More than 3,200 people have signed an industry petition urging the government to open travel corridors to Africa.
Current blanket rules advising against all but essential travel and two weeks quarantine on arrival back to the UK.
The Africa Travel and Tourism Association is calling for a review of the travel corridors list to countries in Africa “in line with the same metrics used for the rest of the world”.
The government is obliged to respond when the petition reaches 10,000 signatures.
The petition says: “If metrics of cases per 100,000 and testing levels were used, this could enable travel to eastern and southern Africa, to start with.”
On a humanitarian level, ATTA estimates the African continent relies heavily on international travel for £130 billion in income and 25 million jobs.
“Each African travel job typically supports 8-10 dependents, helping to support up to 250 million people across Africa,” according to the association.
Reopening travel from the UK would also help protect jobs across tour operators, travel agents, tourist boards, airlines, marketing and PR companies as sell as helped reduce poaching of wild animals in Africa with “more eyes on the ground”.
ATTA added: “African countries have been opening their borders to international travellers over the last few months.
“Those who have been able to travel have experienced unparalleled wildlife sightings with exceptionally proficient and smooth Covid-19 protocols in place – all delivered with a big smile.
“However, we in the UK do not have air bridges to Africa. Instead, the FCDO [Foreign Office] and PHE [Public Health England] have a blanket approach.
“This all but stops tourism and puts at risk a huge number of jobs in the UK and throughout Africa as well as putting African wildlife and communities that rely on tourism in jeopardy.”
More: Review travel advice and travel corridor list for African countries [External]
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