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BUSINESS NEWS


Health secretary Matt Hancock


Government to pursue all 14 taskforce proposals


Testing, tour bubbles and transit among ideas to be developed, reports Ian Taylor


The government is expected to move forward on all the Global Travel Taskforce recommendations, released last week. The ‘test to release’ scheme in


England, which will allow arrivals to take a Covid test after five days’ self-isolation from December 15, is just one of 14 recommendations. Others include pre-departure


testing, a short-stay quarantine exemption for international business travellers and ‘tour bubbles’ for inbound tour groups – all proposals put forward by sections of the industry. Pre-departure testing could


40 3 DECEMBER 2020


reopen markets currently closed, but would need to be agreed with other governments, with agreements piloted on certain routes such as to the Canary Islands or New York. The report pledges the


government to “work with industry and clinicians to study the feasibility” of an exemption for short business trips which would not extend to “any non-business-related activity”. It suggests ‘tour bubbles’ could


allow inbound tour groups to arrive, stay together and use private transport to visit “Covid-19 secure venues”. An aviation source said: “For a


proposal to get in the report, we take it to be serious.” However, the report notes these proposals “need further consideration with clinicians [and] health experts”. It also warns: “We must accept a


risk that UK and foreign governments have to make changes to travel restrictions at short notice. “Industry and travellers have to


take responsibility to ensure they have adequate insurance and measures in place to mitigate these risks, including


Continued on page 38 travelweekly.co.uk


BUSINESSNEWS


PICTURES: Richard Townshend; Shutterstock


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