Airlines say two-week quarantine plan ‘will kill’ international travel

Linda J. Dodson

Ministers have been warned plans to impose a 14-day quarantine on passengers arriving at British airports will “effectively kill international travel” and “cause immeasurable damage” to the aviation industry and wider economy.

The unilateral move by the Government, criticised as part of a “global patchwork” of uncoordinated measures, “will be incredibly damaging for consumer confidence”, bosses said.

This weekend the Telegraph reported that the Government is drawing up plans to segregate travellers for up to a fortnight. 

Passengers who fail to remain at an address given to authorities will face large fines under an initiative overseen by Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, and Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary.  

Ministers are yet to formally confirm quarantine, which is expected to be introduced as early as next month. George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, told Sunday’s Downing Street press conference that quarantining was “coming down the line”.

The plans are thought to have blindsided airport and airline bosses, who have yet to be briefed by the Department for Transport about them during their regular conference calls. 

Airlines UK, the main trade body for British carriers, said: “This proposal would effectively kill international travel to and from the UK and cause immeasurable damage to the aviation industry and wider UK economy. 

“Nobody is going to go on holiday if they’re not able to resume normal life for 14 days, and business travel would be severely restricted. It will also make it all but impossible for aviation to resume any time soon, thereby setting back the UK’s economic recovery still further.”

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