Overseas tourist offices have lent their weight to the industry lobby demanding the UK quarantine rules be abandoned.
The Association of National Tourist offices and Representatives (Antor) is also supporting the introduction of air bridges to low risk countries.
The association has written to prime minister Boris Johnson, foreign secretary Dominic Raab and transport secretary Grant Shapps putting forward its case.
The intervention comes as the government is tipped to relax the two-week quarantine rules to allow travel to ten approved countries, including France, Spain, Greece, Italy and Turkey.
The policy is up for review on June 29 and comes as Johnson is expected to announce today that UK hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation can reopen from July 4.
However, the European Commission has reportedly warned the UK could face a legal challenge over air bridges unless it opens them to all EU countries with similar coronavirus rates.
A Commission spokesman told The Daily Telegraph: “There can be no discrimination. This means that regions in similar health situations around Europe should benefit from the same treatment.
“We would therefore expect that if the UK decides to lift its restrictions for movement to and from another member dtate, or a specific area through air bridges, this should apply to all parts of the [European] Union in a similar epidemiological situation.”
Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency and member of the Quash Quarantine group, said: “It is unlawful to restrict movement to a few corridors but also unworkable, as I could simply drive from Spain across most of the EU anyway.
“Only a pan-EU corridor makes sense as a first step towards revitalising the travel sector.”
The Antor letter from chairman Tracey Poggio calls on ministers to “decide favourably” in the lifting of quarantine for low-risk countries, and to support the travel and tourism industry’s call for the establishment of international travel corridors between the UK and low-risk countries, by the end of the current review period.
Poggio said: “The UK travel industry represented 4 million jobs, 11% of our workforce, £200 billion to the economy and 11% of GDP in 2019.
“Analysing the current statistics of our 60 members, 24 countries have had less than 125 deaths from Covid-19 in total, 38 countries less than 1,000 deaths and 52 less than 10,000. There are six destinations who have had a higher number of cases per capita than the UK.
“By lifting the quarantine measures with immediate effect this will allow those low-risk countries with land and sea access, and acceptable preventative measures in place, to welcome British tourists this summer.”
Meanwhile, a ‘Responsible Tourism’ seal has been created for businesses that follow Spain’s official guides approved by the country’s health ministry for reducing the spread of Covid-19 in the tourism sector.
Guides for reducing the spread of the coronavirus in the tourism sector were drawn up in close collaboration with the sector, social partners and Spain’s regions.
The seal is personal and non-transferable and must be renewed every year.
Spain’s secretary of state for tourism, Isabel Oliver, said: “Offering trust and safety is crucial at this time to attract both national and international tourists once more.
“This seal is one more element in our strategy to reposition ourselves as a safe tourism destination worldwide.
“In addition, it serves to recognise the responsibility of those that make an effort to create a safe environment in their respective businesses not only for tourists but also for their own workers and residents.”
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