Winter could be tough for the UK as the pandemic continues and travel restrictions against UK travellers may be introduced. Traveller confidence could be knocked if destinations place restrictions on arriving UK travellers.

With Covid-19 cases spiking across the country, outbound UK travel is likely to suffer as destinations mull restricting entry for UK travellers. Although demand was beginning to return this summer, winter could be a different story. Despite 68.4% of the UK population being fully vaccinated, according to GlobalData’s Vaccination Dashboard, Covid-19 cases continue to rise. Morocco has introduced a ban on UK travellers entering the country and Tunisia has re-introduced PCR tests as an arrival condition. This poses danger to outbound UK travel as more countries could follow in Morocco’s footsteps which could further hinder the already fragile traveller confidence.

Outbound travel ban could persist

UK outbound travel could face challenges this winter. As Covid-19 cases continue to rise, additional countries could introduce stricter entry requirements or bans. UK travellers could face last-minute cancellations, quashing confidence.

Travellers could delay travel plans or cancel pre-booked holidays this winter due to increasing uncertainty. Although the UK’s vaccine rollout is progressing well, cases continue to rise, with 39,450 Covid-19 cases reported on Thursday 28 October 2021 in the country, according to GlobalData. It is becoming likely that other countries could impose travel bans on UK vacationers. Travel confidence was beginning to pick up but could easily fall with ever-changing destination entry requirements. With UK outbound restrictions coming to an end with zero countries on the red list from Monday 1 November 2021, vaccinated travellers are free to travel anywhere, potentially unlocking further confidence. However, an entry ban could prevent the passengers from travelling abroad.

Reluctance to travel will rise

Reluctance to travel is likely to persist during the winter season with Covid-19 cases rising, and the potential for destinations to introduce travel restrictions on British travellers to other territories taking place after a short glimpse of hope. UK outbound travel confidence may stagnate for the remainder of this year.

With 40% of UK respondents indicating they would rather stay at home as much as possible in GlobalData’s Q3 2021 consumer survey*, it is likely that the demand for international travel will be relatively low for the final months of the year. While the country’s confidence in travel is showing some signs of improvement, a destination entry ban will further knock it back with UK travellers forced to reschedule any plans they may have had this winter season if entry restrictions are introduced across more destinations.

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* GlobalData Q3 2021 Consumer Survey, 676 UK respondents, ended on 07 September 2021