ΤΟΥΡΙΣΜΟΣ

Global Travel Taskforce: Τι είναι και ποιοί συμμετέχουν στην πολυσυζητημένη επιτροπή

Στα “χείλια” της Global Travel Taskforce, “κρέμονται” οι περισσότεροι τουριστικοί προορισμοί της Ευρώπης, ενόψη της καλοκαιρινής περιόδου, καθώς από την εισήγησή της προς την κυβέρνηση του Ηνωμένου Βασιλείου, θα εξαρτηθεί σε ένα μεγάλο βαθμό, αν και με ποιές διαδικασίες, θα επανεκκινήσουν τα ταξίδια.

Ως γνωστόν στις 12 Απριλίου ο Βρετανός πρωθυπουργός Boris Johnson, με βάση την εισήγηση της Global Travel Taskforce, θα ανακοινώσει τι μέλλει γενέσθαι με τα ταξίδια.

Ποιά είναι όμως η αποστολή της Global Travel Taskforce, ποιοί συμμετέχουν και ποιό είναι το εύρος των δραστηριοτήτων της;

Το πιο σημαντικό όμως είναι ποιοί συμμετέχουν, διότι υπάρχουν πολλές και διαφορετικές απόψεις, περί αυτού.

Στην GTT, λοιπόν συμμετέχουν δημόσιοι λειτουργοί της Βρετανίας, από διάφορα υπουργεία και φορείς, με επικεφαλείς τους υπουργούς Υγείας και  Μεταφορών, Ματ Χανκονγκ και Γκραντ Σαππς.

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Το ΧΡΗΜΑ & ΤΟΥΡΙΣΜΟΣ, εξασφάλισε και δημοσιεύει το πλήρες περίγραμμα λειτουργίας της Global Travel Taskforce, διατηρώντας το πρωτότυπο κείμενο.

Global Travel Taskforce

In response to the impact of and specific challenges posed by COVID-19 to international travel, the Prime Minister asked the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the Secretary of State for Transport to establish the cross-government Global Travel Taskforce, to consider further how government can support the sector to meet these challenges.

Terms of reference

The Global Travel Taskforce: Safe Return of International Travel is the successor to the Global Travel Taskforce which made a series of recommendations in November 2020.

The Global Travel Taskforce will report on 12 April with recommendations aimed at facilitating a return to international travel as soon as possible while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants of concern. Following that, the government will determine when international travel should resume, which will be no earlier than 17 May. A decision on the reopening of international travel will need to consider:

  • the global and domestic epidemiological picture
  • the prevalence and location of any variants of concern
  • the progress of vaccine rollouts here and abroad
  • what more we’ve learnt about the efficacy of vaccines on variants, and their impact on transmission, hospitalisation and deaths

This taskforce will be led by the Department for Transport (DfT) and report to the Prime Minister. Its aim – in the context of the decision above – will be to work in partnership with industry and international partners to develop a risk-based framework that could facilitate the return of international travel, while still managing the risk from imported cases and variants.

That will include making use of the measures the government already has in place (such as testing and isolation) and building on the recommendations from the Global Travel Taskforce last year.

Scope and timing

The taskforce will:

  • consider policy proposals to set out a possible pathway to safely reopen international travel, taking account of scientific and clinical data
  • in partnership with industry, develop an implementation plan for the adoption of any recommendations to enable government, industry and consumers to prepare for when any decisions are taken
  • consider how to implement recommendations from the previous Global Travel Taskforce, such as bubbles, to facilitate tourist and business travel
  • ensure that any shorter-term changes act as a bridge to longer-term objectives on delivering vaccine certification to facilitate travel (noting this work is being conducted in parallel) and global standardisation of border measures

The taskforce will report to the Prime Minister on 12 April with an implementation plan to follow.

Membership

The taskforce will be a cross-government endeavour, with the Secretary of State for Transport reporting to the Prime Minister. It will involve collaboration between officials from:

  • Department for Transport
  • Department for Health and Social Care
  • Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Public Health England
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • HM Treasury
  • Home Office
  • Department for International Trade
  • Cabinet Office C-19 Taskforce

Officials from the Scottish and Welsh Governments and Northern Ireland Executive will be closely involved in the taskforce’s work.

The taskforce will seek to achieve a joint approach while noting that health matters are devolved, so decision-making and implementation may differ across the nations.

The taskforce will also take into account evidence and data from the scientific communities and our international community.

In addition, it’s vital that any proposals have been developed in partnership with industry, taking account of the vast experience from outside of government.

The taskforce will, therefore, establish working groups to feed into its final report. Most critical will be that established with the travel industry, given the need for proposals to be workable.

In addition, the taskforce will consult to inform its report:

  • international partners, to discuss options for bilateral pilots and the standards needed to facilitate safe international travel
  • the tourism sector and local business leaders, to consider how international travel can support economic recovery
  • academia and policy institutes to provide innovative solutions to the challenges the sector is facing

As with last year’s taskforce, we’ll work with a range of businesses covering aviation, maritime, international rail and the tourism sector to develop the report.

Terms of reference of the 2020 Global Travel Taskforce

Scope

The taskforce’s work will include:

  • considering how a testing regime for international arrivals could be implemented to boost safe travel to and from the UK
  • what steps we can take to facilitate business and tourist travel on a bilateral and global basis, through innovative testing models and other non-testing means
  • more broadly, what steps we can take to increase consumer confidence and reduce the barriers to a safe and sustainable recovery of international travel

The ongoing travel corridor process and related policy will not be within scope of the taskforce.

Engagement

A core function of the taskforce will be to afford policy-makers a chance to discuss these issues further with those outside of government, as it considers robust and sustainable proposals that will facilitate safer international travel. In its work, the taskforce will therefore seek to consult representatives from:

  • the transport industry, to discuss shared challenges, the value of the sector to the economy, and the future of international travel
  • international partners, to discuss different approaches to health measures at the border, and what standards and practices are needed to maintain safe international travel
  • the tourism sector and local business leaders, to consider the economic impact on domestic tourism, and how international travel can support economic recovery
  • the private testing sector, to consider capacity constraints, pricing, and how quickly testing capacity can be rolled out
  • academia and policy institutes to provide insight and innovative solutions to the challenges the sector is facing

This engagement will include a series of workshops with the above groups, on which further detail will be provided shortly.

Timing

The taskforce will report to the Prime Minister no later than early November, setting out recommendations for how the UK can support the recovery of international travel, including how we can increase consumer confidence, and continue to provide global leadership in the setting of standards for border health measures.

Membership

The taskforce will be chaired by the Secretary of State for Transport and the and Secretary of State for Health and Social Care. It will include collaboration between officials from departments across government, as listed below, and will liaise with the travel sector in order to work on the operationalisation of testing approaches designed to reduce self-isolation.

  • Department for Transport
  • Department for Health and Social Care
  • NHS Test and Trace
  • Public Health England
  • Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office
  • Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
  • Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • HM Treasury
  • The Home Office
  • Department for International Trade
  • The No 10 / Cabinet Office C-19 Taskforce.

Officials from the Scottish and Welsh Governments and Northern Ireland Executive will be closely involved in the taskforce’s work. The taskforce will seek to achieve a 4 nations approach, while noting that health matters are devolved, so decision-making and implementation may differ across the nations.

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