Best Western has told BH that the hotel chain is ‘still in the dark’ on the government’s plans to introduce a mandatory quarantine for international travellers into the UK.
Speaking to BH, Andrew Denton at Best Western said that despite offering support from the group’s member properties, hoteliers have not had any contact with the Prime Minister over the new plans.
“We have been offering to help the Government for 11 months now,” he says. “But despite numerous offers to help and protocols shared with officials we are still in the dark, flights still arrive and the success of the vaccine programme is being undermined by not having a quarantine solution in place.
“It’s crazy to think we have a proven national solution we can press go on today, but no-one has made contact.”
Rob Paterson, chief executive of Best Western, appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning and stressed that the hospitality industry “needed some assurance of what demand levels are going to be”, as well as clarification on “security protocols”.
Boris Johnson announced the new hotel quarantine measures in January, which would see UK nationals and residents arriving into the country from 22 ‘Covid hotspots’ would have to isolate in government-approved hotels upon their return.
However, no start date has been confirmed and there was further confusion yesterday when Johnson told a Downing Street press conference that health secretary Matt Hancock would make a further announcement on these plans today.
Later, No.10 told the media that the Prime Minister had been ‘misinformed’.
He added: “We have a huge amount of experience through London Hotel Group’s partnership with Kings College Hospital in London accommodating Covid+ and Covid- patients in hotels. We are the hospitality leaders in this area.
“The Government has a huge job tackling Covid19, hotel quarantine is one small part of that. We can take that problem away overnight and deal with our partners to get a scheme up and running in 24 hours.”