Suffolk travel agents call for return of international travel

The couple had their flights cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: ARCHANT ARCHIVES/OW

Suffolk travel agents and a local MP are calling for the return of international travel - Credit: PA

International travel seems like a thing of the past for many - but local travel agents and MPs are calling for its return. 

With the current traffic light system in place, there are only a few places people are able to travel without having to quarantine upon return. 

The UK's travel industry is holding a day of action, where it hopes to put pressure on the government to allow international travel and provide support to businesses within the industry. 

Lee Hunt, from Deben Travel, who is participating in the day of action, would like to see more overseas travel when the lockdown ends on July 19. 

Mr Hunt, said: "I would like to see international travel open up again in line with the easing of the lockdowns in England. 

Travel agent Lee Hunt from Deben Travel in Woodbridge. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Lee Hunt from Deben Travel - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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"From our perspective the current traffic light system is not fit for purpose. It is just ludicrous to have an amber list of destinations where the government are encouraging people not to travel to and if you do then you will be hit with such high testing fees as well. 

"What we are asking for as a travel industry is clear guidance when it comes to the overseas travel.

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"As a country we are being left behind and that is going to have long term repercussions for the travel industry and for people's holidays in the future."

Although local travel agents believe the traffic light system is flawed, they still see the need for a list of red countries that people should not travel to to protect the UK. 

Owner and managing director of Idelo Travel in Ipswich, Andrea Powell said she would like to see the return of travel but only when it is safe to do so. 

"I think everyone would like to see it open safely," Mrs Powell, said.

"I would like to see the return of travel to the simpler destinations as soon as possible so people can have a summer or autumn holiday.

"I am really keen on the UK, US corridor as the US is a great playground where you can do all sorts and they are forward in their vaccination programme."

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge is also calling for travel to be opened up to those who have had both vaccinations. 

He said, in the letter to the Secretary of State for Transport: "Some of the businesses I met were extremely worried about their future if travel could not be restarted this summer. 

"Therefore, the proposal to restart international travel by allowing fully vaccinated people to go on holiday would be an absolute lifeline for this industry."

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