Oxford vaccine approval ‘offers hope’ for trade

Travel experts have reacted positively to news that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK.

Successful trials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and its subsequent approval for use was credited with creating a ‘sales bounce’ as customer confidence in future travel grew.

The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, with the first doses due to be given on Monday.

Speaking on Wednesday morning, health secretary Matt Hancock said that the entire UK population could now be covered by either the Oxford vaccine or the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.

He also said the approval marked a “significant moment” as it offered “a way out of the pandemic”.

Paul Charles, chief executive of The PC Agency, told The Telegraph that the vaccine news could allow customers to book “with certainty” for travel from May 1 and predicted a “bumper summer”.

He said: “The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will enable so many more people to be offered protection faster. That will not only boost confidence to book but also open up travel more quickly.

“I’d be booking for May 1 onwards with certainty. Staycations will return from March onwards. Short-haul travel in Europe will be definite again from late April but most long-haul destinations will still take time to open up, most likely from September onwards.

“Without doubt though, scientists have delivered a game-changer which makes travel certain again this spring. There will be a bumper summer in 2021.”

Advantage Travel Centres chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said said on Twitter: “Some positive news as we get ready to embark the start of a new year. None of us know what it will bring but overnight I’m feeling a lot more hopeful.”

Kate Imeson, solicitor at specialist law firm Travlaw, said: “Great news this morning about the #COVID19 #vaccine!”, while Michael Richards, regional sales manager for Celebrity Cruises, tweeted: “Great news. Where do I go to get my vaccine? Let’s get this country moving again #quickly”

Graham Balmforth, former national sales manager at Super Break, said: “New day… New vaccine… New hope….”

And Richard Singer, chief executive of, said: “Vaccines to Vacations….#Holidays.”

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