UK Government Urged To Stick To May 17 Deadline For Restarting International Travel

UK Government Urged To Stick To May 17 Deadline For Restarting International Travel. Image: ABTA

UK Government Urged To Stick To May 17 Deadline For Restarting International Travel.

The UK’s transport secretary has confirmed that the government “will introduce” a form of travel certification. Grant Shapps told MPs today, March 12, that the Global Travel Taskforce was looking at both IATA’s Travel Pass and the World Economic Forum’s Common Pass, he also confirmed the Global Travel Taskforce’s report will be made available to the public on April 12.

Boris Johnson said the taskforce would report on April 12 when he laid out his roadmap out of lockdown on February 22 although he did not actually specify whether this was to him or whether details would be released to businesses and the public on the same day.

MPs on the Commons transport committee said that the initial target date of May 17 for restarting international travel should be confirmed to provide certainty for consumers and businesses.

“If the May 17 restart is delayed, airlines and airports will experience an extended period when people are not travelling, which will exacerbate the financial challenges that those businesses have faced over the past year, perhaps to critical levels,” the committee’s report said.

“The May 17 date for restarting international travel should be maintained provided that the four reopening tests that the government set out on February 22 are met.” Asked by transport committee chairman Hew Merriman to confirm that point, Shapps said: “April 12 is the date that we will report back, and make that public as well on the same day.” He also stressed: “Travel won’t resume until, at the earliest, May 17.”

The call came as Spain joined other countries such as Greece, Cyprus and Portugal in indicating that it would reopen to vaccinated tourists from May. Spain is considering the introduction of a health passport that would open the doors to those vaccinated. Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said the country might start using the system to coincide with an international tourism fair due to take place in Madrid on May 19.

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Tony Winterburn

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