More than 70 travel bosses sign letter calling for end to quarantine

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More than 70 bosses of travel companies have signed a letter calling on the government to scrap a planned 14-day quarantine for arrivals from overseas.

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 coronavirus..

Holiday and travel firms have repeatedly warned that the regulations will damage their businesses as they try to emerge from the coronavirus lockdown.

Read more: IATA chief: Don’t politicise quarantine measures

The letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel said the travel and holiday sector is “severely challenged,” the BBC reported.

The businesses said the policy would reduce visitor numbers to the UK and said it may make it harder for UK residents to travel aboard.

“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 said.

The letter said the quarantine plan should have been introduced earlier if it was to be effective.

“Many people urged the government to impose quarantine regulations during the early phases of Covid-19,” the letter said.

“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.”

Read more: UK arrivals face £1,000 fine if they break two-week quarantine rule

Signatories reportedly include Edward Orr, chair of Mr & Mrs Smith, the hotelier Sir Rocco Forte and Derek Jones – chief executive of Der Touristik UK, which includes Kuoni, Kirker Holidays and Carrier and the general managers of London hotels including the Connaught, the Savoy, Claridge’s, the Ritz and the Shangri-La in the Shard.

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.”

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