Travel Chiefs Demand Clarity Over When Foreign Trips Can Resume

Travel Chiefs Demand Clarity Over When Foreign Trips Can Resume. image: Wikimedia

Travel Chiefs Demand Clarity Over When Foreign Trips Can Resume.

TRAVEL chiefs from across the industry have called for further clarification on when holidays might resume after the Prime Minister refused to confirm they would restart from May 17 in his address to the nation yesterday, April 5.

The PM said last night that he’s “hopeful” people will be able to travel abroad from May 17 – but claimed it was too early to provide more certainty. Boris Johnson said last night: “We don’t want to see this virus being re-imported into this country from abroad. Plainly there is a surge in other parts of the world. We have to be mindful of that and we have to be realistic.”

He said he was “hopeful” that foreign travel could begin again on May 17, but that more data was needed before a firm decision could be taken.

One travel firm boss lamented by saying: “We can’t afford to lose another summer of holidays.” Heathrow Airport chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “Now that a safe, scientifically-backed process has been agreed upon, a clearer timeline for the return to international travel is needed.”

He added that the announcement of a “risk-based approach” with information on how testing and vaccine rollouts will facilitate travel was welcome.

Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, said the industry “needs more certainty”. He added: “Government cannot keep kicking the can down the road as hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk. It needs to urgently put in place safe solutions to travel for business, leisure and to see family.”

Clive Wratten, boss of trade body the Business Travel Association, said: “Today’s (Monday’s) announcement from the Prime Minister is beyond disappointing. We are leading the way in vaccination and science. This is a cause of huge celebration, but if we are to restart our economy, we need to have a clear pathway to international travel and trade. This has once again been kicked down the road.”

He went on to say: “The business travel industry continues to be crippled by today’s lack of movement.”

Airport Operators Association chief executive Karen Dee commented: “It is disappointing that the initial update from the Prime Minister continues to suggest significant barriers to international travel and may push back the date of restart beyond May 17.”

Tim Alderslade, boss of Airlines UK, an industry body representing UK-registered carriers, said: “Whilst we support the establishment of a framework for restarting international travel and welcome the removal of self-isolation for arrivals from green countries, today’s announcement does not provide the clarity we were seeking on the road map back towards normality.

“We await further details but the measures indicated, including the potential for multiple tests for travellers even from ‘green countries’, will prevent meaningful travel even to low-risk destinations.”

Rory Boland, editor of consumer magazine Which? Travel, said: “The government’s plans to use a traffic light system to safely restart international travel will be welcome news to both industry and holidaymakers, but crucial details are still outstanding.

“With mandatory testing set to continue for all destinations, the cost of private tests mean millions risk being priced out of travel – so the government must urgently look at ways to reduce these costs before it reopens international travel.”

 

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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.

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