More than 70 bosses of travel companies have signed a letter calling on the Home Secretary to scrap plans to impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine on people arriving in the UK due to the coronavirus.
From 8 June travellers arriving from abroad will be asked to quarantine for 14 days or risk paying a £1,000 fine to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
“The very last thing the travel industry needs, is a mandatory quarantine imposed on all arriving passengers which will 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,” the letter says.
“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, disgorging thousands of potentially affected passengers into the wider community.”
“Covid-19 is now under control and we commend the government for its handling of what was an extraordinary and unprecedented situation. However, the economic cost of the government’s action is yet to be seen, apart from the early indicators which paint a grim picture.”
A Home Office spokesperson told the BBC: “As the world begins to emerge from what we hope is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, we must look to the future and protect the British public by reducing the risk of cases crossing our border.
“We continue to support businesses in the tourism sector through one of the most generous economic packages provided anywhere in the world. However, it is right that we introduce these new measures now to keep the transmission rate down and prevent a devastating second wave.”