The travel traffic light system needs to be simplified and low-risk travel must be allowed to resume soon, the boss of British Airways has said.
Chief Executive Sean Doyle said vaccinated Brits returning from a low-risk country should be able to travel without restriction. He also called on the Government to act swiftly on vaccine passports.
Writing in the Sun on Sunday, Mr Doyle said: “We’re glad the Government’s introduced a travel traffic light system, but it’s too complicated.
“British people should be benefiting from the world-leading vaccination programme that is not only stopping us getting seriously ill but is reducing the spread of the virus.
“If you’ve been vaccinated and you are coming back home from a low-risk ‘green’ country where there’s also a high rate of vaccination and a low rate of infection, you shouldn’t have to take an expensive test as the Government demands.
“You should be able to travel without restriction. That’s what countries like Greece, Portugal and Cyprus are doing, with others likely to follow.”
He said affordable, quick tests currently being used in care homes and schools, have been described by Health Secretary Matt Hancock as ‘extremely accurate’.
“For people who haven’t been vaccinated, the science shows that a single rapid Covid test can detect almost all cases.”
Mr Doyle added: “Over the last year or so many people have made so many sacrifices to stop the pandemic in its tracks.
“Surely now, with a risk-based approach, we must be able to reward Britons for their efforts and start returning to the skies?
“Tourism is vital to the UK’s successful economic recovery. To date, tens of thousands of jobs have already been lost and there are still thousands of people on furlough.”
Meanwhile, Thomas Cook Chief Executive Alan French told Sky News the traffic light system ‘works well’, but said ministers need to provide more detail.
“The travel industry is mobilising itself. But of course we don’t actually know what destinations we’ll be able to travel to on 17 May, he said.
“We don’t know exactly what the testing regimes that are going to be necessary to be put in place. And we’re not sure how people will be able to re-enter the country from each of those corridors.”
He added: “I’m confident that we will see travel opening up on 17 May – it was predicated on a number of things happening, most of which have happened.”