COVID-19 has devastated demand for international travel across the world, leaving thousands of UK businesses facing unprecedented challenges. From professional services firms that need quick access to clients in New York, to manufacturers that sell their products in the UAE, businesses that depend on international connectivity have taken a hard hit as a result of restrictions on travel due to COVID-19. In the aviation and aerospace sectors alone, hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk, while some operators of critical national infrastructure including air and ferry ports are in serious financial jeopardy.
The CBI’s response to the government’s Global Travel Taskforce sets out a clear path forward to safely rebuilding demand for international travel over the coming months. This involves supporting private sector innovation to balance risks, and reopen key trade routes using the latest testing technology.
Business looks to the Global Travel Taskforce to recommend that the government:
- Immediately implement a robust and affordable testing regime for international arrivals that will significantly reduce quarantine times.
- Put in place a longer-term framework for official travel advice and improved screening regimes to further reduce costs and quarantine times.
- Commit to working multilaterally with international partners to facilitate a global return to flying and rebuild demand for the UK’s leading aerospace sector.
- Ensure testing schemes meet the needs of business travellers, recognising the value of this type of journey to the economy, as well as the disproportionate disincentive of quarantine for short trips.
If you would like to discuss our work on international connectivity in further detail, please contact the CBI’s transport policy lead, Freddie Hopkinson.