The home secretary and transport secretary will host a roundtable tomorrow (4 June) with the travel industry to discuss how they can “innovate together” and make a long-term plan for the sector.
It came after Priti Patel confirmed to MPs today that the quarantine scheme will go ahead from 8 June, with the blanket approach to visitors from overseas “necessary”.
The first review will take place in the week commencing 28 June with the measures assessed on an ongoing basis thereafter.
She added, though, they were temporary restrictions that would be reviewed.
“We will only consider reviewing these measures when we think it is safe to do so because public health must always come first,” she said.
She said the government “understands how tough the measures are for this sector”.
“We are liaising with bodies such as the international CAA on measures and want the industry to work with us.
“Tomorrow, with the transport secretary, we will host a roundtable to work across the travel and business sector about how we can innovate together and make a long-term plan for the industry.”
Patel did not give an update on when the Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel would be lifted, but said in the long term this would “ensure greater freedom”.
Travel corridors are part of the options being considered, she added.
“Across government and with the sector we will continue to explore all options for future safe travel,” said Patel.
“Any international approaches will be bi-lateral and agreed with the other countries concerned. We’ll have to ensure that those countries are deemed to be safe.
“We know these measures present difficulties for the tourism industry… we’ll all suffer in the long run if we get this wrong.”
Elsewhere, Patel addressed suggestions that public health measures at the border should have been introduced when the virus was at its peak.
“Advice at the time was that such measures would have made little difference when domestic transition was widespread,” she said.
“Now the transmission rate has declined and international travel is set to resume from its record low.
“So the scientific advice is that imported cases pose a more significant threat to our national recovery. Travellers from overseas could become a high proportion of infections in the UK.”
MPs went on to question these claims, however.