The UK Government has published amended regulations that explicitly reference retail travel agents as businesses that are required to legally close in Tier 4 areas within England.

ABTA says that this confirmation from Government is a welcome step in ensuring agents in England are eligible for grant support under the Localised Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG) scheme. Previously agents were excluded resulting in them being denied much needed funding from local authorities under the LRSG scheme.

Following lobbying from ABTA, the devolved nations had already clarified that grants support for businesses in the highest levels of restrictions would be extended to retail travel agents, but the UK Government had previously failed to provide this clarity for businesses in England.

Justifiably ABTA is pleased with the results of its lobbying to government but stresses there are still serious problems.

Luke Petherbridge, director of public affairs, said: “Securing grant funding for travel businesses has been a key focus of ABTA’s work in recent months.

“We have not yet seen sector-specific support to take account of the unique challenges that the travel industry has faced throughout the last ten months, including frequent changes to travel corridors, and restrictions on many destinations across the globe through FCDO Travel Advice, which have seriously affected the ability of businesses to trade.”