Burnham-On-Sea’s MP has welcomed the easing of restrictions around international travel this week.
James Heappey says that Somerset’s tourism industry has been hit by a lack of overseas tourists during the pandemic – and that the relaxing of the Covid rules will make it far easier for local people to travel abroad.
He says: “It has been such a tough time for the travel industry over the past 18 months, and so it was really pleasing to see such vast changes to international travel this week.”
“While I know staying in this country to holiday has been of huge benefit to local businesses and the local tourism industry, the aviation industry and the lack of international tourists to Somerset has also affected many workers in this constituency.”
“Plus, I know how important holidays are to families and to finally be able to simplify that, is welcome news indeed. The traffic light system was necessary, and the number of tests needed was – I know – frustrating, but we are now in a good position to relax the requirements in a way that allows us to also monitor Covid.”
He adds: “The vaccination – as I have mentioned many times – has changed everything and the news that the United States will welcome UK visitors back from November showcases just that.”
“If you are double vaccinated, travelling is now a whole lot easier, and quarantine is only necessary should you return with a positive test.”
“I hope this gives everyone much more confidence to travel, and gives the travel, aviation and tourism industries hope for a year which will be much more normal – not to mention profitable.”
The international travel traffic light system is being simplified in England with a single red list, as part of an overhaul of the rules from 4th October.
It means people returning from places such as Turkey will no longer have to stay in hotel quarantine. And PCR tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated travellers returning to England.
Under the new testing regime, people who have had both jabs will not need to take a pre-departure test before leaving any country not on the red list.