* items includes readers letters
26 JULY 2021
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# Confusion still rages.
ABTA has written to Grant Shapps, the Secretary of State for Transport, outlining actions still needed from Government to open up travel to and from more countries, make foreign travel easier for UK citizens and support the industry through to recovery.
The letter comes ahead of the next Government strategic travel review due to be published shortly, perhaps on Thursday. It will update the traffic light system.
In the note the Association raises questions about the Government’s recent short notice decision to remove the exemption from quarantine for passengers returning from France who have had both vaccinations, arguing changes to the traffic light structure should only happen at strategic review points, and the placing of Balearics on the Amber list.
It also calls on Government to make further progress on testing being more affordable and proportionate, including removing post-arrival testing for Green list countries. See in this week’s BTN comments by Willie Walsh IATA and Covid-19 testing costs.
ABTA – The Travel Industry Association wants more destinations to the Green list, as other countries begin to make significant progress with their own vaccine programme rollouts.
The letter points to the protocols for handling Covid-19 which have worked successfully with domestic cruising, leaving each operator to establish its own boarding criteria. International cruising can work the same way.
ABTA emphasises that there must be progress on the mutual recognition of vaccination certification systems, especially with key markets such as the EU and US.
Finally it says that an additional checkpoint review of the requirements for international travel should come at the end of August – waiting until the end of October, under the present arrangements is too long!
Luke Petherbridge, Director of Public Affairs at ABTA, summed up: “The Government must take action to support the travel industry – which is not only important in terms of jobs and contributions to the economy, but also the UK’s wider recovery from the pandemic. We’re a global nation and our international connectivity underpins this.”
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Michael carrivick, uk
In view of past performance, 'strategy' is not a word that seems to apply. I'm not sure that even 'tactical' does as headless chickens seem to be in control. However, from a canvassing point of view, it's essential that the impressio isn't given that airlines are all about outbound holiday makers. A huge share of the market is inbound, and not just holidaymakers either. They include business travellers, those Visiting Friends and Relatives, ships crews (remember them?) etc. Similally, the same flights carry a great deal of inward and outward freight, essential to both ends of the route. Govt must get the message that the UK economy is being squandered by the continual rules reversals it imposes on aviation.