Quarantine will destroy travel firms

48% of people willing to travel “within months”

Empty planes could kill the travel industry

The Times today features the headline that the coronavirus quarantine period for people entering the UK could kill the airline and overseas tourism sector. Ministers have been warned that it will have the same impact as closing the UK’s borders. At the moment legislation is due to come into effect next Monday that will force any new arrivals into isolating at one address for 14 days

The newspaper reports that aviation leaders have warned that it would damage the economic recovery at a crucial time and cost thousands of jobs in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. They were joined in their opposition to the quarantine proposals by tourism bodies and a good number of politicians.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) has provided research showing that Britons were “relatively keen to travel again”, finding that 48% of people in the UK would be willing to climb on a plane within a “month or two” of the threat posed by COVID-19 being controlled. Strangely, this figure is well above the international average. They said

“As the concern about Covid-19 recedes, if the quarantine is still in place people are not going to travel. It is not a question of being prepared to go through quarantine because they want to travel. All the evidence we have is that this will just kill travel. Governments seem to have a stark choice. They cannot pretend that quarantine enables their international travel markets to open up, because the evidence is quite simply not there. If they persist with quarantine it is effectively the same as locking down your country”.

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