The Southwest travel industry responded with relief after the government removed quarantine rules for fully vaccinated vacationers.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said fully vaccinated children and adults will not need to be quarantined when they return to England from countries on the ‘amber’ list on July 19.
Plymouth travel consultant Karen Thornton said the announcement was “a giant step in the right direction” for the besieged industry which will now aim to reopen and return to pre-Covid levels.
Ms Thornton, an independent travel planner at Travel Counselors, said: “Here at Travel Counselors vacation bookings were already up 10% and we expect a busy weekend now that the news has been confirmed. .
“So many people are desperate to travel but have been eager to commit given the previous uncertainty, but this much-needed clarity will give Britons the confidence they were looking for to book a summer vacation.”
But she added: “Traveling is always complicated and guidance is needed as we are always limited by outgoing requirements.”
Ms Thornton, who started her business three weeks before the 2020 lockdown, said: ‘Over the past few months I have supported clients and non-clients with tips and advice on changing reservations and getting their money back. for their travel plans, and I will continue to do so.
Airlines have also welcomed the changes, which the Transport Secretary said “may differ” in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye said: “This is great news which will give a much needed boost to millions of people across Britain as they look forward to a more normal summer and reunion with family and friends abroad.
Tim Alderslade, managing director of industry body UK Airlines, hailed the announcement as a “positive move towards a real reopening” for the struggling sector.
“The summer season basically starts here,” he added.
Although the announcement is only for UK residents, Mr Shapps said ministers “are working to extend our approach to vaccinated passengers in major holiday destination markets later this summer, such as the United States. United and the EU “.
Joss Croft, Managing Director of UKinbound, said: “While this may be good news for Brits traveling abroad this summer, this move does nothing for the economy of inbound visitors from the UK.
Business Live’s Southwestern business reporter is William Telford. William has over a decade of experience reporting on the business scene in Plymouth and the South West. It is based in Plymouth but covers the entire region.
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“By keeping Britain closed we are losing £ 70million a day in exports, businesses are on the brink, our cities remain empty and viable businesses cannot even begin to recover.”
Hannah Essex, co-executive director of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Opening up Orange List countries to non-quarantine travel to England for the return of fully vaccinated residents is a move that will be warmly welcomed by many companies.
“But the government must also continue to work with business, the aviation industry and international partners to discover other solutions to further expand international travel quickly and safely, for example through better use of testing. and vaccination passports. “
Matthew Fell, CBI’s UK policy director, said the government’s announcement was “extremely welcome news for the international travel industry,” but called for clear guidance on how the new rules work.
He said: “A truly risk-based approach to the government’s traffic light system with the aim of adding countries to the green list as soon as possible, while reducing passenger testing requirements and greater transparency. , will also be crucial. “