Travel bosses demand lockdown exit strategy ahead of tough new Covid border measures

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Travel industry leaders are calling for the Government to release its economic impact assessment of hotel quarantine and publish a lockdown exit strategy for Spring.

The call comes ahead of Home Secretary Priti Patel setting out tougher quarantine measures for “red list countries where there is concern about potential new Covid variants.

Among other new measures to be announced, it is expected that all departing passengers from the UK will be asked by airlines and border officials if their journey is essential. Airlines will also be fined if they fail to enforce non-exemptions properly. More testing and enhanced enforcement measures will also be included.

Industry commentator Paul Charles, of The PC Agency, posted on social media: “The timeline for new hotel quarantine measures is going to be critical – too long before implementation and government will be in danger of letting in more strains. Too short, and British citizens won’t be able to get back to avoid 10 costly days in an hotel.

“Only a week ago the government introduced the “travel triple lock” for anyone entering the UK – a negative test, accurate passenger locator form and quarantine at home for up to 10 days. It appears to be working – so why change it now?”

His comments come amid demands for the Government to publish its Economic Impact Assessment on the various border restrictions.

Mr Charles posted: “The jobs impact on the travel sector, and people’s mental health by not taking a holiday, will be immense.

“Travel isn’t just about holidays. It’s vital cargo that enables medical supplies to be brought in; it’s vehicle parts that enable ambulances to function; food supplies; business meetings to enable investment in the U.K. as I say I look forward to seeing the impact assessment.”

Former cricket star Kevin Pietersen also questioned plans to introduce quarantine rules. He tweeted: “Covid hotels for ALL travellers arriving into the UK is just stupid.

“Should only be for people arriving from high risk countries or foreigners who don’t own their own property to isolate at. Then cops need to check people isolating at their own homes properly.”

Up to 100,000 passengers a week have been flying into the UK, according to aviation specialist @ cirium .. This will means that only arrivals from “red list” countries are forced into quarantine.

Recent figures showed that between January 5-12, scheduled passenger flights arriving in UK were from: Spain (227), Netherlands (198), United States (177), Poland (128), Romania (106), UAE (105), Portugal (87), Italy (81), Germany (71), France (67), Qatar (62).



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