Rapid tests at airport check-in the key to unlocking international travel, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in a proposal to the British government’s Global Travel Taskforce, which is expected to be finalized in the coming days. , in order for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to make announcements next Monday, April 5.
A study by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) also supports the need for rapid tests. Research shows that rapid antigen testing is, on average, 60% cheaper than PCR testing and that the cost impact of PCR testing will reduce demand by 65%, on average.
This combination of measures would also help save millions of jobs and accelerate the coveted economic recovery.
The WTTC also strongly supports the government in changing the country-wide risk assessment to that of the “high-risk” individual traveler to enable safer travel more quickly.
The critical return of international travel would give a special impetus to the suffering SMEs, which have been particularly affected as they account for 80% of all businesses in the sector, employing mainly women, young people and many minorities.
The social impact of the sector collapse has been a major concern for the WTTC, which has focused on the plight of all those affected, with a particular focus on mental health issues and other pressing social issues exacerbated by the pandemic.
The WTTC is working with the UK Government to develop a clear roadmap on which the entire Travel and Tourism sector can work, allowing businesses to prepare and ensure that they make the most of the summer season.
The Gloria Guevara , president & CEO of WTTC, said: “We have no doubt that the government understands the critical importance of providing a clear roadmap for the sector of Travel and Tourism has problems to find his way to work fully and profitably. The UK Government must take advantage of its excellent vaccine performance and allow safe international travel to resume through a comprehensive testing program for unvaccinated Britons and, above all, in time for the crucial summer season.
We must allow the Travel & Tourism sector to take full advantage of the peak summer season to be able to recover as much as possible from the return of safe international travel.
We are encouraged that the government is finally listening to the industry and we hope that the Global Travel Taskforce will clearly and unequivocally announce how the trip will take place from 17 May.
It is vital that the sector, business travelers and holidaymakers understand what will happen and when they can clearly plan and prepare for their travels.
“We believe that a combination of vaccines, tests, digital health certificates and health and safety protocols, including the mandatory use of a face mask, will safely unlock travel.”
Last week, the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) annual Economic Impact (EIR) report revealed the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the global travel and tourism sector last year, which saw a huge loss of about 4.5 trillions of dollars.