The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has called upon the UK government to finally bring an end to the “widely discredited” travel traffic light system. WTTC represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector.
The call comes after the UK’s latest travel update which saw just seven countries moved to the Covid-19 green list, with Thailand, Montenegro and Turkey added to the red list.
“The traffic light system is widely discredited. It puts the UK at a disadvantage and is squandering the vaccine dividend,” WTTC President & CEO Julia Simpson said.
WTTC says both consumers and Travel & Tourism businesses have lost confidence in the system, which “condemns the endless chopping and changing of countries that causes confusion”. The global tourism body says the UK’s travel traffic light system only benefits an unregulated market of costly test suppliers.
“This is the 51st change in a baffling array of travel bans,” Simpson said, adding that holidaymakers are confused and frustrated.
According to Simpson, the UK government is seriously damaging the Travel & Tourism sector which in turn supports thousands of businesses and jobs.
WTTC says the time has come to “ditch these disruptive updates completely” and allow all those fully vaccinated to travel freely once more – unless travelling to a red-list country.
“Nowhere should be off limits to anyone in the UK who is fully vaccinated, except in exceptional circumstances,” WTTC’s president said.
WTTC supports that:
– travel should be allowed with testing – for the unvaccinated – to ensure those who are unable to get vaccinated are not discriminated against, and
– PCRs should be replaced with the more affordable antigen tests or covered by the UK government.
According to WTTC, costly testing is putting travel out of the reach of families and returning it to the preserve of the wealthy.
“The UK government appears to have no exit plan. The Global Travel Taskforce, set up to oversee these haphazard travel restrictions must set out a clear strategy to recover normal travel,” Simpson added.
According to WTTC, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has so far cost more than 307,000 jobs in the UK alone, with many thousands more still at risk.