World Travel & Tourism Council chief executive, Gloria Guevara, has praised the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines in the UK, arguing the programme will support the recovery of the hospitality sector.
Latest government figures show more than ten million Brits have had at least one does of a vaccine, or around 15 per cent of the adult population.
Many are in the most vulnerable groups, including those over 70-years-of-age, employed in healthcare or by nursing homes.
In response, Guevara 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 tourism sector.”
She added: “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 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 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.”
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