Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) recognises the tremendous progress made by the UK government to lead the world with its comprehensive vaccine rollout across the country, together with a highly-targeted testing programme, to stop the spread of the virus.
“We believe these two measures are critical to beating COVID-19 and getting the country back on its feet and on the move again. That is why we support the comments made by UK Transport Minister Robert Courts, who warned borders would be harder to reopen under a blanket travel shutdown.
“WTTC has long opposed costly and ineffective blanket travel bans and quarantines, as they are stalling the country's economic recovery and significantly slowing the revival of the global Travel & Tourism sector.
“Shutdowns are also shown to be entirely counterproductive and simply don’t stop the spread of COVID-19, and its emerging variants.
“We fully support the points made by the Transport Minister and agree that a total shutdown is not the way forward to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and argue that a wider shutdown would be harder to lift, as has been the case in both Australia and New Zealand.
“WTTC believes that the only way to save Travel & Tourism while protecting public health, is the introduction of an internationally recognised testing scheme on departure and arrival.
“A rapid and cost-effective testing regime would avoid exporting the virus and enable the free movement of travellers which would see the return of a sector, critical to powering the UK economy post COVID-19.”