Transport secretary hints at international quarantine announcement

13 November 2020 by
Transport secretary hints at international quarantine announcement

Transport secretary Grant Shapps has said the government is working on reducing the quarantine restrictions on international travel into the UK and is expected to make an announcement "very soon".

When asked by Kay Burley on Sky News whether the 14-day quarantine period could be reduced, he said: "We want to use technology to improve things, so we want to ensure that quarantining or self-isolation, in both cases when you're asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or indeed with international travel, my area, that that's reduced.

"We're actively working on that and I'll be saying more about the international side very soon."

Shapps has previously confirmed the government is working towards releasing people from quarantine earlier than 14 days but dashed hopes of a test on arrival option earlier this year.

The 14-day quarantine for international arrivals to the UK has been in place since 8 June depending on whether the country a person is travelling from is on the UK's ‘travel corridor' list of exempt countries.

In May when the policy was first announced, Joanne Taylor-Stagg, general manager of the five-red-AA-starred, 135-bedroom Athenaeum Hotel & Residences on London's Piccadilly, said it was an "absolute disaster for hotels", particularly those in London, where occupancy levels have lagged behind the rest of the country since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK and remained flat at just 29.3% in October according to STR.

Stuart Procter, chief operating officer of the Stafford Collection (comprising the five-red-AA-star Stafford London hotel in St James's, the four-red-AA-star Northcote hotel in Langho, Lancashire, and Norma restaurant in Fitzrovia), said at the time it was "catastrophic" and "significantly damaging" for tourism in London and nationally, particularly for luxury hotel businesses in W1 (incorporating Mayfair and the West End) where 85% of business has been international historically.

Photo: Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street

TagsTourism and Hotels
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