Commenting ahead of the economic impact of coronavirus Select Committee tomorrow afternoon, Ian Bell, head of travel and tourism at RSM, said: ‘Closing key travel corridors last week was the latest unexpected blow for the travel sector which is in dire need of urgent tailored support to help businesses survive if restrictions stay in place for another summer season.
‘As the UK Government take a more cautious approach to travel corridors it seems unlikely that the UK will join the EU Digital Covid certificate scheme next month, as the reciprocal criteria could go against the traffic light scheme that the UK has adopted. Rethinking this approach and signing up to the Covid passport scheme could deliver a lifeline to many travel operators.
‘Applying strict criteria now will undermine the financial support given to date, and could have a ripple effect across the industry with major business distress; high unemployment and longer term pressure on international connectivity at a time when the UK wants to be more outward focused following Brexit.
‘If restrictions remain this Summer, many travel businesses will have nothing left in the tank to recover; so an extension to the furlough scheme for all businesses within the travel sector and sector-specific grants to inject some cash into vulnerable businesses is needed to prevent high levels of business failure across the sector.’