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Easing of testing restrictions 'shot in the arm' for hospitality sector

Published:  25 January, 2022

Yesterday's (24 January) announcement from the government that international visitors to the UK that are vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer be required to test on arrival from February has been welcomed by UKHospitality.

The new rules will come into operation at 4am on 11 February, and will apply to all inbound visitors to the UK, including UK citizens returning from overseas travel.

In addition, Covid passes will be rescinded from 27 January, while face masks will no longer be compulsory in most public spaces – Sadiq Khan has said they will remain mandatory on London TfL services.

Kate Nicholls, CEO UKHospitality, commented: “This is a sensible and pragmatic step towards normality, given the encouraging fall in cases, the general easing of restrictions and given the UK’s position as a leading destination for international tourists and as a major business and commerce hub.”

She added: “This is a very welcome shot in the arm for hotels and tourism-reliant businesses, as we learn to live with the virus. It will deliver much-needed confidence for international travellers destined for the UK. Our hospitality and tourism industries have endured extremely challenging times and our hope is that this marks the start of a more benign phase for both society and business.”

The industry has high hopes for a more prosperous year, particularly as the calendar ahead includes both the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the Commonwealth Games.

“With the right conditions and support, this industry can help to drive the recovery, to growth and job creation, and reassert the UK’s position as a leading destination. To support this year of revival we would urge Government to extend the reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and tourism,” Nicholls said.