29 MARCH 2021


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Article from BTNews 29 MARCH 2021

ABTA and the Global Travel Taskforce

Representing the travel and hospitality industry in all its various forms the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has put forward a written submission to the Global Travel Taskforce which outlines its principles and recommends a pragmatic approach for restarting travel.

It is controversial by leading with the suggestion that the Government must adopt a risk-based approach that balances domestic public health with the economic and social need to get travel re-started.  This will undoubtedly not find favour with the hygiene experts.

“It is clear that eventual aim for restarting international travel must be to return to a situation where most destinations are subject to minimal restrictions. This should include the principle that UK nationals that have been vaccinated are exempted from mitigation measures, such as testing and self-isolation, unless scientific evidence dictates otherwise,” the statement says.

ABTA agrees that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) Travel Advice should be fully regionalised and used only where the risk in destination for UK citizens is unacceptably high.

When it comes to cruising and school trips the current ban should be lifted.
ABTA has also proposed a tiered approach to country risk categorisation, with the intention of restoring generally unrestricted travel as soon as possible. An important part of ABTA’s submission focuses on the need for stability, and to avoid situations like those seen last summer, where severe restrictions are introduced very quickly and applied without transition measures, which deters people from travelling.

Finally, ABTA makes it very clear that consumer confidence is critical to the recovery of international travel.  “The Government should commit that destinations which are opened for international travel will not be closed-off suddenly, unless a variant of concern becomes dominant, and other mitigation measures will be used wherever possible.”


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