Published on Friday, May 22, 2020

Quarantine plans are 'brick wall' to tourism recovery

The Government's new quarantine rules will have a hugely damaging impact on both UK inbound and outbound tourism, says ABTA.

Here's what the association and others in the industry had to say in response to the plans.

Protecting public health is a priority and it's vital to base decisions about travel on the best health and scientific advice. No-one should be in any doubt, however, that a 14-day quarantine period for all travellers returning to the UK will unavoidably put many people off travelling abroad or visiting the UK, and will therefore have a hugely damaging impact on the UK inbound and outbound tourism industries - which support hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country and have already been severely affected by the pandemic.

It's therefore critical that the Government regularly reviews this policy~- including assessing its effectiveness and how it works with other control measures. We'd also continue to urge the Government to keep any measures proportionate, targeted and limited only to what is necessary and to seek a coordinated approach with destinations in the EU and beyond.

In addition, as we enter the recovery phase it is critically important that both businesses and travellers are given clear and consistent guidance and messaging in relation to travel and tourism. This will be vital to support consumer confidence in future travel plans.

Charlie Cornish, Group CEO for MAG, the parent of Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports

For as long as it lasts, a blanket quarantine policy will be a brick wall to the recovery of the UK aviation and tourism industries, with huge consequences for UK jobs and GDP. By enabling people to travel between the UK and low risk countries, the aviation industry is able to help lead the UK economy out of this crisis, just as it has in previous recessions. But in order for this to happen, the Government must work quickly to create a smart and targeted approach that recognises that many countries are already low risk.

European countries are starting to open up, and some that are popular with British holidaymakers want to agree two-way arrangements with the UK to enable travel.

Government has to take a risk-based approach to quarantine arrangements to enable air travel to restart and to allow British people to enjoy well-earned holidays in safe countries. At the same time this would help kick start UK tourism and hospitality industries, saving businesses and jobs.

A blanket quarantine will seriously jeopardise the long term future of the sector and put tens of thousands of jobs, and billions of pounds of economic value, at risk.

Julia Lo Bue-Said, CEO Advantage Travel Partnership
The news shared yesterday by the Home Office that travellers arriving in Britain from June 8 are required to self-isolate for 14-days places tremendous strain on tourism businesses. Health and safety of travellers and our colleagues is our number one priority and we ask that government reconsider all available options to keep travel moving. We urge the Government to increase consultation with the travel industry around the concept of Air Bridges to provide a lifeline to travel agents, airlines, hoteliers, tour operators and business travel.

The uncertainty that the government has created around when British travellers can travel abroad again is causing deep consequences for the tourism industry. Our research shows that two thirds of Brits would like to head overseas once restrictions are lifted but they will only have the confidence to if the UK government works with the travel sector to establish guidelines that protect travellers.

These measures do not change the company's plans, either for transporting freight goods or for passenger transport. Eurotunnel's teams are ready to offer our customers a 'contactless' experience which both ensures compliance with necessary health measures and will allow for passenger traffic to resume as soon as possible.

Jacques Gounon, CEO and Chief Executive of the Group added: "From the numerous booking enquiries we are getting, we can see a growing desire among our customers to organise their summer holidays, with a growing appetite for car trips. I hope that the evolution of the pandemic in the UK and France will soon allow governments to facilitate the resumption of trade and travel which in turn will act as a support to the recovery of the economy and aid tourism in both countries."

BAR UK chief executive Dale Keller
The Government needs to urgently bring forward plans to lift blanket travel restrictions through alternative risk-based measures that will enable airlines to restart safe and low risk international travel. The restart and recovery of aviation is intrinsic to reviving the UK economy and only through implementing more targeted and internationally aligned measures can the UK reconnect to its global markets.

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