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WTTC says now is the time for internationally recognised testing on departure and arrivals

Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO: “The latest expected announcement from the UK government, which will force UK arrivals to quarantine in a hotel for up to two weeks at their own cost, will be yet another crushing blow to the ailing UK Travel & Tourism sector.

“After months of forced quarantines post travel, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest it works. Even the government’s own figures show quarantines have not proved to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. 

“The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has said forcing air travellers to quarantine is not recommended and is not an effective public health measure. Community transmission poses a far greater peril than international travel.

“The UK Government has put in place a risk avoidance strategy - at huge social and economic cost to the country - when it could and should be more effective by managing the risk instead.

“WTTC believes the only way to revive international travel is for the wholesale introduction of an internationally recognised testing scheme on departure and arrival. This would avoid exporting the virus and enable the free movement of travellers, while observing common sense hygiene protocols such as mask wearing and social distancing.

“No inbound British or international traveller would want to embark on a trip knowing they’d face this disruption and be forced to pay for an additional two weeks in a hotel upon arrival, just to satisfy an unnecessary and unhelpful quarantine, which will do nothing to curb COVID-19. 

“International arrivals spend was over £28bn in 2019. So, the longer we delay the restart of international travel, the more profound will its loss be upon the UK economy and further set back its recovery from this punishing pandemic.”