Trailfinders has urged the government to ease the testing burden on travellers, and allow those vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel more freely.
The firm has produced a five-point plan designed to cut the cost of testing, reduce the need for tests and address issues with current systems and travel rules before a concerted uptick in travel demand.
"Government must get a most urgent grip on an ever-deteriorating situation," said Trailfinders, adding its counsel would avoid "further aggravation to the poor beleaguered traveller and the travel industry".
Trailfinders’ suggestions came as the ITT called on the travel industry to come together and pool its collective buying power to drive down the cost of testing, and effectively cap it at £50.
Its first demand is for government to scrap VAT on Covid tests. "This is a health test the government is imposing after all," said the company. "This is new revenue, which is dwarfed by what the government will collect from Air Passenger Duty if they unlock travel."
Additionally, Trailfinders said government should heed the World Health Organization’s recommendation that testing should be free.
"If introduced in the UK, [this] would be the first specific support the travel industry will have had," said Trailfinders. "This forward thinking move also addresses the testing capacity issue within the private sector."
Other suggestions put forward by Trailfinders include allowing those fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel to green list destinations without the need for any tests.
"The current minimum of two PCR tests without exception, and more often three tests, is fearfully expensive, but also cannot scale up to cope when large volume destinations like the US, Spain and France open up," said the company.
It also wants the government to lower the requirement for tests and proof of testing, which it described as "overkill", to reduce "red tape" at the UK’s borders.
Trailfinders said under the current testing regime, border officials wouldn’t be able to cope with any significant increase in travellers, leading to potential "chaos, misery and collateral health issues".
Finally, Trailfinders is calling on government to publish its methodology and workings behind granting countries a place on the green list "so travellers can see what’s coming".