The owners of Hays Travel say it remains difficult to feel any optimism about the coming autumn or winter market as a result of a lack of regional air corridors.

John and Irene Hays had thought the market was beginning to improve until the announcement on July 25 about the introduction of quarantine restrictions for travel back from Spain.

John Hays said: “The evening of July 25 will be forever etched on our memories. It was just devastating, as it was for the whole travel industry.”

Hopes that the government might take a more nuanced approach and allow travel to parts of Spain for the autumn, such as the Canaries, have so far not been realised, he added.

Joint owner Irene Hays said: “It’s very difficult to be optimistic about the autumn.”

However, the owners of the UK’s largest high street travel agency said sales for summer 2021 were “excellent” and up on the same time last year.

“The great unknown is whether people will be allowed to travel,” said John Hays.