HOLIDAYMAKERS will be rejoicing as a ferry operator gets set to resume leisure travel services to Europe from Harwich.

Stena Line, which runs ferries from Harwich to the Netherlands, will once again be operating the services from July 1 - provided the EU gives it the green light.

The company has been running its full service to bring in freight throughout the entirety of the Covid-19 pandemic as essential supplies including food, pharmaceuticals and hospital supplies have still needed to be imported.

But it will once again be transporting passengers to the Netherlands from the beginning of next month as the country adopts a digital green certificate.

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This means travel can resume and anyone who has been fully vaccinated will be allowed to do so without restriction.

Those who haven’t will have to bring a PCR test with them to provide proof they aren’t carrying the virus.

Simon Palmer, of Stena Line, said it is fantastic that people will be able to get back on the move again.

“It’s all hanging on whether the European Union imposes the handbrake on the UK; they can pause travel to countries if virus levels are high,” he said.

“In line with government regulations, the Netherlands is still on the amber list – meaning people will have to quarantine upon return.

“We would prefer unrestricted travel but anything that can get travel moving again we will support entirely, and it’s fantastic people can get back out again as life seems to be returning back to normal.”

Following a year where travel has been almost non-existent, residents and business owners will now be eager to see an increase in trade again.

Alex Porter, district councillor responsible for leisure and tourism, welcomed the resumption of ferry services and cruise ships.

He said: “Having an international port in our district, serving both a regular ferry service to Europe and cruise ships, is a real opportunity for Tendring in terms of attracting visitors.

“We have paid attention to this potential source of visitors – with tourism a key part of our economy – particularly with regards to our Mayflower 400 work, and will continue to do so.

“Provided visitors come and respect our district, following Covid-secure rules, we welcome them to enjoy everything Tendring has to offer.”