The UK’s travel sector reacted to new government quarantine guidelines outlined by Prime Minister Johnson earlier, saying battling Covid-19 is the top priority but it needs more government support to survive.
Earlier today Johnson announced the UK would be introducing government-provided accommodations, for example hotels, for 10 days for those who cannot be refused entry into the UK from high-risk countries.
Heathrow Airport, the UK’s largest airport, said it fully backs any measures that protect public health but called for more fiscal aid
“Aviation will play a vital role in delivering the Government’s ambitions for Global Britain, levelling-up and a green recovery, but only if it survives – now we need 100% business rates relief, an extension to the furlough scheme and a roadmap to reopening borders safely,” said Heathrow in a statement to CNN.
The Airport Operators Association warned that these new measures are another blow to the industry adding that the public health benefit of the mandatory hotel quarantine remains to be seen, also echoing calls for more government action.
“The Australian and New Zealand governments have backed up their government-ordered aviation shutdowns with more than a billion dollars in combined aviation-specific support. It’s time the UK Government backed their tough stance on border with similar financial support for the industry hit hardest by that stance,” the Airport Operators Association said.
Separately, airline bosses from the UK’s biggest airlines, including British Airways, easyJet, Virgin, TUI, Loganair, and Jet2, have signed a joint letter to the Prime Minister asking to discuss an “exit plan and a bespoke support package” to save the 1.56 million jobs at “immediate risk.”
“Jobs are being lost at an alarming rate and longstanding businesses have gone to the wall,” the UK’s Travel Association ABTA told CNN.