More than 120 travel firms have “united in outrage” under a new campaign urging Boris Johnson to announce a “very clear roadmap” for restarting UK and overseas holidays from 1 May.
The Save Our Summer (SOS) group – which includes brands such as Trailfinders, easyJet Holidays, Celebrity Cruises and Elegant Resorts – warned that without a date set for reopening travel put in place “consumers will continue to hold off booking due to lack of confidence” risking the jobs of more than 2.4 million working in the UK travel sector.
The group argued that by mid-May all vulnerable groups in the UK should have received their second Covid vaccination, leading to reduced pressure on the NHS and a drop in Covid infections and deaths – allowing travel to “responsibly reopen”.
It is also calling for "damaging" quarantine measures to be lifted by 1 May and replaced with a more extensive testing programme, with rapid testing on arrival and departure if needed.
SOS co-founder and PC Agency chief executive, Paul Charles, said: “Give us all a break, Boris. The industry is united in outrage. Senior government ministers have done a good job of torpedoing recovery in the travel sector and threatening jobs across travel and tourism.
“UK citizens should ignore their conflicting advice and book summer trips with confidence, knowing that they can get a refund or refix their travel dates if booking through a reputable travel provider signed up to SOS.”
Henry Morley, chief executive of True Travel and SOS co-founder, added: “The travel industry stands on the edge of a precipice today. A minister’s job is to protect our industry, not destroy it. There must now be a clear roadmap set out from 1 May onwards specifically for travel, in order to reinstate consumer confidence and protect millions of jobs that hang in the balance.”