Transport and travel trade union TSSA has today warned that suggestions of a European travel ban from 1st January could "sound the death knell for the travel trade".
The industry is already on its knees because of coronavirus impacts on travel, with 90,000 jobs lost or at risk across travel agents, travels shops and related businesses. Many more are teetering on the brink of collapse.
Post-Brexit, the UK will become a "third-party nation" when it stops following EU trading rules on 31 December. This means entry into the EU would then be based on essential travel only. Only a small number of third-party countries with low rates of covid – including Australia and New Zealand – are currently exempt from the non-essential travel restrictions and there are apparently no plans to extend that to the UK.
Commenting, TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said: “Just when we’ve had some good news from the vaccine rollout, this news about post-Brexit European travel restrictions could sound the death knell for the travel trade.
“Covid has already decimated business and government has been woeful in its lack of support for the industry.
“Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that this shambles of a government hasn’t addressed post-Brexit travel arrangements despite there being only days left for negotiations. The much vaunted “oven-ready deal” has proved to be anything but.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab commented on travel restrictions this morning following an article in the Financial Times.