Plans to quarantine all travellers arriving in the UK will “destroy the sector”, the World Travel & Tourism Council has warned.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, WTTC chief executive Gloria Guevara warned of the consequences of the UK government’s proposal to make all travellers entering the country quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at their own expense.
“WTTC is in no doubt they would destroy the UK travel and tourism sector as we know it,” she said.
She warned: “With the sector in such a fragile state, the introduction of hotel quarantines by the UK government could force the complete collapse of travel and tourism as we know it. Consumers would not book business or leisure trips for many months, causing a drastic drop in revenues.”
“Even the threat of such action is enough to cause consternation and serious alarm. But if it were to stretch a significant length of time, the damage could be incalculable. It is all so unnecessary - especially when we have measures in place which the government introduced only last week - such as proof of a pre-departure Covid-19 test, followed by short quarantine and another test if necessary.”
These actions, Guevara said, should be given time to work, adding that there was “absolutely no evidence” to suggest forced quarantine was effective.
“The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), along with many other major organisations, have said that quarantines are not an effective public health measure and only hinder travel.
“Internationally recognised testing on departure and arrival is the only way forward to avoid extinguishing the economy while still stopping new variants in their tracks. This would mean only those who need to quarantine actually do so.”
Guevara called for a “roadmap for recovery”, saying “we need to fully understand the endgame”.