The government’s announcement on Monday (22 February) of its proposed route of out coronavirus lockdown has been met with a measured response from the travel industry.
Domestic stays could resume from 12 April under the new proposals, and international travel from 17 May subject to a report prepared by a reconvened travel taskforce.
Key among travel’s hopes for the coming weeks and months is greater industry collaboration, with Abta stating it is looking forward to working with government and the wider industry on a plan to reopen travel.
Julia Lo Bue-Said, chief executive of the Advantage Travel Partnership, said it was vital after a year of zero income for its agent members that ministers ensured the pent up economic boost from travel was realised "safely and sustainably".
"We know there will be pent-up demand for a much deserved holiday as well as reuniting friends and families and we ask that government enable the sector to help itself to protect jobs, kick start the economy and give people the holidays they’ve been dreaming of for over a year," she said.
Lo Bue-Said said that while Advantage welcomed the measures that will steer the country out of national lockdown, and understood the rationale for an initial focus on schools and safe socialising, travel must be high on the government’s agenda.
"We urge government to recognise the significant role the travel industry will play in the economic recovery and in that, consider the next steps for unlocking international travel to enable businesses to start vital planning now."
She added these must include consideration of any necessary health certification, tailored financial support and putting the Foreign Office’s travel advice back on a regional footing.