The airline and holiday firms have written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging that government travel advice should ‘stick to the framework’ of the Global Travel Task Force’s traffic light system rather than separately advising people to not visit amber-listed countries – an issue that they say has been further exacerbated by the UK FCDO issuing contradicting advice to the traffic light system.
“The government now appears not to want a meaningful restart to international travel this summer, and it is impossible for any business or consumers to plan under this scenario, such that we are genuinely fearful that some UK businesses may fail,” the letter read.
Chief Executive of easyJet Johan Lundgren added: “The government has made this into a guessing game, not led by data and science. It’s made it tremendously difficult for operators to plan.”
And Chief Executive of Jet2holidays, Steve Heapy, said: “To have two separate lists is utterly confusing … we have to make decisions based on conflicting information.”
Follow the FCDO’s advice, says ABTA
But, as ABTA’s Chief Executive has noted, travellers should be following the advice of the foreign office (not of the traffic light system), as this aligns more closely with the views of travel insurers, who use this when it comes to providing cover for upcoming trips.
Travellers continue to be ‘caught in a moral confusion over whether or not to travel’, said Andrew Flintham, Managing Director for Tui UK, who reasoned that the UK should be ‘taking advantage’ of its strong vaccine programme.
He added: “I don’t think that UK aviation as an industry can go through another lost summer without grave consequences. In that case, the government needs to be ready and prepared to step up – it is its restrictions that have made it impossible to operate for players in this industry.”