Priti Patel postpones publishing tourist quarantine details after backlash from MPs and tourism bosses


PRITI Patel has postponed publishing the details of the tourist quarantine plan after a growing backlash from MPs and tourism bosses.

The Home Secretary had been expected to reveal the controversial plans to MPs today, with them then coming into force on June 8.

Priti Patel could be set to amend the plans after a fierce backlash.

They were expected to see visitors and returning Brits forced to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

This would have people under the restrictions allowed to leave home for get food, and just a fifth face spot checks.

Travellers will also be able to board public transport to wherever they will quarantine.

The rules would also only be in place for an initial three weeks, with the first review on June 29.

Those found to have breached the rules will still be fined £1000, but the measures are not as strict as industry feared, or those imposed in European nations.

In other countries travellers arriving at airports and ports have been forced to stay at hotels and have food delivered, but the same won’t be the case in Britain.

Some 124 chief executives and owners of businesses had bashed the plan, and warned it would lead to 60 per cent of travel jobs being axed.

MPs and experts also urged the Government to rethink its 14-day quarantine for anyone flying into Britain — to avoid killing off the travel industry.

The call came as it was revealed on one day last week just 23 passengers used Gatwick Airport. It usually handles 45,000 people a day.

Now the plans will be revealed tomorrow, fuelling speculation the Government is set to compromise.

George Morgan-Grenville, the chief executive of tour operator Red Savannah, said: “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.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel had been expected to unveil full details of the plan today

Tory MP Henry Smith, whose Crawley constituency covers Gatwick said: “It sounds good, to stop people at the borders so we don’t get re-infections of Covid-19.

“But I don’t think it is going to be a benefit to public health and will prolong the economic damage.”

EasyJet boss Johan Lundgren said: “It was frustrating the Government chose not to consult our industry.

“British holidaymakers will think twice about going abroad if they have to return to quarantine for 14 days.”

Now Boris Johnson has been tipped to back air bridges to low-infection countries in a bid to see off the revolt from his own party.

He earlier announced the scheme, saying: “To prevent re-infection from abroad, I am serving notice that it will soon be the time – with transmission significantly lower – to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air.”

Former transport minister Stephen Hammond today claimed that air bridges would be a “sensible, targeted response”.

The Tory MP said: “I think the idea of air bridges are the right way forward.

“I think, as we’ve seen across the world, people are taking measures out of the lockdown and this targeted approach would be a much more sensible way to behave.”

It came as Portugal and Greece boosted Brits chances of a Summer holiday after saying they were ready to welcome back UK tourists within days.


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