UK airlines urge PM to give green light for international travel - here's when holidays could resume

By Helen Johnson
Sunday, 4th April 2021, 1:02 pm
Airline bosses in the UK are calling on the Prime Minister to give the green light for international travel (Photo: Shutterstock)

Airline bosses in the UK are calling on the Prime Minister to give the green light for international travel within weeks.

Travel overseas from the UK is currently banned - apart from a small number of exceptions - but the Government is set to publish its global travel task force reports in relation to foreign travel on 12 April.

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‘There can be no economic recovery without aviation’

The chief executives of a number of UK airlines, including British Airways, easyJet,, Loganair, Ryanair, Tui and Virgin Atlantic - as well as trade body Airlines UK - wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson about giving them the green light for international travel.

In England, Scotland and Wales, travel overseas is currently banned until 17 May at the earliest, with Northern Ireland yet to announce any dates.

When the travel ban is lifted, holiday destinations could also be ranked under a "traffic light system", which would mean fewer restrictions in place for countries with low Covid rates and a high vaccination take-up, according to reports.

Under plans discussed by ministers for resuming foreign travel, countries could be graded either green, amber or red according to how well they are coping with the coronavirus pandemic.

However, airline chiefs said in their letter to the Prime Minister, which was published by The Sun and seen by the PA news agency, that although they recognised restriction-free travel abroad may not be possible by 17 May, “there can be no economic recovery without aviation.”

Airline bosses in the letter also said “we are confident we now have the tools to enable a safe and meaningful restart to travel in May – allowing us to return to our job of reuniting friends and family, supporting trade and business and allowing Britons to enjoy a well-earned break again.”

The letter added: “We believe vaccinated passengers should not be subject to travel restrictions and that testing can also reduce the barriers to travel including for areas that are considered to present some risk. Only very high-risk areas would be subject to more stringent measures.”

This latest letter comes after the same group of airline bosses called on the Government on 18 February to outline a recovery road map for the aviation sector in order for them to be able to plan for the summer period.

At the same time, the airline bosses also called for further economic support for the UK aviation sector.