seeing strong demand for the Balearic and Canary Islands as well as Greece and Turkey.'

Oliver's Travels said bookings for self-accommodation in France have increased by 357 per cent year on year.

The travel website Lastminute.com saw an 80 per cent rise on holiday sales over the weekend compared with the week before. This was largely attributed to the announcement from Spain that it will not require British visitors to go into quarantine.

Eurotunnel Le Shuttle said bookings on Saturday were around three times higher than on the same day last year.

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

Also available is seven nights all-inclusive at the Asia Beach Resort in Antalya, Turkey (pictured), in July, August or September, including flights, with Super Escapes from GBP479pp 

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

Britons can also book seven nights half-board at Hotel La Marquise in Rhodes (pictured) in July, including flights, with Tui from GBP395.94pp

Emma Coulthurst, of package holiday price comparison site Travel Supermarket, said: 'A huge fall in demand has seen a parallel fall in prices. Holiday providers have a lot of holidays left to sell so there are bargains to be snapped up. 

'For the height of summer in August, I've seen some of best prices on offer for many years.'

A new traffic light regime is set to list countries on a green, amber and red classification based on their coronavirus levels.

Those listed as green and amber by the Foreign Office will be approved as suitable to visit without the need for holidaymakers to go into a 14-day quarantine period on their return.

Only passengers arriving in the UK from nations in the red category, where the spread of coronavirus is deemed to be high, will be told to self-isolate for two weeks.

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

A B&B for two at Sicilia's Residence Hotel in Aci Catena, Sicily (pictured), in July, August and September would cost just GBP85 a night

There are some questions around which countries will be listed as red, but they could include Portugal, Sweden, Brazil and the US.

The details, including a list of countries, are due to be published on Wednesday and come into force by July 6. But Home Secretary Priti Patel - who established the quarantine regime which is now being dismantled and replaced by the 'air bridge' system - has indicated that negotiations on the start date for the new arrangements are still going on.

Speaking to Sky News's Sophie Ridge on Sunday programme, Miss Patel said air bridges will be announced 'in the next few days' but said they 'won't come in overnight'.

How you could save up to 76 per cent 

  • Seven nights half-board at Alegria Caprici Verd in Santa Susanna, Spain, in September, including flights, with Travel Zoo from GBP159pp (saving 49%)
  • B&B for two at Hotel Nap in Nice in July, August and September with Travel Zoo from GBP59 a night (saving 76%)
  • B&B for two at Sicilia's Residence Hotel in Aci Catena, Sicily, in July, August and September with Travel Zoo from GBP85 a night (51%)
  • Room-only for two at Yotel, Amsterdam, in July, with Travel Zoo, from GBP65 per night (saving 42%)
  • Seven nights all-inclusive at Asia Beach Resort in Antalya, Turkey, in July, August or September, including flights, with Super Escapes from GBP479pp (saving 39%)
  • Seven nights half-board at Hotel La Marquise in Rhodes in July, including flights, with Tui from GBP395.94pp (saving 51%)
  • Seven nights all-inclusive at Tropic Garden in Ibiza in July, August and September, including flights, with Super Escapes from GBP199pp (saving up to 41%)
  • Seven nights at four-bedroom Villa Pinaret, with a pool, in Puerto Pollensa, Majorca, in July with Sealand Villas from GBP1,780 (saving 53%)
  • Seven nights B&B at Elba Sunset Mallorca in Palma Nova in July, including flights, with Tui from GBP429.88pp (saving 51%)
  • Return flights London Stansted to Barcelona in August with Ryanair from GBP37 (usually around GBP150)
  • Return flights London Stansted to Biarritz, France, in August with Ryanair from GBP33 (usually around GBP250)
  • Return flights London Luton to Thessaloniki, Greece, in August with EasyJet from GBP48 (usually around GBP200) 

Don't pack your toothbrush just yet: Priti Patel warns Britons desperate to jet off on holiday that air bridges will not happen 'overnight' and the UK still needs to negotiate with countries to lift quarantine rules  

By David Wilcock, Whitehall Correspondent for the MailOnline

Priti Patel dampened hopes of Britons desperate to jet off on holiday as soon as possible today, warning that quarantine-free 'air bridges' will not be up and running 'overnight'.

The Home Secretary spoke out after travel companies reported their biggest Saturday sales ever as bargain hunters rushed to book before a 'traffic light system' is introduced this week.

The plan to allow Brits go on holiday to the safest destinations without having to quarantine for 14 days is expected to come into force on July 6.

