Henry Smith MP has welcomed the Government announcement (on Friday, 17th September) that the rules for international travel to England will be changing imminently, simplifying the system in light of the UK’s successful domestic vaccine rollout.
The new system will provide greater stability for industry and passengers. It will see the existing traffic light system replaced by a single red list of countries and territories which will continue to be crucial in order to protect public health, and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world, from Monday 4th October at 4am.
Commencing at the same time, the Department for Transport have also confirmed that testing requirements will also be reduced for eligible fully vaccinated travellers, who will no longer need to take a pre-departure test when travelling to England.
These announcements come following intense lobbying by Crawley MP Henry Smith, who also serves as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Future of Aviation, which was established last year to stand up for the aviation, travel and tourism sectors against the effects of the pandemic.
Commenting after a visit to Gatwick Airport, Henry said;
“These announcements are good news for our aviation, travel and tourism businesses who have been the hardest and longest hit by the pandemic.
“The reforms to the testing regime, which industry and parliamentarians have long called for are particularly welcome as it will remove a significant financial and bureaucratic burden that acted as a major disincentive to international travel.
“It is essential that the relaxation of Covid restrictions and reforms to testing mark the start of the recovery for our aviation, travel and tourism industries. After over eighteen months of historically low passenger numbers, these industries face a long journey to recovery and the Government must continue to work with them to agree a full package of recovery measures including continuing financial support where required.
“Today’s announcements ushers in the start of the long recovery of our aviation and travel sectors, but it is essential that the Government work in partnership with industry to ensure that aviation can play its vital role in moving our whole economy forward.”