Holidaymakers are flocking to the Canary Islands - following the easing of coronavirus quarantine restrictions on Thursday evening.

Travel firms such as Tui, easyJet, Hays Travel and On the Beach are reporting huge surges in demand for trips to the Spanish islands.

Scots returning from the Spanish islands no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days from 4am on Sunday, after the destination was made exempt from Scotland's travel quarantine list. 

Tui reported that the number of people searching online for trips to the popular winter sun destination was seven times higher in the hours after the announcement, compared with the previous day.

READ MORE: 'Good news' for travel agents after Scottish Government's latest travel quarantine update

Managing director Andrew Flintham claimed this “phenomenal reaction” demonstrated “just how much people want a holiday”.

He went on: “Our half-term bookings have soared since the announcement, with 25 per cent of those booked to travel to the Canaries departing for the islands (on Saturday) or Sunday.

“We’re really pleased to be able to take customers away for a much needed break to our most popular mid-haul destinations.

“This is a positive step forward and we hope we can now look forward to the introduction of airport testing which will allow us to open up more destinations in the coming weeks.”

EasyJet is putting on more flights to the Canary Islands from Scottish cities Edinburgh and Glasgow - as well as popular airports Gatwick, Luton, Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool and Belfast.

And the airline is offering more than 180,000 additional seats to the Canary Islands up to the end of March 2021.

EasyJet UK country manager Ali Gayward said: “Since the Government’s announcement we’ve already seen a surge of demand for flights and holidays to the Canary Islands.

“We know that there is customer demand, they want to travel and this demonstrates they will do so when travel restrictions are relaxed.”

Hays Travel said the total number of visits to its website were up 53 per cent due to the announcement, while On the Beach reported that nearly three out of four bookings it is receiving are for trips to the Canary Islands.

It comes after travel agents hailed Thursday's announcement as "good news".

President of the Scottish Passenger Agents' Association Joanne Dooey said: "At last, a piece of positive news for the travel industry as some key countries for leisure travel are added to the safe list.

"The Canaries in particular are a hugely important destination for Scots' holidays. With Mykonos also back on the safe list along with the Maldives this gives travellers the chance to travel to catch some winter sun after a long, dark year.

"And it shouldn't be forgotten than there is a group of Scots who own holiday homes in the Canaries who will now be able to travel to and from their second homes without quarantine."