Coronavirus tests for UK arrivals instead of quarantine could massively help the travel sector

More travel companies will close their doors in the coming weeks. We need an urgent reduction of restrictions, before the point of no return

Ali Shah

Flight delayed. Flight rescheduled. Confined to your room. Restaurants and pubs closed. It might have once sounded like a holiday from hell, but it’s now just a daily reality.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the government’s mishandling of the travel and tourism industries could hardly have been more egregious, but sadly the coming weeks could be the most brutal yet.

As of Saturday, three more countries will lose their travel corridors with the UK, which means very few remain that the British public can travel to without being bound by restrictions either on arrival, or on their return.

This is a state of affairs that would have been incomprehensible six months ago, but the reality is that without an upturn in fortunes soon, the entire travel sector is at risk.

The human impact of this will be stark. Tourism has been one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK in employment terms over the last decade. The sector’s economic impact is significant too, with the British “tourism economy” pre-pandemic on track to be worth over £257bn by 2025, according to a Deloitte report, and offering an estimated 220,000 jobs.


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