BUSINESS leaders in Greater Birmingham say the government must do everything in its power to unlock overseas travel in a safe manner after Transport Secretary Grant Shapps eased some quarantine restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers.
It means fully vaccinated passengers will be able to return quarantine-free to England from amber list countries from July 19.
He also told the House of Commons that children under 18 returning from amber list countries will also not have to isolate.
Passengers returning to England will be asked to include vaccination status on their passenger locator form.
In addition, Mr Shapps said more than 30 countries and territories were now recognising the vaccination certificate as part of entry requirements.
Raj Kandola, head of policy at Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “The easing of restrictions will offer a much needed shot in the arm for the travel industry which has taken a battering throughout the pandemic.
“With thousands of jobs and livelihoods at stake in the aviation industry and wider sectors, it’s great to see the Government is taking sensible steps towards reviving international travel.
“The timing of these plans is key; the fact that the new plans are in place from July 19 means we’ve got a chance to maximise the summer season and boost demand for holidays abroad – although it remains to be seen how the government will reconcile these plans with the latest self isolation guidelines which come into play the following month.
“In addition, local firms will hopefully start to benefit from increased business travel and these measures will go someway to safeguard the long term viability of the tourism industry – a vital driver of prosperity in this country.
“Overall this is a step in the right direction, however we recognise that Mr Shapps has to walk a fine line between opening up international markets and maintaining safety levels.
“Nevertheless, we would urge the Government to go even further – whether that’s consistently reviewing the countries that are on the Green List or continuing to make the cost of testing even cheaper.”