The United Kingdom’s travel and tourism sector risks facing £5.3 billion financial loss before the end of this year if travel restrictions imposed to stop the further spread of the virus would be reintroduced this winter.

In addition, more than 180,000 jobs could be lost across the UK’s travel and tourism sector during this year, VisaGuide.World reports. 

Such conclusions have been reached through the recent report conducted by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which was focused on the impact caused by a further tightening of borders.

“The global tourism body fears that if punishing restrictions were to remain locked in place for much of next year, it could result in a loss of up to £21.7 billion from the UK economy,” WTTC’s analysis has found.

Based on the official data provided by the World Health Organization, the UK has registered a total of 9,524975 cases of COVID-19 infection and more than 142,800 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

The same source shows that in the last 24 hours, a total of 37,669 people in the UK have tested positive for the Coronavirus and its new strains, while 157 people have died during the same period.

Such figures have raised concerns that the restrictions imposed to spread the virus could be reintroduced, as according to the report, such a possibility is being considered by Ministers in an effort to increase protection from COVID-19 for the fully vaccinated citizens. However, the Conservative Party co-chairman Oliver Dowden has stressed that he believes that the UK will be able to have a decent Christmas this year.

Dowden has emphasized that the possible reintroduction of the COVID-19 restrictions this winter is in “our hands,” as reported by Sky News. He said that this year’s COVID-19 situation is different from 2020 due to the success of the vaccination rollout.  

Based on the figures provided by the WTTC President & CEO, Julia Simpson, at present, only available to the over 50’s, or less than 20 per cent of the population in the UK have received the booster jab, which shows that this is a low number of persons able to travel, while such a move would leave millions unable to travel abroad, with a huge economic impact, as a result.

According to WTTC, if restrictions, such as limiting the travel process only to those with booster jabs, were enforced during the following year, more than half a million jobs could be at risk.

“The very real prospect of more than 500,000 people losing their jobs across the UK Travel and Tourism sector because of unnecessary travel restrictions is a huge concern to WTTC. We cannot afford to let all the hard-earned progress we’ve made this year slide back and be reversed. Too many people’s livelihoods are at risk, as well as the continuing economic recovery of the UK,” Simpson pointed out.

Last year, WTTC published a report that revealed that 307,000 travel and tourism jobs were lost due to the Coronavirus situation, causing a difficult situation for many people.

In addition, a recent report published by WTTC brought into focus how several restrictions imposed by UK authorities, including the traffic light system, would cause international visitor spending to decrease by nearly 50 per cent in 2020, making the UK one of the worst-performing countries worldwide.