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Published on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Travel industry welcomes 'traffic-light' system for international travel

The travel industry reacted with cautious optimism to Prime Minister Boris Johnson's update on a likely return to international travel from England.

The proposed 'traffic-light' system was confirmed which will rank countries in green, amber and red tiers based on Covid risk.

The PM is 'hopeful' of a return to overseas travel by mid-May but says it is still too early to confirm this.

When that happens, a green tier would allow quarantine-free travel to certain countries.

That has been welcomed by industry groups.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA - The Travel Association said: "ABTA has been urging the government to restart international travel using a tiered approach which manages risk, so we welcome confirmation that travel will reopen under a new risk-based traffic light system."

"However, we need to see the details in the Global Travel Taskforce report before this can be assessed fully. A priority for the industry is a more stable system which avoids the situation of last summer where travel to many destinations was quickly turned on and off."

It is vital that the government clarifies how the transition between green, amber and red levels will work, both to help travel businesses plan ahead and to provide reassurance for travellers," Tanzer added.

UKinbound also welcomed the Prime Minister's comments and the move to a risk-based approach.

Joss Croft, CEO, UKinbound said: When the taskforce's full report is published on 12 April we need to see a robust four nation approach to reopening and the intention to develop bilateral and multilateral travel agreements with valuable international markets such as the US."

"A stop-start restart is one of the biggest threats to our sector and it's therefore crucial that Government implements the recommendations of the taskforce and continues its dialogue with industry."

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