The restrictions have been put in place to prevent a second peak of the virus emerging. However a new survey by online holiday rentals platform Clickstay shows that 79 per cent of holidaymakers said they would not go on holiday abroad this summer if the government follows through with their plans. This could be devastating for the travel sector who are already suffering economic impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, Thomas Hughes, the Founder and Managing Director of Clickstay, said: “I think a blanket two-week quarantine would be devastating for the travel sector.
“Based on our research, it will deter the vast majority of people from going abroad this summer.
“Many British travel companies will not be able to survive such an outcome.”
On Wednesday the home secretary, Priti Patel, announced border force will be checking that travellers entering the UK fill out a form with their contact details and the location where they will be isolating.
From Monday anyone arriving in the UK will be forced to quarantine for two-weeks
Priti Patel announced border force will be checking travellers entering the UK
Speaking to the Commons, Ms Patel said: “Scientific advice is that imported cases of the virus pose a more significant threat to our national effort and our recovery.”
She added: “We will not allow a reckless minority to put our domestic recovery at risk.”
Mr Hughes told Express.co.uk: “I understand the government’s primary concern is public health, and rightly so.
“I do think, however, that should they follow through with a blanket two-week quarantine, it is in their interest to support travel companies, or run the risk of many businesses going under and the resulting unemployment that comes with that.”
The restrictions have been put in place to prevent a second peak of the virus emerging
Following the governments announcements, International Airlines Group (IAG), who own British Airways, are considering legal action over the quarantine plans.
Willie Walsh, the CEO of IAG, told Sky News that airlines had not been consulted on the two-week quarantine plans for people entering the UK.
Mr Walsh said: “We think it is irrational, disproportionate and we are giving consideration to a legal challenge to this legislation.
“We are reviewing that with the lawyers later on today.”
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The travel sector are already suffering economic impacts from the coronavirus pandemic
International Airlines Group are considering legal action over the quarantine plans
He added: “I suspect there are other airlines who are doing so, because it’s important to point out there was no consultation with the industry prior to enacting this legislation and we do believe it is an irrational piece of legislation.”
On Thursday, British Airways refused to attend a meeting with the Home Secretary to discuss the quarantine rules.
Last month, leaders of over 70 UK travel and hospitality businesses signed a petition urging Priti Patel to drop the 14-day quarantine plans.
Mr Hughes described the impacts the two-week isolation on the travel sector.
He told Express.co.uk: “The long term impact of these restrictions will be a shift in which companies control the market.
“For those that can weather the storm of the next year or two, the rewards will be great.
“The travel market will bounce back at some point, but it might take a few years to get back to the highs of 2019.”
The two-week quarantine plans will be reviewed in three weeks, after their introduction on Monday.
British Airways refused to attend a meeting with the Home Secretary to discuss the quarantine rules
However, Mr Hughes told Express.co.uk that he would like the government to roll out the ‘air bridge’ policy to as many countries as is reasonably safe to this summer.
An ‘air bridge’ would mean passengers travelling between the UK and specific destinations could do so without needing to self-isolate for two weeks when arriving in the UK.
Mr Hughes added: “This would hopefully limit the worst of the financial damage while still keeping control of the virus.”