Travel news latest: Uncertainty over holidays abroad ‘beyond disappointing’

The travel industry has “once again been kicked down the road” after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned against booking foreign summer holidays.

Speaking at a press briefing yesterday evening, Mr Johnson said he was hopeful “we can get going from May 17”, which is the earliest possible date for overseas leisure travel under the lockdown exit strategy, however his review document stated: “We are not yet in a position to confirm” May 17.

Continued uncertainty has been blasted as “beyond disappointing” by Clive Wratten, the chief executive of the Business Travel Association, who called for a “clear pathway”. He added: “To be a truly global Britain, we must lead the way in opening borders, supporting vital supply chains, and digitising health certification.”

Steve Norris of Flight Centre Travel Group said: “We had hoped today’s announcement would go further to provide the lifeboat we’ve been hoping for to get travel back on its feet”, adding “the travel industry cannot afford another summer of indecision and hesitancy”.

However, there are hopes it “still could be a strong summer” said Johan Lundgren, the chief executive of Easyjet, although “every day that goes that we don’t get clarity on the exact date makes it more challenging.”

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9:08AM

EasyJet CEO criticises ‘travel restart’ testing requirements

The chief executive of airline EasyJet has criticised some of the government’s plans to restart travel, saying Covid-19 tests should not be required for passengers travelling to low-risk destinations.

Britain’s airlines and travel industry were left disappointed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s warning on Monday that it was too soon to say when international holidays could resume, meaning the re-opening could be pushed later than the current date of May 17.

EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren said on Tuesday that there were a lot of details missing from the previous day’s announcement. He said the government’s proposed traffic light system of ranking low risk countries as green and higher risk countries as red made sense, but travel to green countries should not require passengers to take two Covid-19 tests.

“That doesn’t make sense for me…because this could add to cost and complexities,” he told BBC Radio. He said the cost of Covid-19 tests sometimes exceeded EasyJet’s ticket prices. “That means that you wouldn’t open up international travel for everyone, you would open up for those who could afford to pay it,” he said.  

9:01AM

In case you missed it…

This was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s press conference yesterday.

8:45AM

Welcome to Tuesday

 Good morning.

Here’s a reminder of the main headlines from Monday.

  • ‘Britons should not yet book summer holidays’
  • When non-essential international travel does return it will do so with a risk-based ‘traffic light’ system
  • One-dose vaccine could open up ‘amber list’ holidays to young Britons
  • Self-catering holidays can resume in England on April 12
  • Tougher border controls needed to counter ‘real risk’ of Covid variant from Europe
  • Italy reduces quarantine for UK travellers
  • Masks won’t be required while sunbathing on Balearic Islands

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