COVID travel protocol change fails to tempt a return to foreign travel

Team Hoo
13th October 2021

Our latest research has found that despite plans to scrap both the traffic light system and COVID testing requirements, the majority of UK holidaymakers will continue to refrain from foreign travel. 

It’s expected that the government will today announce an overhaul to the traffic light system, whereby the green, amber and red list classifications will be scrapped in favour of a simplified ‘go’ or ‘no go’ system from the 1st October. 

Despite this attempt to steady the ship, hoo found that just 34% of people believe this change will make the prospect of COVID foreign travel less daunting. Just over a quarter believe it will make no difference, while 40% remain unsure. 

Most significantly, 54% stated that this change would not make them more likely to travel abroad while a further 27% were unsure, with just 19% more likely to take a holiday should these changes come into force. 

It’s also expected that double jabbed holidaymakers will no longer have to take a pre-departure COVID test, with the need to perform a day two PCR test on their return home also being removed. 

This step could save the average holidaymaker around £100, but despite this, just 39% stated it would make the idea of foreign travel less daunting.

For 47%, the removal of testing requirements wasn’t enough for them to reconsider a holiday abroad, with just 28% more likely to travel as a result. 

Although a clear indication that foreign holidays remain off the cards for most, this is a marginal improvement on hoo’s previous research carried out in July when just 10% of people planned to take a holiday abroad. 

hoo Co-founder, Adrian Murdock, commented:

“The government’s attempt to offer a greater degree of clarity and certainty to UK holidaymakers is a welcome one, but continued uncertainty means the majority remain unlikely to travel abroad despite these proposed changes. 

We’ve seen the chaos that has been caused by an ever-changing traffic light list system and so it’s understandable that many remain cautious even with a more straightforward two-tier classification in place. 

This sentiment is unlikely to change until a period of relative normality has returned, even without the need for pre and post-holiday COVID tests. It’s still going to be quite some time before the sector truly recovers from the impact of the pandemic.”

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