Trailfinders has become the latest travel brand to publish its submission to the government’s Global Travel Taskforce.

The company insisted that seven steps outlined in its submission “will restore freedoms and give much needed succour to the world’s travel industry” and added: “Obfuscation and pettifoggery must not stand in the way of a return to liberty.”

Referring to doubts over whether vaccines can prevent transmission of Covid-19, Trailfinders said the “optimistic view” should be taken, with “restrictions re-imposed later if the vaccinated are found to transmit”.

The “seven pragmatic steps” outlined by Trailfinders are:

  • Recognise and facilitate vaccine certificates: The Taskforce must assist the recovery of international travel by immediate recognition of the safeguards that vaccination brings and encourage governments around the world to do likewise. Over 80% of a recent Iata poll want to see immunisation certificates put in place right now. Iata has presided over the conduct of the aviation industry with a history of unparalleled success since April 1945. This NGO has no equal when it comes to the administration of the complexities of aviation and all that it entails. Global adoption of the Iata Travel Pass, already well into development, will circumvent any alternative fragmented by diverse nations. We can’t afford a repeat of the stuttering launch of Track & Trace.
  • Remove travel restrictions for the vaccinated: Allow those with a vaccine certificate to return to the UK without quarantine or testing – if returning from a country on the green list. Travel to red list destinations should only require quarantine on return if there are serious health concerns over a new strain from that destination. There is a case to remove these restrictions after a first jab, given a reported 80% efficacy.
  • For those not vaccinated: Travel to all destinations on the green list permitted with a negative test 72 hours before returning home and no quarantine. Travel to red list destinations with a negative test 72 hours before returning home and quarantine for 10 days.
  • FCDO Advice: FCDO only to advise against travel to countries on the red list, or countries whose health services are failing to cope. This will resolve the serious issue that has existed for travel insurance since March 2020, which has left travellers vulnerable.
  • Under 18’s: To be treated as if they are vaccinated for the purpose of travel restrictions, so as not to impede family travel or separate families.
  • Lateral Flow Tests: Where Covid tests are required, make use of the faster, cheaper lateral flow tests. These self-administered tests are already government-approved and widely used for children to access schools.
  • Joined up policy: Wherever possible we need a consistent policy from devolved governments, acknowledging that some travellers living in Wales will fly from Bristol or Heathrow and some residents of Carlisle will fly from Glasgow or Edinburgh. To date it has felt as if countries are setting different policies simply because they can.

Trailfinders concluded: “Other countries will have their own protocols, which may include testing before arrival, but they should be strongly encouraged to waive this for those who have a vaccine certificate and accept lateral flow tests for those not yet vaccinated.”