From the 8th of June, the Government plans to introduce a new regime of red-tape for those travelling to the UK - a 14 day quarantine on arrival, or a £1,000 fine.
I joined the Future of Aviation Group, a new cross-party group of MPs fighting for the future of UK aviation, to ask the Home Office to rethink this unworkable policy which will destroy jobs in the aviation and tourism sector which is critical for East Sussex.
Alternative options in tackling the spread of Covid-19 can be bought forward, for example 'air-bridges' with countries where the Covid-19 infection rate is lower than that in the UK. The Future of Aviation Group is working with Airlines UK, the Airport Operators Association and the Internal Air Transport Association to draw up constructive proposals for the future of aviation. The UK tourism sector has also raised their concerns, with leaders of the tourism industry asking the Government for a rethink. This sector accounts for almost 4 million jobs, many of which are in East Sussex. Concerns have also been raised on how the plan will be policed and the resources needed to cover the reporting of breaking quarantine.
A blunt approach to overseas travel will not only risk the hopes of British families enjoying a well earned couple of weeks in the sun, but crucially, it will act as a handbrake on British tourism’s chance to rebound. Last year the travel sector contributed £200bn to the UK economy, around 9% of GDP. The new proposed regime is the very last thing we need in East Sussex, damaging many jobs in our local economy just as we are easing out of lockdown. This poorly thought out and unworkable quarantine plan needs a rethink quickly.
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