Campaign urges UK government to scrap 14-day quarantine for arrivals

Eloise Hanson Eloise Hanson Uploaded 03 June 2020

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UK: Over 200 travel and hospitality businesses have backed a nationwide campaign urging the UK government to overturn its planned 14-day quarantine for international arrivals.

Hotels, travel companies and restauranteurs have claimed the policy is “unworkable” in a letter sent to Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The letter calls for air bridges to be created, which would enable people to travel between counties where the risk of infection is deemed low.

The Herald reported that George Morgan-Grenville, CEO of Red Savannah (whose leading the campaign), said: “This is not just a group of company bosses complaining, but employees from bottom to top calling for the quarantine plans to be quashed. The extent of [the] pain is deeply worrying for our economy and our country.”

Other firms which support the campaign include hotelier Sir Rocco Forte, the Ritz, Dorchester and Hyatt Regency London hotels, travel firms Kuoni and Inghams, and chef Jason Atherton.

The government’s current plan insists that travellers quarantine for 14 days for a “temporary, time-limited” period, or face a £1000 fine. It is scheduled to come into practice Monday 8 June, and will be reviewed every three weeks.

Lorry drivers, medical officers and farm workers are among those exempt from the requirements.

The Telegraph reported that some ministers are working to change the quarantine plans, stating that prime minister Boris Johnson is “personally in favour” of the air bridges policy.

Officials are looking to negotiate travel corridors with low-risk countries like Australia and Greece. According to the BBC, an air bridge between the UK and Portugal could be secured by the end of June.

Northern Ireland is to bring in the 14-day quarantine rule, which will apply to anyone arriving from outside the common travel area (United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands). Arrangements are yet to be determined.

Further details on the quarantine rules in England are due to be released by Patel in a statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday 3 June.

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