//ABTA writes to travel taskforce

ABTA writes to travel taskforce

ABTA urges need for stability to avoid situations like those seen last summer

The government must adopt a risk-based approach that balances domestic public health with the economic and social need to get travel restarted, ABTA has said.

As part of the Travel Association’s engagement with the Global Travel Taskforce, it has provided a written submission to the taskforce, which outlines ABTA’s principles and suggested approach for restarting travel.

Boris Johnson has said that the Global Travel Taskforce will report back on April 5, a week earlier than previously expected.

In its submission, ABTA said that the eventual aim for restarting international travel must be to return to a situation where most destinations are subject to minimal restrictions.

This should include the principle that UK nationals that have been vaccinated are exempted from mitigation measures, such as testing and self-isolation, unless scientific evidence dictates otherwise, it said.

ABTA said that FCDO travel advice should be fully regionalised and used only where the risk in destination for UK citizens is unacceptably high.

It noted that consumer confidence is critical to the recovery of international travel, and that the Government should commit that destinations which are opened for international travel will not be closed-off suddenly, unless a variant of concern becomes dominant, and other mitigation measures will be used wherever possible.

The package travel regulations also give consumers reassurance and many travel businesses are offering additional flexibility.

ABTA has also proposed a tiered approach to country risk categorisation, with the intention of restoring generally unrestricted travel as soon as possible.

An important part of ABTA’s submission focuses on the need for stability, and to avoid situations like those seen last summer, where severe restrictions are introduced very quickly and applied without transition measures, which deters people from travelling.

ABTA added that the government should review current bans on cruise holidays and school-trips, treating cruise as a mode of transport.