Britain was a world leader in travel. Not any more
September 14, 2021 at 14:23
London (CNN Business) Britain's strict Covid-19 testing requirements for overseas visitors and Brits wishing to holiday abroad had a "devastating impact" on the UK travel industry this summer, causing it to fall behind European rivals and putting thousands of jobs at risk.
That's according to Britain's Travel Association, which said Tuesday that more than two thirds of its members are planning further layoffs once government support for wages comes to an end later this month.
London's Heathrow Airport, meanwhile, revealed Monday that it is now Europe's tenth busiest airport, slipping from the top spot in 2019.
"The government needs to wake up to the damage its policies are doing to the UK travel industry and the impact they will have on the wider economic recovery," Travel Association CEO Mark Tanzer said in a statement.
"A diminished holiday industry is a diminished aviation industry with fewer routes and fewer flights.
That's not how you achieve a global Britain," he added.
Despite one of the most successful vaccine rollouts in the world, the UK government has kept in place a range of travel requirements for visitors and Brits wishing to leave the country.
Travelers are required to take costly coronavirus tests before departure and upon return to England, even if they are fully vaccinated and traveling from countries deemed as low risk for coronavirus by the government.
Anyone arriving from a high risk country is required to quarantine for 10 days in a hotel at their own expense.