Published on Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Harsh letter to Priti Patel causes unease among Quash Quarantine members


A second letter from Quash Quarantine to the Home Secretary has allegedly caused dissent in the group as some members weren't happy with its tone.

It called on Priti Patel to resign if the quarantine was found to be unlawful. The letter accused her of being oblivious to the pain that employees in the sector are going through and having no understanding of the commercial realities of running a business through this pandemic.

"With the greatest respect Home Secretary, you are presiding over an economic disaster that will soon be on an epic scale," said the letter.

"You will be remembered as the Home Secretary whom, despite being warned clearly of the consequences, continued to implement blindly and obstinately probably the most damaging and ineffectual piece of legislation that has ever been conceived by any UK government.

"Under your leadership, the Home Office has made no effort to engage with the many business owners who could have assisted your team to understand the real consequences....instead you held a single late afternoon Zoom call with a couple of trade bodies and to which the largest UK airline decided not to turn up to."

It ends by saying: "While the rest of Europe gets going again, the idea of a Global Britain is fast becoming a national embarrassment."

The group said not everyone had signed the letter, due to timing issues over the weekend, but TravelMole has been told some did not want to be associated with it.

Companies who did sign included Gold Medal & Travel 2, Travel Republic, Dnata Travel Group, Prestige Holidays, Red Savannah, and Netflights.

Quash Quarantine spokesman Paul Charles of The PC Agency said the letter was signed only by the group's founder George Morgan-Grenville but that it was endorsed by the majority of its members.

"The group remains entirely united on the need to see the quarantine measures removed and the FCO advice amended. I am not aware of anyone not wishing to endorse the letter, but it is important that individual views should be respected and members are entitled not to endorse it," he added.

A first letter to the Home Secretary in May was signed by 77 firms. It has not yet received a response.

Quash Quarantine has grown to over 410 travel and hospitality companies based in the UK and many more based overseas.

Led by Morgan-Grenville, CEO of tour operator Red Savannah, it is lobbying for effective test and trace, as well as airport swab testing, to be used as alternatives to quarantine and the FCO advice against non-essential travel.

It had previously considered taking legal action against the Government over its implementation of a quarantine, then later said it might join the action being taken by British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet.

It has now removed the threat of legal action after receiving private assurances from members of the Government that travel corridors will be put in place to selected destinations, and that the FCO's blanket travel ban will be lifted before the end of the month.

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