Co-owner of South Shields firm Westoe Travel joins campaigners in London protesting against handling of covid travel restrictions

A South Shields travel agent joined in with other campaigners at Westminster pressing for clarity around restrictions on overseas travel.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

He called for an end to the ‘uncertainty’ he argues is crippling the sector during what would normally be peak season, as well as for financial compensation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mr Brett met 68 politicians, including South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck on Wednesday, June 23, as part of an industry lobby delegation outside Parliament.

Graeme Brett, co-owner of the Westoe Travel firms (left), and South Shields MP, Emma Lewell-Buck (right).Graeme Brett, co-owner of the Westoe Travel firms (left), and South Shields MP, Emma Lewell-Buck (right).
Graeme Brett, co-owner of the Westoe Travel firms (left), and South Shields MP, Emma Lewell-Buck (right).

The businessman was part of an industry lobby group of airlines, tour operators, tourist boards, and other travel agencies.

“There’s a complete lack of clarity from the Government at the moment,” he said.

"They need to come out and say whether people can travel or not. If the answer is no, then they need to provide financial support to the travel industry - who are having to ground airplanes, lay off staff, close hotels – to see them through.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Or, they have to say, ‘Look, we’re letting thousands of people into Wembley – so people will be able to travel’. We just need a clear answer either way.”

According to travel association body, ABTA, almost 200,0000 UK travel jobs are at risk due to the pandemic.

Mr Brett added: “A pressing factor is the fact that the furlough scheme is coming to an end in September.

"And, come September, if travel is not operational again, there’s going to be huge job losses across the industry.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Mrs Lewell-Buck said the Government needed to provide sector-specific support to the industry and ditch its controversial ‘traffic light’ travel system.

"The Government need to stop messing around with the red, amber and green list,” she said.

“They need to reopen travel and do it in such a way that there’s good, consistent public health messaging going on and that there’s good measures in place.

"The way the Government are going on, we’re going to see more and more travel agencies getting boarded up and people losing their jobs. It’s been going on for more than a year now and they really need to get a handle on this.”

Read More
South Tyneside MPs demand urgent action as new figures lay bare child poverty cr...

Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day.

With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Click here to subscribe.