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HomeBusiness NewsBusinessAviationForeign travel banned until ‘at least May’ causing a ‘hammer blow’ to aviation

Foreign travel banned until ‘at least May’ causing a ‘hammer blow’ to aviation

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
22nd Feb 21 4:55 pm

Fed up Brits are going to have to wait until at least 17 May before they are allowed to travel overseas, Boris Johnson has announced today.

This will cause anger with the aviation industry who are almost financial crippled and the sector have said that this is simply “too late” to resume flights.

Holiday companies will also take a further hit as so far they have lost tens of billions in revenue and thousands of jobs have been lost.

Johnson’s roadmap which was published on Monday says that holidays overseas will not be legally permitted for at least a further four months, with very little detail as to how the aviation sector will resume flights.

This is yet another “hammer blow” to the aviation industry which supports around 4m jobs along with 100,000 businesses, critics have warned.

Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, based in London, told MailOnline, “’Delaying the return of international travel until mid-May will come as yet another hammer blow to the already struggling Travel & Tourism sector, which has been battling to survive for the best part of a year.

“The sector was banking its hopes on a quicker return to international travel, so there will be widespread dismay at this news. Its return is crucial if the UK economy is to recover from the ravages of the pandemic, given the sector generates £200bn to the UK’s GDP.”

The government’s report on international travel says, The Global Travel Taskforce will report on April 12 with recommendations aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as possible while still managing the risk from imported cases and Variants of Concern. Following that, the government will determine when international travel should resume, which will be no earlier than May 17.

Adding, “The decision on when international travel can resume will be dependent on the global and domestic epidemiological picture, the prevalence and location of any Variants of Concern, the progress of vaccine rollouts here and abroad, and what more the government has learned about the efficacy of vaccines on variants, and the impact on transmission, hospitalisation and deaths.”

Conservative MP Henry Smith, chair of the Future of Aviation group warned, “Our aviation, travel and tourism industries have faced the hardest 12 months in their history and have been devastated by a collapse in passenger numbers and delays to the promised recovery package.

“These figures lay bare the brutal reality that without further financial support and a clear pathway out of the restrictions, these industries who are already running on empty will be left in a battle for survival.

“The pandemic has been disastrous for our aviation, travel and tourism sectors and the consequences of a lost summer season will be beyond devastating not only to the businesses involved, but their employees, their communities and the UK economy as a whole.

“That is why it is so vital that the government meets this challenge through a clear roadmap out of the restrictions and brings forward a serious and significant package of support that protects these essential industries for the challenging months ahead.”

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