The Foreign Office will also lift its advice against 'all but essential travel' to low or medium-risk destinations, making it possible to obtain travel insurance.

But Speaking to Sky News' Ridge on Sunday today, Ms Patel said that there may be some heavy negotiations ahead before some countries allow UK residents to travel.

She said: 'There will be an announcement in the next few days ahead, the review point is tomorrow, which is what the Government has outlined.

'You will have to, along with members of the public, listen to the advice, see what the government is saying in terms of the countries that we are going to be opening up with, who we are working with, the countries that my colleague the Transport Secretary (Grant Shapps) is in dialogue with right now.

'But of course these measures won't come in overnight, they will take time, because some of this will be down to negotiation, discussions with certain countries.'

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76% The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

The Home Secretary (right) spoke out after travel companies reported their biggest Saturday sales ever as bargain hunters rushed to book before a 'traffic light system' is introduced this week (left)

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

Travel companies have reported their biggest Saturday sales ever as bargain hunters rushed to book before a 'traffic light system' is unveiled on Wednesday (pictured: beaches are jam-packed on the beach of Calella in Barcelona on June 20)

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

Countries across the world are highlighted in green, amber or red based on the infection levels, the reliability of official data and confidence in test and trace system

It came as Sir Mark Walport, the former government chief scientific adviser, said the UK needs to maintain 'constant vigilance' as it eases out of lockdown.

Speaking to Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday, he said the Government faced a 'fine balancing act' between managing the virus outbreak and the health harms caused by a damaged economy.

He said people needed to be 'sensible and responsible', and to try and reduce social contact as much as possible.

Citing coronavirus case numbers, he said: 'The virus is out there, it is very widely distributed and we have to have constant vigilance.'

Portugal, Sweden and Turkey set to miss out on Britain's air bridge list 

Portugal, Sweden and Turkey are all set to miss out on Britain's air bridge list, which is set to be unveiled tomorrow. 

Boris Johnson is due to give the green light to foreign holidays from Monday, as he unveils a list of 50 countries Britons can travel to and from without needing to quarantine for 14 days upon returning. 

But Portugal, Sweden and Turkey are all set to be excluded because of their levels of coronavirus infections. 

However, Portuguese officials are insisting that its outbreak is 'clearly controlled' and saying there is no scientific or empirical justification to keep them off the list. 

British holidaymakers account for 20 per cent of Portugal's income from tourism.  

A lockdown has been reimposed in 19 Greater Lisbon parishes with an 8pm curfew for all businesses apart from  supermarkets, restaurants and service stations in the rest of the city. 

Around 70 per cent of Portugal's daily 300 cases are being reported in the capital.  

However, Professor Henrique Barros, president of Portugal's National Health Council, said the outbreak was 'clearly controlled' and that the UK's status was 'worse'.

He said: 'The places where tourists tend to walk are the safest in the country. Tourists are not taking the overcrowded metro or train at 6am in the morning to go to work. 

'I mean the risk is almost negligible.'

Sweden, meanwhile, was identified last week as suffering a coronavirus resurgende. 

However, Anders Tegnell, a state epidemiologist, said the rise was due to more testing.

He added: 'The number of admissions to intensive care is at a very low level and even deaths are starting to go down.'

Meanwhile, the number of new coronavirus cases in Turkey jas doubled in a month after the country started easing lockdown restrictions in late May. 

Professor Guner Sonmez, of Uskudar university, said he feared the government was losing control.

Asked whether a second spike of the coronavirus outbreak was inevitable, Sir Mark added: 'When outbreaks occur they typically occur in clusters and we're seeing certain work environments, for example, food processing factories, as being fairly common places for those clusters to rise.

'The common denominator is really being indoors, being crowded, being there for prolonged periods of time, noisy environments where people are coughing and shouting, and so there's more droplet transmission.

'It comes back to local control being really important to identify those clusters when they happen and clamp down on them quickly.

'We need to do everything we possibly can to avoid a widespread second wave.

'The evidence that the virus does transmit better in cold workplaces again suggests that winter might be quite a risky time again.'

Asked if the virus could come back in winter when the NHS is under more pressure, Sir Mark said: 'That is obviously a significant risk.'

He said that the virus probably lasts longer in the air and on surfaces in cold and wet environments.

The partial dismantling of Priti Patel's quarantine scheme means UK holidaymakers will be able to return home without having to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Foreign Office will also lift its advice against 'all but essential travel' to low or medium-risk destinations, making it possible to obtain travel insurance.

The Eurotunnel website crashed early yesterday with online bookings not working properly as 'too many customers are trying to make a booking', according to the company.

