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Travel restrictions could result in livelihoods lost’ over ‘quarantine roulette’

by Mark Fitt Political Journalist
14th Aug 20 12:09 pm

The British government have reimposed travel restrictions to France which has an estimated 500,000 British holidaymakers facing a mandatory 14-day quarantine from 4am on Saturday.

The government have also place Malta, the Netherlands, Monaco, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Aruba on the two-week UK quarantine list.

The travel industry are warning that as a result of the weekly changes in the “disruptive” quarantine rules, this could result in “livelihoods being lost.”

A spokeswoman for travel trade organisation ABTA says: “The government’s measures to restrict travel will result in livelihoods being lost unless it can step in with tailored support for the travel industry.

“The announcements relating to Spain, and now France, impact the two biggest destinations for British holidaymakers at the height of the summer season, affecting an industry that has had its trade significantly restricted since the start of this crisis.

“At this time of recession, a plan is urgently needed to protect the 221,000 jobs the travel industry sustains.”

With six nations now placed on the red list and now France the aviation sector are concerned as this is yet “another devastating blow to the travel industry.”

The industry are urging the government put an end to the “stop and go” changes and there needs to be a regional approach.

Tim Alderslade, CEO of Airlines UK, the industry association representing UK-registered carriers, warned, “It’s another devastating blow to the travel industry already reeling from the worst crisis in its history.

“Having the political will to move to a sub-national approach to quarantine, in addition to a testing regime for arriving passengers so that those testing negative can avoid having to self-isolate, which other countries like Germany have already implemented, is urgently needed.”

He added that this is needed “to provide carriers and customers with additional certainty around the ability to operate this autumn and winter, avoiding broad-brush, weekly ‘stop and go’ changes to travel corridors at a national level, which have proven so disruptive to airlines and passengers alike.”

Shares in airlines have tumbled over the new restrictions which has seen travel agent Tui, easyJey, Ryanair and British Airways all be dragged down in the FTSE 100 index.

A Heathrow Airport spokesman advised, “The UK needs a more sustainable long-term plan for the resumption of travel than quarantine roulette.

“Testing could provide an opportunity to safely reduce the length of quarantine in certain circumstances, protecting both the health and wealth of the nation as we pave a path towards a new normal.

“As ever, our teams will be on hand to support passengers impacted by the travel restrictions, but we urge government to work with us to trial a solution which could help to provide more certainty.”

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