The Global Travel Taskforce has set out its framework for the safe return of international travel.
We are pleased that the government has maintained its aim for international travel to start from 17 May, if circumstances allow. However, we are disappointed that this framework does not provide certainty or reassurance for the UK's English language teaching sector, our international partners and students.
Our sector relies entirely on an international market. Our customers have been cut off by Covid-19 restrictions and we cannot replace them with domestic ones.
We are particularly concerned that English language students who wish to travel to the UK in the short and critical summer season will be discouraged by the high cost of PCR tests and the threat of countries moving between categories at short notice. We call on the government to clarify the details of how countries will be categorised, commit to regular reviews of the green list, and re-consider permitting the use of cheaper lateral flow tests in place of expensive PCR tests.
We need to hear from the government on their plans to provide targeted ongoing support for those business that rely on inbound international travel, as it is clear that recovery will be gradual and patchy.