Mad dash from the Balearics as tourists pay up to £1,000 to get back to the UK


Holidaymakers headed to Ibiza today despite the island joining the amber list overnight as tourists on the holiday island paid up to an extra £1,000 in a mad dash to get back from the Balearics to the UK before 4am.

Despite many facing a ten-day quarantine when they come back if they don’t have both jabs, scores jetted to the Mediterranean from Glasgow and other airports this morning.

Friends Poppy and Shannon, both 20, were on the same Jet2 flight and facing the prospect of quarantining when they return next week. Neither of them has received even a first dose of vaccine yet – but that was not going to stop heading for the sun any longer. 

Poppy said: ‘I’m not even caring, I just want to be in the sun. I’ve had so many holidays booked that have been cancelled.’

Shannon added: ‘With all the right information we’ve been totally fine to just book it – there’s always safe ways to go about it. We’ve been waiting two years and had Ibiza booked twice so we’re finally getting to go away.’ 

British favourites Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca were all upgraded to the amber list amid surging infection numbers across the archipelago – which were visited by 3.8million Britons a year before the pandemic. 

Holidaymakers have since been paying inflated fees of up to £1,000 a head in a bid to avoid being subject to a ten-day quarantine upon their return if unvaccinated after the travel rules changed today, arriving at airports across the country just before midnight and into the early hours. 

Double-jabbed people and those under 18 will still be able to return from the islands quarantine free.  

Friends Poppy (left) and Shannon, both aged 20 and from Glasgow, head towards the departure gate at Glasgow Airport after checking in for their flight to Ibiza despite the the island going amber today

Holidaymakers check-in for the 7.15am Jet2 flight to Ibiza at Glasgow Airport as  Scotland moves to Level Zero.

Holidaymakers check-in for the 7.15am Jet2 flight to Ibiza at Glasgow Airport as  Scotland moves to Level Zero.

Travellers at Palma Airport in Majorca (pictured) yesterday told The Times that they had paid hundreds and even thousands of pounds extra for flights and Covid antigen tests in order to return early from their holidays and beat the deadline

Travellers at Palma Airport in Majorca (pictured) yesterday told The Times that they had paid hundreds and even thousands of pounds extra for flights and Covid antigen tests in order to return early from their holidays and beat the deadline

Tourists have been paying up to £1,000 to get from the Balearics to the UK before the islands go on the amber list overnight. Pictured: Passengers arriving at Manchester Airport from Ibiza on one of the last flights before the deadline

Tourists have been paying up to £1,000 to get from the Balearics to the UK before the islands go on the amber list overnight. Pictured: Passengers arriving at Manchester Airport from Ibiza on one of the last flights before the deadline

Tourists pictured returning to the UK from Ibiza before the 4am deadline after the Balearics were upgraded to the amber list

Tourists pictured returning to the UK from Ibiza before the 4am deadline after the Balearics were upgraded to the amber list

Tourists pictured returning to the UK from Ibiza before the 4am deadline after the Balearics were upgraded to the amber list

Passengers on the first flight from Glasgow to the Balearics on Monday expressed few concerns about quarantining when they get back despite the islands moving to the UK’s amber travel list. 

As Scotland moved to Level 0 of its coronavirus restrictions, one of those at Glasgow Airport for the 7.15am Jet2 flight was Jacqui Sutherland.

Under the new guidance, people who are fully vaccinated or under 18 and are arriving from an amber list country do not have to self-isolate – but adults and children over 12 must still take tests before travelling and on their second day after arriving.

Ms Sutherland, heading to Ibiza for a week with her partner, told the PA news agency: ‘We booked when it was on the green (list) and then we did kind of wonder what to do when it moved to amber.

‘But because we’re double-vaccinated we don’t have to quarantine.

‘My friend is a travel consultant and said that if anything happens they will send flights out to bring you home before it went on to the red.

‘That’s why we booked when it was green because if it went to amber we were still OK… a wee bit of a worry but we’re going to go anyway because at the moment it’s all good.

‘Both my girls have only got one vaccine so they’re just not going at all because it’s too much of a risk.’

Friends Poppy (left) and Shannon, both aged 20 and from Glasgow, head towards the departure gate. They are unvaccinated but are unwilling to cancel another holiday

Friends Poppy (left) and Shannon, both aged 20 and from Glasgow, head towards the departure gate. They are unvaccinated but are unwilling to cancel another holiday

Another couple who have had both vaccine doses, Laura Salway and Crawford Rae, travelled down from Elgin and stayed at a nearby hotel overnight ahead of their nine nights in Ibiza.

Ms Salway told PA: ‘Because it’s just changed I think we’ll be pretty safe, we’ve had both (doses), we’ve got all of our paperwork in order.

‘I can’t see them changing it again – although that’s going to be famous last words now… It’s quite plain sailing actually – I thought (checking in) would be more difficult.

‘It’s all quite quiet. We stayed over the road because we came down from Elgin and it was quiet over there as well – it’s not the usual but I thought there’d be more people going to Ibiza.’

Travellers at Palma Airport in Majorca yesterday told The Times that they had paid hundreds and even thousands of pounds extra for flights and Covid antigen tests in order to return early from their holidays and beat the 4am deadline.

Those making a mad dash back included father and son Miller and Cameron Fitzgerald, from Leicestershire, who paid more than £1,000 to get back.

Miller told the publication: ‘Cameron has had his first jab but has his driving test booked so didn’t want to quarantine.

‘I paid £600 for the [covid] tests and £400 for the flights. I wasn’t too surprised that it changed because it’s been pretty chaotic. So we just had to be ready. There’s no doubt that what should have been a cheap holiday hasn’t been.’     

Holidaymakers have since been paying inflated fees in a bid to avoid being subject to a ten-day quarantine upon their return if unvaccinated. Pictured: Passengers arriving at Manchester Airport from Ibiza on one of the last flights before the deadline

Holidaymakers have since been paying inflated fees in a bid to avoid being subject to a ten-day quarantine upon their return if unvaccinated. Pictured: Passengers arriving at Manchester Airport from Ibiza on one of the last flights before the deadline

Double-jabbed people and those under 18 will still be able to return from the islands quarantine free. Pictured: Tourists returning to the UK from Ibiza before the 4.00am deadline after the Balearics were upgraded to the amber list

Double-jabbed people and those under 18 will still be able to return from the islands quarantine free. Pictured: Tourists returning to the UK from Ibiza before the 4.00am deadline after the Balearics were upgraded to the amber list

Most of the UK tourists on the islands are young adults – many of whom have not yet been offered their second jab.

Thousands of others who have not yet left have been forced to cancel their holidays altogether. 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps previously showed no sympathy for the thousands of Britons who could be affected by the sudden change to the travel list, telling them that uncertainty was a ‘fact of life’.

He said the reason the Balearics had been demoted to the amber list was because Covid case rates there had more than doubled.  

Earlier this week industry experts warned the decision over the Balearic Islands would cause ‘disarray’ for thousands of holidaymakers and be a blow to travel firms.

Virginia Messina, senior vice president for the World Tourism Trade Council, told MailOnline: ‘This will throw summer holidays into disarray for tens of thousands of people.

‘Businesses given the lifeline of holidays to the Balearics will also be left floundering as bookings collapse and customers clamour for refunds, piling on further financial pressure. There may be some good news with Croatia and Bulgaria moving up the scale and being added to the green list.

‘But the overall impact is one of confusion, which will only deter more Brits from holidaying abroad as the summer season slips away.’



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