Executives of travel and hospitality companies backing a campaign against the government’s blanket quarantine plans have predicted mass redundancies if the measures are not reconsidered.
The survey of 124 chief executives and owners found that 71% of respondents believe that the impact of the quarantine plans would lead their companies to lay off up to two-thirds of their staff, while 28% said they could be forced to cease trading entirely.
Of those polled, 94% said they expect the plans to eradicate summer bookings, while 50% predicted future bookings would drop by between 80% and 100%.
The campaign has urged the government to consider alternative options to a blanket quarantine, with 94% of respondents preferring the introduction of ‘air bridges’ between countries and 98% calling for greater testing at airports, ports and Eurostar terminals.
The government’s new Test & Trace system also received backing, with 87% of respondents believing the system should make quarantine unnecessary.
The results were released as the government faced growing industry and political pressure on the blanket ban, with sources suggesting amends are likely to be made at the first three-week review of the measures in late June.
A parliamentary debate on the subject originally scheduled for Tuesday was pushed back until Wednesday.
George Morgan-Grenville, chief executive of tour operator Red Savannah and campaign leader, said: “The findings are catastrophic for the UK economy and for the travel and hospitality sector.
“By pursuing its quarantine plans without due regard for the economic consequences, the government is choosing to ignore the devastation it will cause to companies, to employment and to the lives of all those whose jobs will be lost. The quarantine measures are a blunt weapon which will bring only economic disaster.”
Over 300 companies have now endorsed a letter to the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, calling on the government to review its plans.
The companies are also calling for the Foreign Office to amend its current travel advice warning against all non-essential travel, saying countries with an equal or lower rate of Covid-19 to the UK should be exempted from the current advice.
Those wishing to endorse the call for quarantine plans to be removed should email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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