Spain-holiday.com, the third biggest holiday rental site in Spain, said it had a record-breaking Saturday morning while TUI, Britain's leading tour operator, reported a rise of 50 per cent in bookings compared to last week.

Tour operators were yesterday offering record discounts of up to 70 per cent for trips to France, Spain, Italy and Greece. The changes will also let foreign tourists visit the UK, giving a boost to the beleaguered hospitality sector.

Head of International Brands at Spain-holiday.com Peter Jarvis said: 'We're already seeing a huge increase in online interest in our holiday homes from the UK market, with pool properties being the most popular (up 104 per cent).

'Vigilance is absolutely still needed but with sensible precautions on either end we are confident we will see a safe summer in the sun for Brits again this year.'

Under the traffic light system, drawn up by the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England and set to be in place by July 6, countries will be rated green, amber or red based on coronavirus infection levels, the reliability of official data and confidence in test and trace systems.

The automatic 14-day quarantine requirement will remain only for 'red-rated' countries such as the US and Brazil. Travel between 'green' and 'amber' countries will be quarantine-free, but passengers will have to fill in a 'locator form' to trace their movements.

'Green' countries are expected to include Austria, Croatia, Greece and Germany while 'Amber' countries include France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Spain.

It is hoped an agreement will be reached with Australia and New Zealand in the coming weeks to add them to the list of 'green' countries.     

Up, up and away! Country by country, your guide to the destinations and the sunshine deals 

By Tom Chesshyre 

With much of Europe set to reopen for the summer holidays, here's our guide to the leading 'air bridge' contenders - and the getaway deals that are ALL between 30 per cent and 70 per cent cheaper than usual:

France says 'Oui'

President Emmanuel Macron had refused to lift France's quarantine on British visitors unless we did the same for French citizens coming here.

Now an 'air bridge' is set to be formed, opening up our second most popular holiday destination.

Expect strict social distancing in restaurants, bars, markets and stores, where shopkeepers reserve the right to demand customers wear face masks. Gatherings of more than ten people in public are banned. Nightclubs are closed.

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

Holidaymakers are able to book holidays again as ministers agreed last night to open air corridors with dozens of countries, including Spain, who have put plans in place for the tourist season (above)

Bag a bargain: A fortnight at a cottage for four in Brittany from GBP1,200 in August including Portsmouth-St Malo ferry crossing with car (brittany-ferries.co.uk); A fortnight at a four-star beachfront hotel in Cannes with flights and transfers departing from Gatwick in August from GBP1,400pp (easyjet.com); A week at a villa sleeping six on the Aigues Mortes Marina in Languedoc Roussillon from GBP950, excluding flights (holidayfrancedirect.co.uk).

What will hotels look like?

Guests will wear masks at reception and other indoor communal areas. 

Receptionists will be behind a Perspex screen, similar to those in supermarkets.

Some will test temperatures on arrival.

Different groups should not get in the same lift.

At breakfast, guests will be asked to wear a mask and sanitise their hands at the entrance. Many resorts are handing out disposable plastic gloves. 

Some hotels are scrapping breakfast buffets, with staff bringing food to your table.

The hotels which still serve buffets are adopting a one-way system and a limit on the number of people at food counters.

Tables will be 1.5 metres apart and guests will be encouraged to eat outside, if possible.

British annual visitors: 10.3million

Smiling in Spain 

After holding back over Britain's indifferent Covid record, Spain reopened its borders to UK visitors on June 21. 

A royal decree to wear face masks has been issued for hotels, restaurants, museums, attractions and shops when social distancing of 1.5 metres is impossible; see spain.info.

Bag a bargain: A fortnight at the Jardin del Sol Apartments on Gran Canaria from GBP640pp departing from Gatwick on August 8 (tui.co.uk); A fortnight for a family of four from GBP2,436 at Cristina Villas in Cala Millor on Majorca departing from Manchester on August 16 (jet2holidays.com); A fortnight for a family of four from GBP2,156 at Villa La Canada, a self-catering property with a pool near Frigiliana in Andalucia with Gatwick flights on August 29 (jamesvillas.co.uk).

British visitors: 18.1million

Gunning for Greece 

With fewer than 4,000 coronavirus cases, Greece has avoided the worst of the pandemic. 

Since early May it has been relaxing its lockdown rules with shops, archaeological sites, restaurants, cafes, bars, leisure parks, and spas opening. 

From July 1, cultural events will be allowed. Ferries have been running for more than a month.

