GAZETTE readers have said they are more likely to go on holiday in the UK this year instead of seeking sun abroad.

May 17 is the earliest date for the resumption of overseas leisure travel for people in England, under the Government’s road map for easing restrictions.

We asked our readers if they would prefer to go on holiday abroad or take a staycation in the UK and 57 per cent of the 400 voters said they would stay closer to home.

A total of 26 per cent voted to go abroad and 16 per cent said they were not sure.

Under the new rules, destinations will be categorised as red, amber or green, with different quarantine and testing requirements.

If you go to a green country, you will not need to self-isolate and will only need one post-arrival test.

People returning from amber countries must quarantine at home for ten days and take two post-arrival tests.

Anyone coming back from a red list country will have to quarantine in a hotel for ten days when they come back.

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But these restrictions have not stopped holiday bookings going through the roof.

Paul Hardwick, head of commercial travel at Fred Olsen, said there was an “influx” of people after they reopened the shop in Colchester.

He said: “We are doing quite a bit for the UK, but it’s already quite booked up and we have also been booking quite a lot of cruises around UK waters.

“As people still have concerns about going abroad, they still want the holiday experience, but without going out of the UK.”

“With more talk around which countries are going to be green what our customers are saying is that they want some clarity of where they can go and what tests they will have to take.

“The more complicated its likely to be the less likely they are to go.”

Spain and Greece appear to be the most popular destinations for those going abroad and for those looking to stay closer to home, Devon and Cornwall are top of the list, along with cruises around the coast.

Colchester-based travel counsellor Liz Standley said: “This year we’ve seen UK staycations enter into our top five selling list for the first time.

“To date, it is our third highest summer 2021 selling destination following Spain and Greece, with a huge amount of interest in UK domestic cruising.”