Stays abroad could be banned until the end of the summer, as stay trips are blocked until June, travel chiefs fear.
Disgruntled industry leaders have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking when outbound travel will be allowed after leaks suggested the ban would last well into the second half of the year.
Experts fear that the ongoing restrictions – despite the introduction of the vaccine – will be the final nail in the coffin for many tour operators.
All vacation travel inside and outside the UK has been banned since the third lockdown began in January, and there is evidence that the ban will remain in place until a push has been offered to all adults.
Flight volume at Birmingham Airport fell 91 percent between April and December, and only 31 flights landed in the final week of January, compared to 740 at the same time in 2020.
Travel industry Abta His letter to the Prime Minister said 160,000 jobs had already been lost.
It added, “The government should recognize that we cannot wait for the vaccination program to be fully implemented before people start traveling again.
“Now that the vaccine rollout is well advanced and you’re considering how to ease the lockdown, we ask you to come up with a roadmap to get people back on the road this summer.
Do you dream of when you can go on vacation again and where that could be? Want to have the latest travel and whereabouts news delivered straight to your inbox so you can plan ahead?
Login here Here you will find regular updates on the latest travel advice as well as top travel destinations and wonderful places to stay after Covid.
“We know that it is too early to set a specific date for returning to international travel and that the approach needs to be flexible. What we need, however, are some principles for restarting travel – in recognition of the return to normal. ” Life will never be completely risk free. We are also promoting coordination across the UK where possible. “
Tour operators have also stated that they would like the trip to resume as soon as possible.
Tui, the UK’s largest vacation company, said: “We understand the importance of summer holidays to our customers and believe that a risk-based approach can work with the government to safely unlock travel this summer.
“We want to assure our customers that we are constantly reviewing our flexibility policy and that we are continually canceling vacations in accordance with the government’s confirmed recommendations.”
The SOS Travel Trade Advocacy Group tweeted, “By mid-May, 16 million British citizens ‘at risk’ will have had two bumps. Those 16 million should be free to travel as data #Israel and the #United Kingdomclearly shows how well they will be protected. “”
While John Holland-Kaye, Managing Director of Heathrow airport, added: “This third lockdown was particularly difficult for many as it was unable to plan for the future. Reunions, overseas travel and business meetings felt like they had been suspended indefinitely.”
Progress on the next steps out of the lockdown will depend on four tests being performed: the success of the vaccine introduction, demonstrating the vaccine’s effectiveness, evaluating new variants, and lowering infection rates below a level that the NHS does not sustain Could put pressure.
However, Number 10 insisted that the “stay at home” message would remain despite some restrictions being relaxed.