UK hospitality warns quarantine would cause economic disaster
A new survey among the owners and chief executives of UK travel and hospitality businesses says they expect to make redundant up to 60 per cent of their staff if planned quarantine measures are introduced by the government next Monday.
The quarantine measures, if they go ahead on June 8th, will mean that anyone entering UK ports, airports and Eurostar, unless exempt, will have to quarantine at home for 14 days after their arrival or face £1,000 fines.
Officials were due to examine the measures in discussions today, with reports suggesting some members of parliament support a loosening of the requirements.
The survey was conducted among owners and chief executives accounting for over £5 billion worth of sales in the travel industry.
In the survey, 94 per cent of business leaders said they expect their summer bookings to disappear if quarantine plans are introduced.
Half of those who responded expect their future bookings to drop by between 80 and 100 per cent.
As a result of the extreme Government measures, 71 per cent of chief executives say they expect to make almost two-thirds of their staff redundant.
In an even more worrying sign, 28 per cent of company leaders say they may cease trading altogether if quarantine plans proceed.
However, in a finding that will cause concern to the chancellor Rishi Sunak, 99 per cent of chief executives interviewed say the quarantine measures will cause widespread damage to the UK economy.
George Morgan-Grenville, chief executive of tour operator Red Savannah, who is leading the campaign to get the quarantine measures overturned, commented: “The findings are catastrophic for the UK economy and for the travel and hospitality sector.
“By pursuing its quarantine plans without due regard for the economic consequences, the government is choosing to ignore the devastation it will cause to companies, to employment and to the lives of all those whose jobs will be lost.
“The quarantine measures are a blunt weapon which will bring only economic disaster.”
Over 300 companies have now endorsed a letter to the home secretary, Priti Patel, calling on the government suspend the policy.
The companies are also calling for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to amend its current travel advice warning against all non-essential travel as this is also preventing people booking future holidays.
Countries with an equal or lower rate of Covid-19 to the UK should be exempted from the current advice, they argued.