Holidays abroad won’t be back to normal for THREE YEARS, top travel boss warns
BRITS may have to wait three years for international travel to return to normal, a top holiday boss has warned.
Even then things may never be the same again and travellers could be forced to undergo coronavirus testing before and after flights.
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Flight Centre chief executive Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner said that just how fast the industry bounces back depends on government policy.
He told ABC radio: “It's really up to the government on this sort of thing, and if they ease restrictions it will come back fairly quickly.
“Maybe 18 months to two years (international travel) might be back to 70 per cent, but it'll probably be three years before it's back to pre-COVID levels.”
In many countries such as Australia overseas travellers have to self-fund a two-week quarantine period.
But Mr Turner said quarantine will put off some people from travelling but he suggested a better idea would be to test travellers before and after they fly.
He said: “I think the protocols, pretty soon, will be to the stage where it will be probably nearly as safe as a two-week quarantine in a hotel.”
Since the coronavirus outbreak Flight Centre has stood down around 16,000 staff around the world.
Airlines including Virgin and Qantas have also been forced to shed thousands of jobs as flights have been grounded.
British Airways could axe 12,000 jobs due to the pandemic.
The UK government has announced plans to introduce a "traffic-light system" that will be used to rate other countries' coronavirus risk.
People travelling to Green or Amber countries – which includes most of Europe – will soon no be longer required to quarantine for 14 days on their return to the UK.
There are also plans to set up "air bridges" to allow for two-way travel between certain destinations with low transmission rates.
The foreign office continues to advise against all but essential travel for the time being, but many Brits will now be hoping to get a summer holiday in after all.
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