'Hope' for Luton's travel industry this summer despite tough Covid-19 rules
Travel firms believe it will be "possible" for holidaymakers to jet off from Luton Airport this summer, despite tough Covid-19 restrictions coming into effect next week.
From March 29, members of the public can face a fine of up to £5,000 if they attempt to leave the country without a good reason.
The UK has been in its third national lockdown since early January, and holidays abroad are already banned.
But from next Monday, anyone even going to an airport without good reason could be fined £5,000.
Exemptions exist for work, elite sports, medical reasons and essential care to a vulnerable person. Travellers are required to take a Covid test before coming into the UK and quarantine for ten days on arrival, as well as take further tests after two and eight days.
A spokesman for travel agent Tui, which employs around 800 people in Luton, said: "We remain committed to working closely with the government on the global travel taskforce and look forward to understanding more about when international travel can take place when it reports on the April 12.
"We believe holidays this summer will be possible, taking into account our outstanding vaccination programme and the use of testing where required.
"We recognise that entry requirements will vary from country to country and we will do everything we can to communicate requirements to our customers.
"Currently all TUI holidays have been cancelled before May 17 and all customers with a booking before the end of June are able to move it to another time for free as we recognise the uncertainty around travel at this time."
Luton Airport declined to comment on the new policy, but a spokesman added: "The government’s roadmap out of lockdown means there is hope that travel will resume again soon."