The Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday has sparked concerns over how the travel industry will cope. As many Britons face the possibility of not being able to travel abroad this summer, the travel industry in the UK and across the world could see an even bigger plummet in revenue. Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested that most airline passengers arriving in the UK from abroad will have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.
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This also includes people arriving into UK ports and via Eurostar.
Although no further dates or details have been released yet, it is expected that more information will be published in the UK Government’s 50-page guide today.
Now, airlines are revealing that the new rules could potentially “kill international travel from the UK” and further “damage” the aviation industry as more airlines face the possibility of slow business.
Airlines UK, a trade body for UK registered airlines, said the new rules would “effectively kill international travel to and from the UK, and cause immeasurable damage to the aviation industry and wider UK economy”.
It told The Times: “Nobody is going to go on holiday if they’re not able to resume normal life for 14 days, and business travel would be severely restricted.
“It will also make it all but impossible for aviation to resume any time soon, thereby setting back the UK’s economic recovery still further.”
In response to Mr Johnson’s announcement, CEO of Airlines UK Tim Alderslade released a statement which said that although public health is the priority, these new rules for air travel “are not the way to do this”.
He said: “Public health must of course be the priority and we respect the Sage advice.
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“We all – including Government – need to adapt to the new normal but closing off air travel in this way is not the way to achieve this.
“Ministers are effectively telling people they can no longer travel for the foreseeable future and airlines will respond to that by grounding their operations – and that is why they require urgent additional Government support to get through this growing crisis.”
There are now calls for the Government’s Job Retention Scheme to be extended until October to help save the industry.
Airlines UK also suggested that there needs to be payment holidays for Air Passenger Duty and charges including Air traffic control and the Civil Aviation Authority.
Chairman of the Institute of Travel and Tourism Steven Freudmann told The Guardian that the latest quarantine rules are a “nightmare”.
He said: “The travel industry is already in meltdown, so it’s not an exaggeration to say that a 14-day quarantine imposed on all overseas arrivals in the UK would have a devastating impact.
“Who is going to book a city break in Paris or Barcelona or even a week on the Mediterranean, only to face a 14-day isolation period on their return?
“Which employers are going to grant a month’s holiday to those taking a two-week break?
“It’s a bad dream turning into a nightmare!”
The new rules mean that almost everyone who arrives in the UK from abroad must stay in quarantine for 14 days.
All people arriving at airports, ports and on the Eurostar trains will have to provide a UK address where they will be staying and immediately self-isolating for 14 days.
UK authorities will then conduct spot checks on these individuals, with those caught breaking the rules receiving fines of up to £1,000 or deportation.
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