British travel firms mull legal action over virus rules

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UK travel firms are considering taking legal action against the Government in relation to restrictions on foreign trips.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel trade organisation Abta, said he wants to find out what analysis has been carried out in Whitehall about the impact of travel rules on businesses.

Asked at the Travel Matters conference whether Abta could sue the Government, Mr Tanzer replied: “We’re looking at whether or not that is an avenue that we can pursue.

“The hurdle for suing the Government is high but we think at least the Government needs to say, did it measure the impact on the travel sector of its own policies, and if it did, did it then decide that the sector nonetheless wasn’t worthy of support.”

Mr Tanzer issued a “heartfelt plea for political change” in relation to restrictions on international travel.

Noting that outbound travel is influenced by several Government departments, he said the sector is not content to be “a political orphan”.

He added: “Clear accountability for the welfare of the outbound travel sector needs to be given to a designated minister.

‘`Our economic contribution is weighty. More money is spent in the UK by British citizens prior to travelling abroad than is spent by international
visitors and the job creation or destruction potential is huge.

“I say to Government: put aside any misguided prejudices against outbound travel. We are ready to work together, show us that you are.”

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