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Published on Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Dire UK hotel quarantine warning

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) says the introduction of new hotel quarantines by the UK government would force the complete collapse of travel and tourism.

It says new proposals being considered by the UK Government, due to be announced later today, would cause 'irreparable damage' to a sector which contributes nearly £200 billion to the UK economy.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is believed to be considering introducing a mandatory hotel quarantine for arrivals from high risk countries, including South Africa and Brazil.

It hasn't yet been confirmed whether arrivals from other - or all - countries would also have to quarantine in hotels.

Also, it isn't yet known whether the measure will be extended to UK residents or only foreign arrivals.

It is believed the Government will expect individuals to foot the bill for their quarantine, which is expected to amount to more than £1000 each.

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: "Travellers and holidaymakers would simply not book business or leisure trips knowing they would have to pay to isolate in a hotel, causing a drastic drop in revenues throughout the sector.

"From airlines to travel agents, travel management companies to holiday companies and beyond, the effect on UK travel businesses would be devastating, further delaying the economic recovery. Even the threat of such action is enough to cause consternation and serious alarm.

"WTTC believes the measures introduced by the government just last week - proof of a pre-departure COVID-19 test, followed by short quarantine and another test if necessary - could stop the virus in its tracks, and still allow the freedom to travel safely.

"A number of countries, such as Iceland, have successfully implemented a testing regime on arrival, which has curbed the spread, whilst ensuring borders remain open. So, it's crucial these measures are given some time to work."

WTTC maintains despite months of forced quarantines post travel, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest they work.

It says the Government's own figures show quarantines have not proved to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. "Community transmission continues to pose a far greater peril than international travel," it added.

And it cited the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, along with many other major organisations, which have said quarantines are not an effective public health measure and only hinder travel.

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  • Which Hotel?

    Unlikely but should I decide to travel, I hope the government don't decide to put me in the London Dorchester for 2 weeks, I can't quite afford £500 a night!

    By Keith Standen, Wednesday, January 27, 2021

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