Senior MPs join call on Government to scrap 14-day quarantine plans

28 May 2020, 11:28

Extra measures have been introduced at UK airports
Extra measures have been introduced at UK airports. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Dozens of travel firms – supported by a cross-party group of MPs - have called on the Government to scrap plans for a 14-day quarantine on people coming into the UK due to coronavirus.

In a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, more than 80 travel companies and hotel owners, supported by a growing number of senior politicians, have expressed concerns about the impact of the policy on businesses in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown.

"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," the letter says.

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People who signed the letter include the owner of The Ritz, The Savoy, The Goring, Claridge's and The Dorchester.

They are being backed by a group of around 40 MPs - including former Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, ex-aviation minister Paul Maynard and former immigration minister Caroline Nokes – who warned that millions of jobs could be at risk.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the global travel industry accounts for over 10% - or $8.9 trillion - of the world’s GDP as well as 1 in 10 jobs around the world.

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In 2019, the sector generated almost £200 billion to the UK economy alone,

The businesses also criticised the Government’s refusal to impose a quarantine in the early days of the pandemic.

It letter adds: "Many people urged the Government to impose quarantine regulations during the early phases of Covid-19.

"Instead, no action was taken and flights from many infected countries were allowed to land, making it easy for thousands of potentially affected passengers to spread the virus into the wider UK community."

Several countries, including France, have already said they will impose an identical quarantine for UK visitors in response to the government’s decision.

LBC News has contacted the Home Office for comment.