Resumption of international Travel has long being sidelined. For over a year, countries around the world have reeled under the harmful effects of the pandemic that have restricted travel. UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced the possibility of opening international travel by the 17th of May, 2021.
Highlights of the Announcement
Reports suggest that Britain has not given up on resuming international travel on May 17th, but needs to be cautious given rising Covid-19 infections in Europe, its
Prime Minister said on Tuesday, amid pressure from hard-hit airlines to give the green light for foreign holidays. Simultaneously, the government has been under pressure from the British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic as both urged the government to help secure a swift recovery for the industry.
PM Boris Johnson is now faced with the task of weighing up the uncertainty over whether vaccination campaigns can improve the situation in Europe this summer, against the weeks of notice the travel industry needs to restart. Johnson stated, “We have to be realistic…we can’t do it immediately. But that doesn’t mean that we’ve given up on May 17.” He also highlighted the position of the government on the possibility of replacing the gold-standard PCR tests for travellers. Johnson stated, “We want to make things as easy as we possibly can.”
Other Vested Parties
The UK government has said it will provide more details on restarting foreign travel this week after holidays were banned in the latest Covid-19 lockdown. Meanwhile, airlines are pinning their hopes on vaccinations and the government’s proposed “traffic light system” – tailoring rules to the risks in each country – to help revive travel.
BA CEO Sean Doyle asserted, “We see nothing in the data that suggests that we shouldn’t be opening up travel on the 17th of May.” Speaking alongside Doyle, Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss said the rapid roll-out of vaccinations in the United States meant it should be on Britain’s “green” list of countries qualifying for lighter travel rules. Those heading to green list countries will need to take two Covid-19 tests, but will avoid quarantine. Speaking on BBC radio, easyJet boss Johan Lundgren said costly Covid-19 tests should not be needed for low-risk countries.
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