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East Midlands Chamber News

East Midlands Chamber welcomes opening of borders – but warns people need assurance from Government when travelling abroad

Responding to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps’ announcement about new rules for international travel, East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire) chief executive Scott Knowles said: “After the success of the latest relaxing of coronavirus measures within the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, confirmation that restriction-free international travel will be permitted to some countries from 17 May will be welcomed by many people as we seek to return to something approaching normality.

“Open borders are a fundamental part of a fully-functioning economy, so this is a step in the right direction – although one with obvious limitations due to only 12 countries being on the green list.

“And given the experiences of last summer, when quarantine rules changed midway through trips for many holidaymakers and caused problems for both employers and employees upon their return, there will no doubt be residual anxiety and hesitation this summer.

“So while we completely understand the need to be vigilant against Covid-19 variants in order to ensure our exit from lockdown is indeed irreversible, we hope the Government will be very clear in its guidelines and instructions so that people can travel in full confidence – and give businesses the assurances they need when staff leave the country.

“It’s also important for the costs of tests, which are still required for people visiting green list countries, to be driven down in order to open up the opportunities for international travel to a broader population.

“We also hope this is just the beginning and more countries are added to the green list as soon as possible, particularly to popular destinations among East Midlands Airport passengers, such as Spain, Greece and France.

“Being driven by data, and not dates, there should be no hesitation in adding a country to the green list if the data shows it is safe to do so.”