The government is being urged to lead the international community in introducing global standards for testing and health certification to help travel recover.

The Business Travel Association’s submission to the Global Travel Taskforce highlights the importance of corporate travel to the UK economy.

The organisation made a series of recommendations on how business travel can safely begin again, including:

  • Implementation of global standards for testing and health certification
  • Removal of all quarantine requirements for business travellers
  • Creation of business travel bi-lateral corridors
  • Coverage of ‘red list’ countries under Foreign Office “all but essential travel” advice
  • A 72-hour window before any introduction of a country to a red list

The submission was developed following “extensive consultations” with the BTA’s executive board which is comprised of senior executives from across the UK business travel sector.

Chief executive Clive Wratten said: “The UK’s advanced vaccination programme, highly skilled travel industry and position as an international transport hub make it ideally placed to lead the recovery in international travel.

“We urge the government to take a leadership position in developing robust and enduring standards, and practical and transparent measures, that will get global business travelling again.”

The BTA’s submission highlights the breadth of business travel activity that extends beyond traditional business trips.

It calls for the very limited exemptions introduced in December 2020 to be widened to include all business travel activity.

BTA chair Suzanne Horner said: “Business travel is a lifeblood of the UK economy and the government must treat it as the necessity that it is, rather than a nice to have.

“The recommendations we have made in our submission reflect the business travel industry’s skills and experience, and we stand ready to work hand in hand with government to quickly and effectively implement them.”

Recommendations from the taskforce are due to be made public on April 5, according to prime minister Boris Johnson, a week earlier than originally expected.

The government’s Covid roadmap does not allow for any international travel other than for limited essential reasons until May 17 at the earliest.