Hopes of a summer holiday abroad this year have been thrown in doubt with the Government announcing those returning from overseas will have to pay to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days on their return.
Several other countries are also expected to ban arrivals from the UK due to the large number of coronavirus cases here.
All of this is likely to put many holidaymakers off from booking an overseas trip, even with plenty of developments likely between now and the summer.
This means staycations are likely to be as popular as last year – if not more so – with holidaymakers making the most of the British summer and avoiding any foreign travel chaos.
Travel: Devon is one of the most popular destinations for holidaymakers to visit this summer
With so many looking to travel domestically this year, sightseers are being urged to book in advance.
Research from Travelsupermarket has also revealed that popular destinations to head to this summer include Devon, Dorset and Yorkshire.
This is Money spoke to a number of UK based holiday firms to see if they had seen bookings increase for the spring and summer months.
Holidaycottages.co.uk said the post-Christmas rush to make bookings has been quieter this year due to current restrictions but it has seen a marked increase in demand for holidays since the end of last week.
Bookings taken since 16 January are 85 per cent up compared to the previous week, whilst overall bookings from Easter onwards are currently 37 per cent ahead.
This is a result of new bookings and deferred reservations from 2020 – of where they were at the same point last year.
Devon, Cornwall and Wales are currently the most popular destinations people are considering for 2021, with half of all bookings taken since Saturday being for these locations, with summer the most popular period.
Center Parcs, meanwhile, said there is still a good deal of uncertainty in the market which is making year on year comparisons very difficult.
It is, however, seeing lots of interest and bookings for breaks later in the year.
However, it said it does still expect to be operating with some kind of restricted occupancy when reopening in order to be able to maintain social distancing measures.
All its guests are covered by a book with confidence guarantee which allows them to reschedule their break or receive a full refund if their breaks is impacted by Covid-19.
Durdle Door in Dorset was a popular location for visitors last year and will likely be so again
Forest Holidays said it is currently up 63 per cent of where it would expect to be for bookings in 2021.
A lot of this, however, is due to rebooks and holiday moves from customers having their breaks cancelled in the previous year due to Covid-19. However, it has also seen increased demand on top of this.
Top 10 destinations
Travelsupermarket has revealed its top searched and booked destinations in the UK at the moment:
2. North Yorkshire
Therefore, breaks are booking up very quickly and it is already nearly full for the Easter holidays across all locations.
Haven Holidays said that following the challenges that 2020 provided in terms of holidays it has seen guests looking to take a break on the British coast when lockdown is lifted.
It has seen an uplift in bookings during the Autumn and early winter of 2020 which saw sales 40 per cent ahead of where they would normally be for the time of year.
Haven parks will reopen to holidaymakers on Friday 12 March and it has already sold a third of its available holidays for 2021 with its May half term having sold over 50 per cent of available breaks.
A spokesperson said: ‘Whilst we have not yet experienced the pre-pandemic sales of last January, we have seen in the last week a significant increase in bookings, as guests look to gain from the early booking offers available and potentially showing confidence in the roll out of the vaccination program across the UK.
‘We expect this trend to continue but also envisage that bookings will increase as lockdown measures are reduced. When this happened in 2020 we saw a 150 per cent increase in online bookings against the same period the previous year.’
All Haven 2021 holidays are protected by the Haven Promise which includes a price promise refunding the difference should customers see the price of their holiday cheaper at a later date.
It is unlikely many will be able to escape on a foreign holiday this year due to restrictions
Hoseasons has also seen surging demand for domestic breaks over the last seven days with peak summer holiday bookings up 67 per cent week on week.
Meanwhile, cottages.com saw bookings increase by 50 per cent in the same timeframe.
Simon Altham , group chief commercial officer for Awaze, the parent company of both brands, said: ‘It’s no coincidence the spike we’re seeing in demand for our breaks comes at the same time as greater restrictions are being considered for foreign travel.
‘Our data clearly shows this uncertainty is leading people to lock in their UK break for the summer.
‘We know from previous experience that demand for domestic holidays goes through the roof as soon as lockdown restrictions are lifted and it’s safe to travel, so our advice to anyone looking for something specific is to book sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.’
Booking.com said its research showed that 47 per cent of people have confirmed they still plan to travel within their own country in seven to 12 months’ time with 38 per cent planning to do so in the longer term
A spokesperson said: ‘There is no denying that last year was the year of staycations, and we expect this trend to continue over the coming months as travel restrictions are eased, particularly in light of the amazing vaccine news, which we’ve previously said is crucial in order for travel – and the economy – to fully recover.
‘In a new coronavirus world, local travel has risen to the fore as it remains easier and safer.’
Despite this, Kayak said demand for travel this spring and summer remain down year over year.
However, searches for domestic accommodation over the summer are not as low as for spring travel.
Data from Kayak shows searches made for domestic flights between 1 and 21 January 2021 for travel dates between 1 April and 30 June are down 88 per cent year over year.
Searches made for domestic accommodation in the same time are also down 80 per cent year over year.
Whilst searches remain down, research shows that travellers do have a pent up demand to get out there and travel as soon as restrictions are lifted.
Kayak said it has seen this on a number of occasions as easing of restriction announcements are made, travel corridors announced or when the approval of the first vaccine was announced, flight searches increased.
As restrictions ease, Kayak does expect people to start searching for travel and many of those will be looking to domestic destinations.