The World Travel & Tourism Council has called for the UK government to further lift restrictions on international travel in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While acknowledging changes coming into effect this week in England are a significant step forward, the body said more needs to be done.
Virginia Messina, WTTC senior vice president, said: “We should reflect on how hard won our newly re-found ‘freedoms’ are, which have been curbed for the best part of 18 months as together we have fought against the pandemic – at huge social, economic and personal cost.
“We know it will come as a sigh of relief that our lives are beginning to return to normal, albeit with mask-wearing where appropriate, to continue prioritising public safety.
“However, while the domestic holiday market is reaping the benefits of ‘Freedom Day’, with staycations booming, we are not out of the woods yet.”
Following the loosening of restrictions companies, including Jet2, have begun to offer trips to amber list countries.
However, more needs to be done, Messina argued.
She added: “International travel remains either off limits or frustratingly difficult for many.
“This means the door to significant overseas travel still remains effectively closed, especially following the new ‘amber list-plus status’ for France which caused such chaos last week.
“We need international travel; economically, socially and emotionally.
“Our pent-up desire to travel remains undimmed, and we must take advantage of the hugely successful vaccine rollout to safely resume it.
“We hope the UK government will extend these revived domestic ‘freedoms’ to include the freedom to travel safely internationally, so we can reconnect with the world and harness all the benefits that it brings to us as individuals, and collectively to the tourism sector and the country.”
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