U.K. Travelers Splurge on Booze and Cigarettes After Brexit
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. travelers are heading out for summer vacations in Europe, and they’re stocking up on booze and cigarettes as they go.
Those brave enough to navigate the country’s complex “traffic-light” system on quarantine requirements for trips to the European Union can also take advantage of duty-free shopping in post-Brexit Britain.
Dufry AG, Europe’s largest duty-free operator, said on its half-year earnings call on Tuesday that it’s seen gains of 50% to 100% in sales of liquor and tobacco in recent days. It said that was an encouraging sign, given that the U.K. is “still in the process of opening up.”
As of Sunday, fully vaccinated visitors arriving in England from France no longer have to isolate for 10 days. The U.K. also relaxed rules for arrivals from India, Bahrain, and travel hubs the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. There are signs that easing restrictions are spurring more people to travel. Heathrow on Wednesday reported a 74% year-on-year jump in July passengers, marking its busiest month since March 2020.
With the U.K. no longer part of the EU, U.K. passengers can buy duty-free alcohol and tobacco products in ports, airports and international train stations.
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