A ‘huge blow’ to the travel industry
The introduction of compulsory PCR tests for Covid-19 for everyone arriving in the UK has been described as a “huge blow” for the travel industry.
The move, announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday, has been welcomed by scientists as a way of buying time to learn more about the Omicron variant.
Abta, a trade association for tour operators and travel agents in the UK, said the added cost of testing for all arrivals in Britain will have an impact on customer demand for holidays, adding pressure to an industry which has been among the “hardest hit” during the pandemic.
“While Abta understands that this is a rapidly evolving situation and public health must come first, the decision to require all arrivals to take a PCR test and self-isolate until a negative result is returned is a huge blow for travel businesses, many of whom were only just starting to get back on their feet after 20 months of severe restrictions,” an Abta spokesman said.
“These changes will add cost to people’s holidays, which will undoubtedly impact consumer demand and hold back the industry’s recovery, so it’s vital that this decision is kept under careful review and restrictions are lifted promptly if it becomes clear there is not a risk to the UK vaccination programme.
“The Government must also now consider offering tailored support for travel businesses, which have been amongst the hardest hit during the pandemic.”