Industry News: 28th May 2020
Business leaders have called on UK government to scrap its 14-day quarantine on visitors and concentrate on ‘air bridges’ with countries deemed safe.
Low risk visitors would avoid the need for quarantine, due for introduction on June 8, otherwise they warn British business will suffer serious damage and it will be left out of other countries co-operation.
Yesterday business groups wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, saying the 14-day quarantine on all air passengers arriving in the UK will have “serious consequences” for the economy.
In a letter to the prime minister, bosses of airlines including EasyJet, Tui, Jet2 and Virgin Atlantic, as well as industry bodies Airlines UK, the British Chambers of Commerce, UK Hospitality and manufacturing association Made UK said that while they fully support the government’s commitment to public health, they have “serious reservations” about a “blanket approach” to all arrivals into Britain.
So-called ‘air bridges’ would allow visitors from countries where coronavirus infection rates are low into the UK, without having to self-isolate for two weeks.
Instead, they are asking for a more “targeted, risk-based” approach when establishing air links with countries that have high infection rates from the pandemic.
“The alternative risks major damage to the arteries of UK trade with key industry supply chains, whilst pushing the UK to the back of the queue as states begin conversations for opening up their borders,” says the letter.
Home Secretary Pritti Patel announced quaratine plan details on Friday. She said: “We recognise how hard these changes will be for our travel and leisure sectors, who are already struggling in these unprecedented times.
“Across government, we continue to work with them and support what is an incredibly dynamic sector to find new ways to reopen international travel and tourism in a safe and responsible way.”
She added that the 14-day self-isolation rule will be reviewed every three weeks.
Some airlines have announced plans to increase flight numbers this summer after air travel ground to a virtual halt because of the coronavirus lockdowns imposed by many governments.
However, some have argued that the two-week-long quarantine will put people off travel and be difficult to enforce.