ABTA calls on government to plot route out of travel shutdown

abta calls on government to plot route out of travel shutdown

The tourism industry is calling on the government to give more detail on how travel restrictions will be lifted if Covid-19 is brought under control in the UK.

ABTA chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “As news continues to emerge of new variants of the virus developing overseas, along with the significant number of cases and deaths in the UK, it is understandable that the government wants to take every step necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.

“The pre-departure testing for passengers entering the UK, originally due to come into force tomorrow but now delayed for England until Monday, is a clear example of this.

“It joins a myriad of other measures which if still in place when more people start to travel would be confusing, expensive and logistically difficult for customers.

“It would also serve as a barrier to travel putting many people off booking in the first place.”

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Authorities earlier confirmed pre-departure Covid-19 testing would not begin until Monday, while also announcing arrivals from South America will be severely curtailed. 

However, the restrictions are worrying for the tourism sector in the longer-term, Tanzer said.

He added: “It is worth pointing out that the government hasn’t given any confirmation that pre-departure testing will be removed once international travel opens up more widely – only that it will be reviewed as we come towards the end of this lockdown.

“What the industry needs to hear from government is a clear plan for recovery.

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