A chorus of criticism from the hospitality industry has greeted confirmation the UK will introduce quarantine measures from next week.
Home secretary Priti Patel underlined the new system will be implemented on Monday, with all arrivals in the country expected to self-isolate for 14-days.
Travellers failing to do so could be subject to £1,000 fines.
In response to the announcement, George Morgan-Grenville, chief executive of Red Savannah, responded: “It is clear that Priti Patel has neither listened to the concerns of the travel industry, nor seems unduly bothered by them.
“We are none the wiser as to the science behind the rationale for quarantine and we still don’t know what the ‘enhanced border measures’ in March actually achieved.
“But what we do know, is that ‘Global Britain’ is shut for business.”
He added: “It is the wrong policy that is going to cause untold misery for hundreds of thousands of people who will now very likely be made redundant.
“The government are responsible for lives and livelihoods.”
Ryanair yesterday branded the plans “useless,” while hospitality businesses have called for a rethink, warning the situation could economically ruinous.
WTTC president Gloria Guevara added her voice to the criticism.
“Once again, we call on the UK government to remove the 14-day quarantine as soon as possible.
“Quarantines should not be necessary if appropriate and effective containment measures are in place at departure and arrival points.”
Data from the WTTC shows the Covid-19 crisis has placed over one million tourism jobs at risk in the UK.
As the sixth largest economy in the world, and the third largest in Europe in terms of the tourism, it is critical the sector drives the economic recovery, as its contributes nine per cent of UK GDP and is responsible for 11 per cent of total UK employment, Guevara added.
“While the government has managed well the overall response to the COVID-19 crisis, we believe the 14-day quarantine will put the UK at a distinct competitive disadvantage,” the WTTC leader continued.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, warned consumers to be wary of booking trips.
He added: “The government is causing confusion as it continues to issue conflicting advice between the imposition of a 14-day quarantine and the talk of air bridges while the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel ban against all travel is still in place.
“We are now in a position where travel firms and airlines are selling holidays that are unlikely to go ahead, while failing to warn people that there will be little hope of a refund if flights are still running.”
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