Quarantine Hotels Speculation ‘Destabilising’ Customer Confidence Says Travel Industry Experts.
THE LEAKING of information about potential hotel quarantines, for ALL UK arrivals, without a timescale or a road map out of the new restrictions will be destabilising consumer confidence, according to travel industry experts.
The situation is leading to “sensationalism and speculation” around whether people can take summer holidays, which are five months away. Emma Coulthurst, travel commentator at the holiday price comparison site, said ahead of a likely decision this evening: “If the hotel quarantine measure is brought in, let’s hope it is restricted to specific countries and is time-limited.”
Hotel quarantines should be lifted by the end of March and be replaced by a testing regime to enable travel to resume safely again to countries where there is a low incidence of the virus.
“Stop-start measures are not what is needed but a roadmap to enable travel to safely resume to protect the countries which we visit and also to ensure the virus is not brought in when we return,” she said.
An easy to access, low-cost testing system has been needed since last March to help stem the virus spread, Coulthurst added. However, private testing is currently expensive and prohibitive to many at £100 or more per test.
Fight for survival
“The UK Travel & Tourism sector is in a fight for survival – it’s that simple. With the sector in such a fragile state, the introduction of hotel quarantines by the UK government could force the complete collapse of Travel & Tourism,” says WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara.
“Travellers and holidaymakers would simply not book business or leisure trips knowing they would have to pay to isolate in a hotel, causing a drastic drop in revenues throughout the sector.
“From airlines to travel agents, travel management companies to holiday companies and beyond, the effect on UK travel businesses would be devastating, further delaying the economic recovery. Even the threat of such action is enough to cause consternation and serious alarm.
“WTTC believes the measures introduced by the government just last week – proof of a pre-departure COVID-19 test, followed by short quarantine and another test if necessary, could stop the virus in its tracks, and still allow the freedom to travel safely.
“A number of countries, such as Iceland, have successfully implemented a testing regime on arrival, which has curbed the spread, whilst ensuring borders remain open. So, it’s crucial these measures are given some time to work.
“Despite the current gloom, we truly believe there is room for optimism and a brighter future ahead. Business travel, visiting families and holidays can return with a combination of an internationally recognized testing regime, vaccines and mandatory mask-wearing.
“These simple but highly effective measures, if implemented properly, could aid the revival of a sector which will be essential to powering the UK and global economic recovery.”
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