Travel leaders have called on government to plot a roadmap out of the Covid crisis, warning the introduction of mandatory hotel quarantine for some arrivals all but marks the industry hitting rock bottom.
After several weeks of speculation, prime minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday (27 January) confirmed arrivals from 22 high-risk countries would be met upon their arrival in England and transported straight to a government-arranged quarantine facility, likely a hotel, where they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days.
He added the government was in talks with the UK’s devolved administrations to ensure a UK-wide approach "where possible" when it came to hotel quarantine measures.
Dale Keller, chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives, said that while he welcomed the hotel quarantine measures being extended, initially, to just the 22 high-risk countries from which travel is currently all-but banned, but stressed it didn’t significantly soften the blow to travel.
"The aviation sector is struggling with the depth and duration of this crisis and we can only hope we have now reached rock bottom," he said.
"Coming out of this crisis, the government should have the benefit of improved science and hindsight, so right now is the time to support the sector and to effectively plan a strategic pathway towards the safe reopening of international travel in conjunction with the industry.”
Johnson confirmed the government would publish the results of a review of the country’s lockdown measures on 22 February, providing it hits its target to vaccinate everyone in the four groups most vulnerable to Covid.