Travel businesses welcome hope of normal service

LOCAL travel companies have welcomed the new Bailiwick blueprint, despite the number of caveats involved.

The document details how non-essential travel will be allowed to restart on 22 March, but people will still be subject to 14 days quarantine. From the end of April, the requirement for quarantine will be based on the prevalence of Covid-19 in the area from which a person has travelled.

It is hoped that all travel quarantine will be scrapped from 1 July.

But this depends on low case numbers in the UK, high vaccine uptake and the effectiveness of the vaccine against any emerging variants of the virus.

Despite this level of uncertainty, Condor Ferries CEO Paul Luxon welcomed the news.

‘The announcement by the Civil Contingencies Authority of its blueprint for the eventual removal of travel restrictions to and from the Bailiwick is very encouraging,’ he said.

Picture By Peter Frankland. (29335522)

‘We recognise there is a fine balance for the States and CCA to strike between maintaining community public health and enabling economic tourism health, so we welcome this constructive and positive development.

‘July is clearly a long way away, but it is good to have a date to work towards so we look forward to resuming passenger services and connecting up our destinations once again.’

Aurigny CEO Nico Bezuidenhout said it was pleased that the CCA had a clear desire to resume off-island connectivity when it was deemed safe to do so.

‘This blueprint provides us with the critical input needed to ensure our operational readiness for the resumption of a broader schedule,’ he said.

Picture by Peter Frankland. (29330211)

‘To increase customer confidence when booking, we have extended our Aurigny assurance promise to the end of April for flights booked in 2021. For our customers who want to plan trips next year, where there should be more absolute certainty, we have released early our Gatwick and Southampton schedules to the end of October 2022.’

He said the airline was optimistic about the final quarter of 2021.

Blue Islands CEO Rob Veron said recent announcements by the UK and local governments had provided a much-needed confidence boost to consumers who are craving a getaway.

He added that he knew people needed flexibility in their tickets during these uncertain times. That has led the airline to offering a free Blue Plus upgrade offer for travel until 12 March 2022.

A Flybe plane takes off (29335525)
A Blue Islands aircraft. (29337272)

This allows changes to be made up to three hours before departure, for whatever reason, without a change fee, when booked by 28 March 2021.

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