Boris Johnson is being urged to intervene and provide targeted sector support for the travel trade as England moves into another Covid lockdown period.

The call came in a letter from the general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA), who repeated his call for a dedicated travel trade minister to be appointed to champion the industry.

Manuel Cortes took the step after “no effective action” from ministers to pleas from the union to address the “stark picture” faced by the travel industry, with tens of thousands of jobs and many businesses already lost as a result of the pandemic.

In his letter, Cortes writes: “Doubtless you will be aware that this normally vibrant sector of the economy has taken a massive hit in recent months, with close to 100,000 jobs lost.

“Deep fears remain across the industry over further redundancies in coming weeks, not least as lockdown advice for November states that ‘holidays abroad and in the UK…will not be allowed’ – essentially a complete shutdown of the travel sector.”

He added: “The truth of the matter is your government to date has ignored the clarion calls for help from our travel trade; the buck has been passed from Business Department to the Department for Transport and back again. Meanwhile no effective action has been forthcoming.

“Now, as lockdown approaches, many businesses across our travel trade need substantive, long-term, sector specific economic support.

“There would also be a real benefit in creating a post of travel minister, so that travel no longer falls between the cracks but has the dedicated champion our industry needs on a daily basis.

“I urge you to consider these measures without delay, hundreds of thousands of livelihoods depend on it.”

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