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The relaxation of testing rules is the late-late Christmas present for the travel industry

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The relaxation of testing rules is the late-late Christmas present for the travel industry

Sussanah Streeter

Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown

‘’The relaxation of testing rules is the late-late Christmas present the travel industry had been holding out for. Shares in London listed airlines lifted again today – as the rumour mills swirled that lateral flow tests would replace expensive PCRs on arrival in the UK, and pre-departure tests would be scrapped – a move confirmed by the government near the end of the trading day. With Omicron now rampant across the UK, ministers heeded calls from travel and tourism bosses, frustrated that the complexity of the rules had led to a crisis of confidence in the travelling public. With the threat of being left stranded abroad due to a positive test result no longer hanging over tourists, there is real hope that companies will see a surge in bookings after what’s been a festive washout. There is still likely to be some reticence among travellers in the short term who may keen to avoid busy transport hubs due to spiking infection rates, but with so many holidays delayed over the past two weeks, the prospects for the crucial spring/summer period now look much brighter. The news helped put more spring in the new year bounce for airline and travel stocks, with IAG gaining another 1.4% on the day, easyJet rising 1.5% and Rolls Royce, which is so highly reliant on the commercial airline sector also lifting 1.1%.’’

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