Aviation experts have warned on Saturday that placing all passengers in a 14-day quarantine for those who enter the UK will have a devastating impact.
A trade body warned that there will be an impact on the aviation sector and the economy, after ministers announced the mandatory quarantine.
According to The Times newspaper, the Prime Minister is set to announce on Sunday the quarantine measures, but there is much confusion over the details, and there needs to be a “clear” exit plan.
The newspaper reported that the authorities “will conduct spot checks” with harsh punishments of fines “up to £1,000” along with deportation for those who break the strict measures.
A spokesman for Airlines UK said, “We need to see the detail of what they are proposing.
“We will be asking for assurances that this decision has been led by the science and that government has a credible exit plan, with weekly reviews to ensure the restrictions are working and still required.”
However, Airport Operators Association (AOA) chief executive Karen Dee said, “Quarantine would not only have a devastating impact on the UK aviation industry, but also on the wider economy.
“If the Government believe quarantine is medically necessary, then it should be applied on a selective basis following the science, there should be a clear exit strategy and the economic impact on key sectors should be mitigated.
“The Government should commit to a weekly review of the quarantine measures and publish the evidence that informs the review’s outcome.
“If quarantine is a necessary tool for fighting Covid-19, then the Government should act decisively to protect the hundreds of thousands of airport-related and travel-related jobs across the UK.
“These measures should include granting immediate business rates relief to airports and related service providers as well as relief from Civil Aviation Authority charges for the whole aviation sector.”
A Home Office spokeswoman told the PA news agency, “We do not comment on leaks. The focus remains on staying at home to protect the NHS and save lives.”
Shadow Transport Secretary Jim McMahon said, “The government needs to work closely with airlines, airport operators and Border Force to implement practical solutions to stop the spread of this virus.
“Ill-thought through proposals will fail as soon as they are rolled out, leaving the country back in a precarious situation.
“This sort of policy should have been worked through weeks ago.
“It’s systematic of a government that was too slow to enter the lockdown, too slow to get vital protective equipment to NHS, social care and other key workers, and too slow on testing and tracing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“It will take a long time to recover from the impact of the virus. The government must come up with a comprehensive financial support package for the aviation sector and its supply chain which supports almost a quarter of a million jobs.”