ABTA responds to Government announcement on international travel testing
In response to the latest Government announcement on changes to international travel testing measures, Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA - The Travel Association, said:
"The Government’s announcement that travellers will no longer have to take a pre-departure test on return to England is extremely welcome news.
"The removal of pre-departure testing recognises that with the Omicron variant now widespread throughout the country these tests do not serve a useful purpose. Pre-departure tests not only add to cost and create inconvenience, they can also plant a seed of doubt among some travellers who wonder ‘what will happen if I test positive abroad?’ which can be a considerable disincentive to booking an overseas trip.
"We also welcome the move to change post-arrival Day 2 PCR tests to cheaper lateral flow tests, returning to the process in place in October 2021 before Omicron emerged and reducing testing costs for travellers.
"The two announcements are potentially very positive for the travel sector, but damage has already been done. We now hope to see confidence return as we enter what is usually the peak booking season for summer holidays. We would urge the Government to ensure greater stability in the international travel system, including avoiding similar disruption in future, to enable business to recover fully and to rebuild consumer confidence.
"It’s also important the Devolved Administrations follow suit."
Notes to editors
ABTA has been a trusted travel brand for over 70 years. Our purpose is to help our Members to grow their businesses successfully and sustainably, and to help their customers travel with confidence. The ABTA brand stands for support, protection and expertise. This means consumers have confidence in ABTA and a strong trust in ABTA Members. These qualities are core to us as they ensure that holidaymakers remain confident in the holiday products that they buy from our Members.
We help our Members and their customers navigate through today's changing travel landscape by raising standards in the industry; offering schemes of financial protection; providing an independent complaints resolution service should something go wrong; giving guidance on issues from sustainability to health and safety and by presenting a united voice to government to ensure the industry and the public get a fair deal.
ABTA has around 4,000 travel brands in Membership, providing a wide range of leisure and business travel services, with a combined pre-pandemic annual UK turnover of £40 billion. For more details about what we do, what being an ABTA Member means and how we help the UK public travel with confidence visit www.abta.com.