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Published on Thursday, April 22, 2021

Taskforce report's lack of detail slammed by MPs

The Global Travel Taskforce report received a damning critique from the Transport Select Committee, putting the government's planned framework for restarting travel in doubt.

The Select Committee says it lacks any real substance to enable a reopening and where details are available the costs involved, such as pricey testing, may be disproportionate to the risk.

"Bearing in mind the urgent, existential threat to the UK aviation and travel sectors posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the Global Travel Taskforce report failed to strike that balance," the Committee said.

"It included insufficient detail to allow businesses to prepare for, and travellers to engage in, the planned safe restart of international travel on 17 May."

Under the framework, a pre-departure Covid test is required for a 'green' low risk destination, as well as an expensive PCR test needed on arrival back into the UK.

MPs have requested more clarity on which countries would be in which categories of the traffic light system by 1 May.

They also called for details on how countries would move between the green, amber and red tiers as the Covid situation changes, and plans for affordable testing.

"The aviation and travel sectors were crying out for a functional report, setting out clear rules and offering certainty. This is not it," said Committee Chair, Huw Merriman MP.

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