This week TTG asked “is the government’s traffic lights plan a car crash?”
If anyone had any doubt, the answer quickly followed with the bombshell announcement of a “quarantine exemption list” to replace air bridges, seen just a week ago as being the saviour of the summer.
After a week of waiting and hoping for definitive plans, the industry is again left scratching its head, with zero clarity on what countries will now be on this so-called quarantine exemption list, and no confirmed date from the government on when the FCO will finally be lifting its travel advice.
It’s sadly another example of the government’s abject failure to comprehend just how catastrophic this crisis has been on the industry.
Yes, the country needs to be protected. And proposals on how the British public travels and holidays must be properly considered in light of the current health crisis facing the world. The industry has never argued against this.
But this is a sector on its knees. Both industry – and consumers – need a firm plan, and urgent clarity.
Leaked reports to national newspapers about so-called traffic lights and air bridges, as happened last Friday evening, are not good enough. There seem to be few in Westminster who truly understand this.
Which countries will be on this quarantine exemption list? When can Brits fly to them? What happens if an outbreak occurs while they are there? These are simple questions that need urgent answers. Agents and operators cannot be expected to sell holidays for the summer months without this knowledge.
It’s not just the government’s traffic lights plan which is a car crash. Its entire approach to the coronavirus crisis has been one long embarrassing failure. And industries like travel are paying the price.
Unlike many other sectors, which have been slowly opening up in recent weeks, travel remains at a stop light. It will remain there unless the government gets a grip and releases clear guidance on its travel plans.