Upper Bann DUP MLA Jonathan Buckley has said that progress must be made on travel regulations within the Common Travel Area.
The Health Committee member said, “Whilst we remain cautious to the threats posed by Covid-19, the focus of everyone in Northern Ireland should be on a return to normality. The re-opening of indoor hospitality has been a very welcome step, but the real goal must be to see businesses able to trade normally. An important part of this for our tourism industry will be to ensure that visitors from across the United Kingdom can choose Northern Ireland as a holiday destination.
The Executive’s adoption of the ‘green list’ countries for international travel is welcome and it standardises that aspect of travel across the UK. However, at present there is an anomaly that someone in Great Britain is asked to self-isolate for ten days upon arrival if they holiday in Co Antrim, but they can travel to the Algarve without hindrance.
This is an issue that DUP Ministers have been highlighting and the Economy Minister will be seeking to secure progress for our hospitality and tourism sector. She will be launching a marketing campaign to highlight our fantastic tourism product to a Great Britain audience, but obviously this will not be effective if guidance on self-isolation remains in place.
I would hope this would be another sensible and practical step which the Executive can take to allow our journey out of Covid restrictions to continue.”