Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Petition HM Government to outline a plan to Save Future Travel

HMG should consider the Save Future Travel Coalition plan to support businesses and protect jobs:
• Fully regionalise quarantine
• Introduce testing
• Review the Job Support Scheme
• Offer grants for SMEs, and help businesses that missed out on previous support
• APD relief for summer 2021

More details

Measures to control COVID-19 have dented confidence in travel and delayed recovery. However, while many travel businesses remain viable, the Winter Economy Plan does not do enough to support businesses or save jobs. The UK's travel industry is world-leading - in ordinary times supporting over 100 million trips annually (inbound and outbound), with an economic contribution of more than £60bn, and employing close to 1m people. The Government must act to restart travel and provide tailored support.

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Government responded

This response was given on 4 November 2020

Firms can continue to draw upon a range of unprecedented financial support during this period, including billions of pounds worth of loans, grants, tax deferrals and extension of CJRS for workers.

Review the Job Support Scheme

Firms can continue to draw upon a range of unprecedented financial support during this period, including billions of pounds worth of loans, grants, tax deferrals and extension of CJRS for workers.

Offer grants for SMEs, and help businesses that missed out on previous support

The Chancellor has announced approved additional funding to support cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. These grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions, and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for Local Authorities moving into Tier 3 which, if scaled up across the country, would be worth more than £1 billion.

These grants could benefit around 150,000 businesses in England, including hotels, restaurants, B&Bs and many more who aren’t legally required to close but have been adversely affected by local restrictions nonetheless.

Air Passenger Duty (APD)

Airlines, airports and ground handlers have put a number of proposals which they believe may help support their businesses. We are giving careful consideration to those suggestions and underlying evidence.

More broadly, HM Treasury has committed to consult on aviation tax reform. While the consultation has been delayed because of COVID-19, the government remains committed to delivering it, and will update on timing in due course. We are keen to engage widely as part of this consultation, and would welcome input from businesses, individuals, trade and professional bodies and other interested parties, once it has been published.

Self-isolation

On 7 September 2020, the Government announced that the Travel Corridors policy now includes adding and removing specific islands. Officials and Ministers work together each week to aim for a four-nation approach to Travel Corridors. As Health is a devolved matter, other nations can take their own approach if they so wish.

Second lockdown

International travel into England will continue to be governed by the travel corridor approach. Anyone returning from a country, territory or region that is not on the travel corridors exemption list must self-isolate, and from Thursday, 5 November 2020 will need to abide by the restrictions in place in England. There are a limited number of exceptions in law which allow people to leave their homes. Going on a holiday is not one of them. People can, however, still travel internationally for the same reasons as they would be allowed to leave their home - such as for work - subject to the rules in place at their destination.

Testing

In response to the impact of and specific challenges posed by COVID-19 to international travel, the Prime Minister has asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Secretary of State for Transport to establish the cross-government Global Travel Taskforce, to consider further how government can support the sector to meet these challenges.

The taskforce’s work will include:

• considering how a testing regime for international arrivals could be implemented to boost safe travel to and from the UK

• what steps we can take to facilitate business and tourist travel on a bilateral and global basis, through innovative testing models and other non-testing means

• more broadly, what steps we can take to increase consumer confidence and reduce the barriers to a safe and sustainable recovery of international travel.

The taskforce will formally report back to the Prime Minister in November 2020.

Department for Transport

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