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PA Andrew Milligan
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PA Andrew Milligan
UK News

Christian holiday company warns this summer is 'the last hope for many companies' as Gov reviews travel

by Kelly Valencia

The director of a Christian holiday company has told Premier this summer "is the last hope for many companies" to survive as the Government is set to review the restrictions on travel this week.

Adam Playfair, the director of Richmond Christian Holidays, said the industry was "very grateful" for all the support it has received so far but feels they were "the first to be hit and the last to be able to return to whatever the new normal looks like". 

"We have been drawing down on funds, because of course travel industries haven't just been able to go into hibernation and furlough. We have been in the offices taking the calls, trying to figure out when we can restart holidays, trying to defer bookings, refund guests who've had to cancel. 

"And the reality for us now is that we've all seen zero income since last March, yet we had those ongoing costs, and it's only so long that can last and this summer - it is the last hope for many companies," Playfair continued. 

He was speaking as pilots, cabin crew and travel agents protested against the Government's restrictions on foreign travel on Wednesday. The industry wants to see the green list expanded and exceptions from quarantine granted for fully vaccinated passengers from amber list countries. 

"Loads of companies have got a lot of bookings, ourselves included, for this summer. We've got guests who are desperately keen to travel. But unfortunately, there is a mix of confusion and fear over the restrictions and the traffic light system and what is legal," Playfair said. 

Currently, popular holidays destinations such as Spain, Greece, or Italy are in the amber list which means passenger must self-isolate on their return. 

The Government says it will continue to follow data coming from those countries but their priority on the international travel policy is "protecting public health." 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told PA news that other countries are "catching up" with the UK's coronavirus vaccination programme and was optimistic about the world "opening up". 

"What happens in the UK is people say 'well everyone I know or a lot of people I know are vaccinated'. People will say that, but of course, as soon as you go abroad you find that's actually not the case.

"So balancing the opening up whilst preserving people's safety and security at home is absolutely at the forefront."

Playfair urged Christians to pray for wisdom for both the Government and company directors. 

"Pray for us to make wise decisions that aren't putting anyone's anyone in danger. And yes, pray for those countries to either be green listed or for the countries on the amber lists to be made more accessible, whatever that might look like."

The Government's travel list is expected to be updated on 24th June. 

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