The Welsh first minister is reportedly lobbying Westminster not to resume leisure travel as soon as May 17.
The UK government’s roadmap out of lockdown for England has set May 17 as the earliest possible date for non-essential international travel to resume.
But Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford told the i newspaper: “The idea that we will have international travel back as it was before in the middle of May fills me with horror, really.
“I just think there is such a risk that it will lead to the reimportation of the virus just as we’ve all worked so hard to get it under control.”
He said UK ministers had reassured him they were willing to postpone the restart, if necessary, to avoid a resurgence of Covid-19.
Drakeford warned that the second wave of coronavirus in Wales had been “very significantly driven by people coming back from France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, bringing the virus with them”.
Speaking on a Travel Weekly webcast recorded late last week, Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer said the association was hopeful the restart will be coordinated between Westminster and the devolved administrations
He said: “Clearly, the devolved administrations have control over their own health and quarantine policies. What we share is an interest in getting travel going again.”
He said if the Westminster government taskforce “comes up with a system that manages risk and gets people moving, I don’t see why the other administrations won’t be keen to join that”.
But he said he expects the industry to have to live with a lack of coordination with destinations.
He added: “Abta is in close dialogue with our destination partners as to what their strategy is going to be around getting British tourists in and what controls they might look for.
But he noted: “Different countries will have different risk profiles in terms of people coming in and as far as we’re happy to have people coming back. As an industry, we have to live with that fact certainly for this year and be ready to help customers thread their way through it.”
Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, today confirmed that the UK government’s Global Travel Taskforce’s report will be made public on April 12.
But he also insisted: “Travel won’t resume until, at the earliest, May 17.”
Airlines and tour operators have been calling to see the report on April 12 as it is five weeks before May 17, giving them time to plan for a restart of operations.
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