Travel industry leaders demand ‘clarity’ over restrictions to help them meet holiday demand

Travel industry leaders say they need “clarity” over restrictions from the government if they are to meet the huge pent up demand for holidays this summer.

The government is expected to unveil its traffic light system for international travel this week, ahead of the expected lifting of the current ban on 17 May, but it’s thought the list of ‘green light’ countries where quarantine is not required on return to the UK will be limited.

Garry Wilson is the Chief Executive of easyJet Holidays told Sky News: “Holidays are the number one thing that customers are really looking forward to spending their money on. So we know that demand is there and we know that customers want to go on holiday.”

But he added that what the industry needed was “clarity on what are the destinations that customers will be able to visit, and what are the protocol protocols for visiting those destinations.”

“There’s a level of uncertainty,” he said, “because consumers are unsure about things like testing requirements.”

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has yet to confirm any ‘green light’ destinations, but dropped some heavy hints after it stopped advising against non-essential travel to Portugal, the Greek islands of Rhodes, Kos, Zante, Corfu and Crete and the Canary Islands.

But while the uncertainty may be putting many people off booking holidays, for the families separated by the pandemic it’s a different story.

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Katie Crookshank (L) and sister Tamsin have been separated for almost 18 months

Sisters Tamsin and Katie Crookshank haven’t seen each other in almost 18 months. Tamsin lives in Malta and plans to get married in August. The wedding was meant to take place last year but had to be postponed.

She desperately hopes her family can be there this summer. “There’s been a lot of talk of Malta being put on the green list,” she said, “but it’s like a carrot being dangled in front of your face – and not actually being able to bite it.”

Sister Katie said the emphasis around foreign travel had been too much about holidays and not enough about families.

“I should have the right to go and see my sister and I shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for doing that. That’s what’s upsetting me because there are so many people in our situation.”

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