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WTTC Urges UK to Lift 14-day Quarantine and Enable Tourism

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is calling on Britain to drop its 14-day quarantine measure for incoming travelers in order to enable travel and support the restart of tourism in Europe.

The UK is among the few countries in Europe still requiring incoming travelers to remain in self isolation for a period of 14 days.

“Once again, we call on the UK government to remove the 14-day quarantine as soon as possible. Quarantines should not be necessary if appropriate and effective containment measures are in place at departure and arrival point,” said WTTC President and CEO Gloria Guevara.

She underlined that the measure will have a “significant and long-lasting negative effect on the travel & tourism sector”.

WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Europe, countries including Greece, Germany, France, Cyprus, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Albania, Austria, Hungary, Montenegro and the Czech Republic have announced that they will gradually open up to tourists from Europe this month, as authorities begin to ease Covid-19 restrictions.

“While the UK government has managed well the overall response to the Covid-19 crisis, we believe the 14-day quarantine will put the UK at a distinct competitive disadvantage,” said Guevara.

“We have no doubt these measures will deter both business and leisure travelers from visiting major hubs throughout the country.

At the same time, the British government appears to be examining the possibility of replacing Covid-19 quarantine for arrivals with the introduction of an “air bridges” policy next month. According to a report in the Financial Times, Turkey, Greece, Spain and Portugal are considering the option, under which UK holidaymakers visiting Mediterranean resorts would not be quarantined for 14 days after their return.

Photo Source: IATA

Photo Source: IATA

“It will worsen an already critical situation and delay the much-needed recovery of the UK economy. So, it’s vital that ‘air corridors’ to low-infection countries are opened as soon as possible,” said Guevara.

The WTTC and the European Commission, however, have repeatedly warned against the creation of so-called travel clusters or “travel bubbles”.

According to WTTC data, the coronavirus crisis has endangered over 1.2 million travel and tourism jobs in the UK.

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