Face masks must be worn on public transport, in taxis and in some shops.

Bag a bargain: A seven-night all-inclusive stay at Crete Maris Beach Resort from GBP3,332 for a family of four with Gatwick flights on August 7 (bestattravel.co.uk); A fortnight-long three-star, self-catering break in Aghios Georgios in Corfu from GBP438pp with Luton flights on August 1 (travelsupermarket.com); A fortnight at upmarket Villa Penelope I, sleeping four, with a pool, from GBP4,691 on August 16 (oliverstravels.com); Easyjet flights for family of four from GBP828 (easyjet.com).

British visitors: 3.4million

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

Tour operators were yesterday offering record discounts of up to 70 per cent for trips to France, Spain, Italy and Greece.

Pictured, a passenger arriving on the first flight from Stansted on 21 June

Italy is ready 

Hotels, bars, restaurants, museums, campsites and, even mountain huts have reopened. Face masks must be worn in indoor public places, and in outdoor places where one-metre social distancing is impossible. 

What will be the scenes on the beaches?

Masks will not be compulsory on the beach.

At popular resorts, a traffic light system will let people know how busy the beach is. 

When it hits red, no more will be allowed on the sand.

In Benidorm, below, visitors will have to book a 13ft x 13ft taped-off area on the beach using an app.

Areas will be colour-coded: blue for general use and red for the over-70s

Big signs have been put up with advice on how to stay Covid-free.

Tourists will be asked to keep a three-metre space between umbrellas and a 1.5 metre gap between towels. 

Sunbeds will be spaced two metres apart and fixed down in some resorts. They will be disinfected before reuse.

Mattresses will have plastic covers to help keep them sanitised.

Some beaches are banning team games such as football and volleyball. Inflatables are also banned.

Children can bring buckets and spades, but they cannot be shared with other children 

At busy resorts, tourists will be asked to wear masks on promenades and will have to follow a blue-arrowed one-way system.

In Lombardy it is still mandatory to wear masks outdoors. Social distancing on beaches is 1.5 metres.

Temperature checks may be requested.

Bag a bargain: A fortnight at the four-star Grand Hotel Francia e Quirinale in Tuscany from GBP952pp B&B on August 22 with Heathrow flights (citalia.com); A week at TUI BLUE Astro Azzurro in Piano di Sorrento from GBP1,076pp all-inclusive on August 24 (tui.co.uk); A fortnight at Villa Le Vignacce in Volterra, Tuscany, sleeping four, from GBP3,476 for a family of four including Gatwick flights on August 28 (jamesvillas.co.uk).

British visitors: 5.1million

Portugal at risk 

The possibility of an air bridge to Portugal is still in doubt after its infection rate rose, with an announcement expected next week. But authorities there have introduced a 'Clean and Safe' standard requiring hotels and B&Bs to maintain stringent hygiene standards. 

In public areas, social distance of two metres is required and face masks are mandatory on transport and in busy shops. 

Golf courses, zoos, oceanariums, restaurants and cafes have reopened. Some extra restrictions have also been put in place in Lisbon.

Bag a bargain: A fortnight at the Monica Isabel Beach Club in Albufeira, the Algarve, from GBP1,333pp with Stansted flights on August 14 (onthebeach.co.uk); A fortnight at the Jupiter Algarve Hotel in Praia da Rocha from GBP1,267 B&B on August 7 from Manchester (firstchoice.co.uk); A week at the upmarket Pine Cliffs Resort in the Algarve from GBP3,439 B&B for a family of four with Stansted flights and transfers (destinology.co.uk).

British visitors: 3.3million

Cyprus on the map 

It will have taken a while for Britain to get the tourist thumbs up from Cyprus - 22 countries in the EU were ahead of us.

But it will be worth the wait, especially as visitors have reassuringly been promised free medical attention in the (highly unlikely) event of coming down with Covid. 

Intensive care units have been set aside and the cost of lodging, food, drink and medication will be covered for those affected and their families.

Social distancing is required in hotels, restaurants and bars.

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

All travellers returning to the UK will have to provide contact details in case an outbreak is traced to their flight and they have to self-isolate.

Failure to comply could result in a GBP1,000 fine (above, German tourists arriving in Spain on June 15)

Bag a bargain: A week at the five-star Azia Resort & Spa in Paphos from GBP697pp B&B with Stansted flights on August 26 (loveholidays.com); A fortnight at the Avanti Holiday Village near Paphos from GBP3,476 self-catering for a family of four departing Glasgow on August 1 (jet2holidays.com); A fortnight at the Village and Coastal Villas in the Troodos mountains from GBP1,143pp self-catering with Manchester flights on August 1 (sunvil.co.uk).

