Details on government approved hotels that will be used to accommodate isolating inbound travellers from high risk countries to the UK, will be set out next week by the Department of Health.
Yesterday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he will introduce a limited mandatory quarantine period for UK citizens returning from a list of 22 countries that have been deemed high risk in the spread of coronavirus.
These travellers will be required to isolate in a government approved hotel that has been ‘specifically designated for this purpose’ with official clarification on what this means to be revealed next week.
Travellers flying to the UK who are not citizens will be refused entry on arrival.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said that the sector was ‘happy to play a full part in the national effort’ and businesses ‘already have plans in place to ensure their venues are safe’.
She says: “It’s just as important, in the long term, that when travel resumes, the UK continues to have a strong reputation internationally as a safe destination and point of arrival to avoid acting as a longer-term deterrent to international visitors.
“Hospitality has shown its willingness to help wherever it can throughout this crisis, whether that be offering venues as vaccination centres or re-routing food to key workers. Once again, we are happy to play a full part in the national effort to help address this crisis. We have the capacity to help and businesses already have plans in place to ensure their venues are safe.”
However, Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, stressed that while ‘protecting public health is paramont’, there needs to be a ‘balance between health and economic priorities’.
She says: “These latest government proposals, to impose a 10-day hotel quarantine on those UK inbound travellers originating from so-called ‘high-risk’ countries, will still cause enormous damage to the Travel & Tourism sector.
“We firmly believe testing on departure and arrival for all travellers is the only way to halt the spread of the virus in its tracks, while still allowing negative testing passengers to travel in safety and restore international mobility. We will continue to urge the government to abandon ineffective and highly-destructive quarantines.”