In light of the spread of COVID-19, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom announced on Monday a ban on non-essential international travel to and from the country until at least 17 May. While the travel and aviation industries were among the hardest hit during the pandemic, the ban came as the new strain of COVID-19 was spreading. PM Johnson said that domestic overnight stays and self-contained accommodation will be permitted no earlier than 12 April, but Sky News reported that non-essential international travel will remain banned.
Emphasizing the lockdown roadmap, Johnson said, “This is part of the roadmap’s second step and it will take place at least five weeks after the first step— 8 March—but could be postponed if the prime minister and his advisers say it is necessary.”
He said that the date for allowing international holidays is not before 17 May.
By 12 April, the government’s Global Travel Taskforce will reconvene to issue a report recommending how to safely resume international trips, he said.
Sky News reported that Boris Johnson said this would “give people time to make their plans for the summer”
Sky News quoted Karen Dee, Chief Executive of the Airport Operators Association, as saying, “As the worst-hit economic sector in 2020, this will ensure we will also be the worst-hit sector of 2021,”
“The UK and devolved governments must set out sector-specific support to help ensure there are viable airports to be able to restart,” The United Kingdom and devolved governments need to provide sector-specific support to help ensure that viable airports are available for restart,
Meanwhile, Sean Doyle, chief executive of British Airways, said it is “critical we start looking at a way to restart travel” adding that he is “pleased the government has acknowledged that,” Sky News reported.
“We are supporting a data-led approach that protects public health,” he added.We want to collaborate on a road map with the government task force now to ensure that aviation is in a strong position to support the UK as we emerge from the pandemic.