Trade association UKinbound has welcomed the return of France’s amber status in the latest traffic light update – but warned the government needs to do more to help travel recover.
Arrivals to England from France will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated, from 4am on Sunday, August 8.
Joss Croft, chief executive at UKinbound, highlighted how it opens up the French inbound tourism market – worth £1.39 billion in exports for the UK annually – and enables vaccinated visitors from Netherlands, Germany and elsewhere in mainland Europe to travel through France by car and by coach without having to quarantine in the UK on arrival.
“In a recurring government theme, this is too little, too late and is unlikely to have a meaningful impact on the fast-disappearing summer business so critical to many,” he said.
“It was also encouraging to see more countries such as Germany and the UAE added to the green and amber lists.
“However, the cost of testing, which can easily run into hundreds of pounds for a family, continues to be an unnecessary and significant barrier to travel.
“We also need to see government urgently step up its international diplomacy and work with countries such as Canada to implement further vaccine certification reciprocity, and provide sector-specific support as the industry faces a crippling winter due to the lost summer and 17 months of virtually no business.”
His comments were echoed by the UK Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA) which also wants further easing of restrictions to boost inbound travel.
Merilee Karr, STAA chair and chief executive of UnderTheDoormat, said: “While later than we had hoped, the return of international travellers will start to make a difference to supporting the industry recovery after two summers which have been impacted.
“The UK still needs a broader approach to a return to cities including business travel to ensure that the full recovery is realised.”