Bookings for Portugal have gone "through the roof" after the holiday hotspot was revealed as one of 12 countries on England's green list, a travel agency said.

The southern European sun trap also saw Google searches sky rocket by over 3,000 percent in the 10 minutes after the list was first announced yesterday, according to reports.

From May 17, people from England will be able to travel to those destinations selected without quarantining for two weeks on return as the country continues to ease out of Covid lockdown.

Thomas Cook said last night it had taken more bookings for trips to Portugal in one hour than in the whole of last month.

The firm's head of PR David Child said jet-setters appeared "posed, ready and waiting to go" as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the relaxing of restrictions at the Downing Street briefing.

Mr Child told Sky News Portuguese hoteliers are "desperate for custom" and so room prices are not yet raising prices, even if airlines might bump up flight costs.

Have your travel plans been affected by the pandemic? Let us know at [email protected]

Tourists sunbathing in Praia do Camilo, Lagos, Faro district, Algarve, Portugal.
Portugal holiday bookings have skyrocketed since Grant Shapps' green list announcement last night

Gary Piazzon, founder of portertravel.co.uk, praised the announcement, describing Portugal as the "real winner here".

Speaking to the Sun soon after the briefing, he said: “Data reveals that in the last hour, Google searches for ‘Holidays to Portugal’ have skyrocketed, up 3,233% when compared with ten minutes before the Transport Secretary’s announcement."

Mr Piazzon said that searches for fellow green listers Israel and Gibraltar were also up 1,329% and 488%, respectively.

“I agree with Grant Shapps in that travellers are crucial to rebuilding the UK economy and I really hope this is the all-important light at the end of the tunnel we’ve been waiting for," he added.

It comes as Ryanair added extra flights to Portugal, with 175,000 seats to the likes of the Algarve, Lisbon and Porto for the summer holidays.

People sunbathe and swim at the beach near the resort of Praia da Luz
Portugal was said to be on the "cusp" of being included on the list before it was announced

Other countries to make the cut were Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, and several small remote islands that are British Overseas Territories.

However, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and the Faroe Islands won't actually be accepting British arrivals.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are yet to announce their international travel plans.

As expected, Spain, France, Italy, Greece and the US were all left off the initial green list and given amber ratings meaning travellers will have to isolate on their return home.

Travel industry bosses have slammed the move as too cautious and detrimental to struggling tourism companies hit hard by the border closure.

Critics have called for the Greek islands, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands to be added to the green list.

EasyJet Holidays CEO Garry Wilson told BBC Breakfast: "I think the very disappointing news is just the number of countries that are on the list, and if you look at European countries there's very few, and of those European countries the major holiday destination is Portugal."

He added: "We believe, looking at the science and looking at the data, that places like the Greek islands, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, very popular holiday destinations, actually do meet those criteria and should be on that list."

Virgin Atlantic called for the US to be added to the green list, saying the Government has taken an "overly cautious approach".

Maria Elena Rossi, marketing director of the Italian Tourist Board, said it was 'a pity' that Italy was on the amber list.

Ms Rossi added: "Italy is developing several Covid-free zones, especially in islands, which is a policy that has been enforced in other countries.

"We are working together with the UK tourism industry in order to be ready as soon as possible."

Airlines UK, an industry body which represents UK carriers, said the Government must make "major additions" to the green list at the next review point in three weeks.