MIAMI – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has outlined what would be possible to do, starting Monday, April 12, citing various public activities, which range from going to pubs and restaurants serving outside, hairdressers, gyms or to non-essential shops.

The PM also mentioned the return of international travel with the current easing of England’s lockdown. According to BBC News, Johnson was hopeful that international travel could resume on May 17 when further easing on travel restrictions would take effect.

At the same time, the PM said that caution must be exerted on the surge of the pandemic in other parts of the world, adding, “we cannot be complacent.” On this subject, Johnson indicated that the government would advise well in advance of May 17 on “what seems reasonable” and give the aviation industry “as much notice as possible.”

EasyJet Airbus A320 – Photo : Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways

COVID-19 Certification under Scrutiny

The NHS (National Health Service) is scrutinizing various forms of certification for individuals to prove their Covid status – tested negative, vaccinated, or having natural immunity -, both on paper and digital while the use of mobile apps was not mentioned. The certification system may become a “normal way of life, according to the PM.

The government also asked to be cautious when booking vacations abroad “until the picture is clearer” while again pointing out that international travel may not resume on May 17 in light of the pandemic situation abroad. Thus, holiday travel to destinations such as France is unlikely given the present Covid situation and the rising number of contaminations there.

Photo: Ferrovial Airports

The Announcement did Not Rejoice the Region’s Travel Industry

The announcements made by the Prime Minister did not rejoice the British Business Travel Association, which asked for a clearer pathway on international travel while its CEO, Clive Wratten, declared that hopes to re-open borders had been “kicked down the road again.”

For now, further details on the “risk-based traffic light system for foreign travel” are expected later in the week.

On his part, Mark Tanzer, CEO of the ABTA Travel Association, welcomed the traffic light system but also said that “we must see the details of the Global Travel Taskforce before any assessment.”

Further disappointment was expressed by the Airport Operators Association, Karen Dee, on the way the Prime Minister “continues to suggest significant barriers to international travel” and added that a “risk-based proportionated system could open up aviation without the need of quarantine and with affordable and rapid testing.”

On this subject, Prime Minister Boris Johson said that “any testing regime for international travel should be easy and cheap” after being criticized by EasyJet CEO, Johan Lundgren’ who said that “travel would become too expensive with costs for test exceeding the airfare itself and this would open up travel only for those who can afford it.”

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Featured image: British Airways B777-200ER G-YMMK- Photo : Tony Bordelais/Airways