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G7 leaders miss ‘vital opportunity’ to reopen international travel

World leaders meeting in Cornwall at the weekend for the G7 Summit missed a “vital opportunity” to reinstate international travel.

The accusation came from the World Travel & Tourism Council despite US president Joe Biden and prime minister Boris Johnson agreeing to to investigate restarting transatlantic travel.

But hopes of an imminent relaxation of restrictions were dashed with the agreement limited to establishing a taskforce on travel between the UK and US.

Acting WTTC chief executive Virginia Messina said: “World leaders and their entourages have flown from around the world and proved that travel is safe during the pandemic.

“But they have missed a vital opportunity to enable their citizens to travel more freely and agree an immediate further opening of overseas travel.

“Every day, travel and tourism businesses are losing tens of millions pounds due to governments delaying a safe restart.

“We need to see action immediately to help the sector get back on its feet, a sector which can’t wait any longer if it’s to avoid hundreds of thousands of job losses, in addition to the millions already lost worldwide.”

The next review of the traffic light system grading countries for travel from the UK is not due until June 28.

Meanwhile, Johnson is expected to announce today a delay to the lifting of all Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in England beyond June 21.

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