Let’s be clear – the Global Travel Taskforce report was never going to be everything the travel industry wanted.
In an ideal world, it would have comprised a fixed date for the resumption of international travel, a confirmed list of which countries would be under which traffic light colour and a confirmation of a significant drop in the price of testing, as well as details on when international cruising will resume.
In this new uncertain world we all inhabit, that was never going to happen.
What we do finally have, though, are details that will enable the resumption of international travel – and the government has confirmed this may yet still be in May. This should definitely be taken as the considerable positive that it is.
Yes, there are still enormous hurdles that need to be considered. The fact fully-vaccinated Brits returning from Green-listed destinations will still need to take pre-departure tests before they return home as well as a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival back into the UK seems excessive and an unnecessary cost.
The price of tests in general is a cause for concern. And until these costs come down, they may well yet be the biggest barrier for many families hoping to take a holiday abroad this summer.
But what is key here is the government’s acknowledgement that it wants to work “with the travel industry and private testing providers ahead of international travel reopening to see how we can further reduce the cost of travel for the British public”.
True, Boris Johnson’s government has become synonymous with empty statements and many in travel will understandably be sceptical.
But the desire to work with the travel industry was reiterated time and again by transport secretary Grant Shapps during his media news rounds this morning.
And just two days ago, Boris Johnson himself was reported to have asked officials to consider using cheaper Covid testing in a bid to re-open foreign travel. Perhaps MPs themselves are now considering their own summer getaways – or could the government finally, after 13 months of lobbying, now be listening to the industry?