Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Committee criticises recommendations on aviation and tourism

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Committee criticises recommendations on aviation and tourism

The Transport Committee has published a report which explains that ‘vague and costly recommendations’ are insufficient to reboot aviation and tourism sectors which are encountering another summer without international travel following coronavirus (COVID-19). The Committee analyses the government’s 'Global Travel Taskforce' report and states that it lacks the detail needed to restart international travel and involves disproportionate costs. Although the Committee appreciates the public health challenges posed by coronavirus, it makes four recommendations to the government, to enable the aviation and tourism sectors to prepare for restart and recovery.

The Committee recommends:

• populating the traffic-light framework with destination countries by 1 May 2021 at the latest and announcing that classification of destination countries in a statement to Parliament

• explaining the criteria and mechanism by which countries will move between risk categories by at least 1 May 2021

• facilitating an affordable testing regime that supports public health and safe travel for everyone by maximising the role of antigen tests and ensuring the provision of affordable polymerase chain reaction tests, where required

• acting immediately to reduce waiting times and queues at the UK border, such as working bilaterally with partner countries to agree mutual recognition of travel health certification, having more staff at the border and processing passenger locator forms before passengers arrive in the UK

Huw Merriman MP, Transport Committee Chair, comments ‘The aviation and travel sectors were crying out for a functional report, setting out clear rules and offering certainty. This is not it. Where the industry craved certainty, the Government has failed to provide it. For UK citizens seeking to travel to the parts of the globe where the vaccine has been delivered as rapidly as the UK, the cost to families from testing could be greater than the cost of the flights.’

The report can be viewed here.

Source: Global Travel Taskforce: International travel has its wings clipped by cautious Government report

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