Taskforce report has let industry down, says Transport Committee

By Lisa James
22/04/2021
Home » Taskforce report has let industry down, says Transport Committee

The Government needs to say which countries are on the traffic light system by 1 May if travel is to stand any chance of resuming by the planned 17 May deadline, the Transport Select Committee has warned.

The committee has published its response to the recent Government Global Travel Taskforce report, describing it as suffering from ‘lack of clarity’ and a ‘missed opportunity’.

It said the report does not contain sufficient detail on how businesses and travellers should prepare for the safe restart of international travel.

Committee Chairman Huw Merriman said: “The aviation and travel sectors were crying out for a functional report, setting out clear rules and offering certainty. This is not it.”

In addition to urging the Government to announce the traffic-light framework with destination countries by 1 May and explain the criteria, the Transport Committee also calls for an affordable testing regime to get travel moving.

It adds the Government needs to reduce waiting times and queues at the UK border.

Mr Merriman said: “This was an opportunity to provide a global lead with standardised rules on international health certification and promoting app-based technology, making the processes at borders more secure and less time consuming.

“The urgent situation facing the aviation and travel sectors warrants a clear action plan to green light our travel – and the Government must urgently set it out.”

The Department for Transport defended its ‘cautious, but deliberate path to unlocking international travel in a safe and sustainable way, from 17 May at the earliest’, but pilots’ union BALPA warned airlines and airports will need Government funding unless routes are put on the greenlist ‘at the earliest opportunity’.

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