TRAVEL companies are insisting the UK government drop plans to introduce a compulsory 14-day quarantine on people arriving in the country, arguing it would do great harm to the already ‘seriously challenged’ sector.
The heads of dozens of travel firms and hotel owners have signed a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel in which they say a mandatory quarantine on all arriving passengers is “the very last thing the travel industry needs.”
In their view it would “deter foreign visitors from coming here, deter UK visitors from travelling abroad and, most likely, cause other countries to impose reciprocal quarantine requirements on British visitors, as France has already announced.”
As it stands, anyone entering the UK from another country from June 8 will have to self-isolate for 14 days or be subject to a £1,000 fine.
The travel bosses also say Boris Johnson’s administration should have made visitors isolate on arrival before the UK went into lockdown.
“Many people urged the government to impose quarantine regulations during the early phases of Covid-19. Instead, no action was taken and flights from infected countries were allowed to land, making it easy for thousands of potentially affected passengers to spread the virus into the wider UK community,” the letter says.
The travel firms point out that the sector contributed £200 billion to the UK economy last year and accounts for nearly four million jobs. But they accuse the government of being “woefully slow” in assisting the industry and says it has “procrastinated to the point of absurdity” when considering support schemes.
In their view the government “must not exceed its mandate.”
“The people of this country do not wish to be prevented from travelling,” they affirm.
“Quite simply it is time to switch the emphasis from protection to economic recovery before it is too late.”