British visitors: 1.3million

Croatia wants us 

The chief of the Croatian National Tourist Office in London says government officials are 'actively lobbying Britain - we really value British guests'.

Britons can already visit Croatia, but visitors are required to fill out an online form at entercroatia.mup.hr. 

They must also provide proof of accommodation has been booked on arrival. Restaurants, hotels, cafes and beaches have been open since May.

Bag a bargain: A fortnight at Hotel Lapad in Dubrovnik from GBP1,084pp B&B departing Stansted on July 26 (jet2holidays.com); A fortnight at Villa Ruzica in Trogir from GBP643pp departing from Stansted on July 26 (onthebeach.co.uk); A fortnight at Villa Konalic on the Dubrovnik Riviera from GBP2,001 for a family of four departing on August 20 from Manchester (supertravelmarket.com).

British visitors: 898,000

Marvellous Malta 

Malta has established an accommodation hygiene standard, with regular audits. Social distancing is required at hotels, restaurants, bars and on beaches. 

Pool capacity is capped at 50 per cent.

Face masks are required in confined spaces.

Bag a bargain: A fortnight at the ST Bluebay Apartments on the Sliema/Gzira promenade from GBP471pp including Stansted flights and transfers on August 1 (maltadirect.com); A fortnight at the Grand Hotel Excelsior in Valetta from GBP909pp from Gatwick on August 1 (ba.com); A fortnight at the Ramla Bay Resort with Stansted flights on August 4 from GBP3,207 for four (onthebeach.co.uk).

British visitors: 640,000

The great escape! Holiday bookings explode ahead of air bridges opening across Europe – and you could save up to 76%

Customers wear face masks as they wait to have breakfast inside the Nuria restaurant in Barcelona, northeastern Spain earlier this month

Will Turkey take part? 

Despite talks between national officials there is a belief that Turkey will not be in the first wave of air bridges. 

Nevertheless, preparations have been made, including temperature checks on arrival.

And how about restaurants and bars?

Masks will have to be worn as you enter and hand sanitiser must be applied.

Masks can come off at the table - but worn to walk to the toilet

In some restaurants, diners are handed plastic barcodes which you scan on your phone to access the menu. 

Some are placing tables 1.5 metres from each other, although others don't bother. 

All waiters, waitresses and chefs will wear masks

Bars are encouraging drinkers to be served at their tables. 

Those who do approach the bar must wear masks.

Masks must also be worn in supermarkets, shops and cafes. 

Bag a bargain: A fortnight at Club Candan in Marmaris from GBP1,051pp self-catering with Gatwick flights on August 7 (firstchoice.co.uk); A fortnight at the Dalyan Resort in Dalaman from GBP2,608 B&B for a family of four departing from Gatwick on August 1 (ba.com); A fortnight at Villa Ebru in Kalkan from GBP3,655, for six, in August; flights excluded (oliverstravels.com).

British visitors: 2.5million

Belgian cheer 

A key country for Eurostar services, with Brussels a major hub and many tourists travelling on to enjoy the delightful cities of Bruges and Ghent. 

Hotels, restaurants and bars have reopened with social distancing. It is recommended to book tables at restaurants. Wearing face masks is mandatory on public transport.

Bag a bargain: A return journey by train to Brussels from St Pancras with a week at the Aparthotel Adagio Brussels Grand Palace from GBP504 for two departing August 9 (eurostar.com); A week at the four-star Augustin hotel in Brussels with flights from Glasgow on August 16 from GBP490pp (lastminute.com); A week's stay at the Theatre Hotel Brussels from GBP325pp including Heathrow flights on August 23 (ba.com).

British visitors: 1.8million

Dutch courage 

Amsterdam is back, one of Britain's most popular short break destinations.

Groups of as many as 30 people are allowed to gather in public places but a strict 1.5 metre social-distancing rule remains. 

Hotels, cafes and restaurants are open.

Until September 1, cannabis cafes may only provide a takeaway service.

Nightclubs are also closed until then.

Bag a bargain: A return by train to Amsterdam from St Pancras with five nights at the Urban Lodge Hotel from GBP331pp on August 20 (eurostar.com); A week at Hotel de Hallen in Amsterdam from GBP402pp including Glasgow flights on August 16 (lastminute.com); Five nights at the WestCord Fashion Hotel Amsterdam from GBP277pp from Luton on August 6 (easyjet.com).

British visitors: 3.5million

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