Tourism industry chiefs call for home secretary to scrap quarantine period immediately

28 May 2020 by
Tourism industry chiefs call for home secretary to scrap quarantine period immediately

Leading figures from the UK's tourism industry have written to home secretary Priti Patel calling for the proposed 14-day quarantine period for international travellers to be scrapped immediately.

Signatories to the letter include leading hoteliers Jeremy Goring, Rocco Forte, Amanda Hyndman, Thomas Kochs and Stuart Procter.

The letter read: "Unlike many industries who can scale down their workforce very rapidly, travel companies still need to employ staff when business stops, to either cancel, or rearrange existing, often complex, bookings.

"In essence, this means that whilst facing up to a 100% cancellation of forward bookings, cashflows are stretched even further in order to look after and protect existing consumers. COVID-19 is thankfully, for now anyway, on the retreat. There is a glimmer of hope that at least some of the summer business (the most important period of the year for many travel companies and hotels) might be salvaged, perhaps even more so for those companies that have a large portfolio of European product.

"The very last thing the travel industry needs is a mandatory quarantine imposed on all arriving passengers which will deter foreign visitors from coming here, deter UK visitors from travelling abroad, and most likely cause other countries to impose reciprocal quarantine requirements on British visitors."

The letter calls on the government to consider the possibility of putting in place ‘air bridges' with destinations where the virus is under control, allowing the free movement of some travellers.

It also asks why the action is being taken now when restrictions were not put in place earlier in the year, when flights from countries with confirmed cases were able to land.

It added: "The government has done its best to suppress and control this invidious viral contagion, but it should not, and must not, exceed its mandate. The people of this country do not wish to be prevented from travelling.

"The government itself has urged people to use their common sense in terms of their behaviour. Quite simply, it is time to switch the emphasis from protection to economic recovery, before it is too late. We the undersigned, therefore urge the Home Secretary to abandon the concept of mandatory quarantine and instead, champion an industry that provides not only a major economic contribution to the whole of the UK, but also such joy to so many people."

The signatories to the first letter are:

  • Sir Rocco Forte, chairman and chief executive, Rocco Forte Hotels
  • Henrietta Loyd, founder, Cazenove & Loyd
  • Geoffrey Kent, co-chairman, Abercrombie & Kent Group
  • Andrew Sutcliffe, QC, 3VB Chambers
  • Andrew Dunn, chairman, Scott Dunn
  • Tom Barber, co-founder and director, Original Travel
  • Henry Cookson FRGS, chairman and founder, Cookson Adventures
  • Oliver Brendon, chief executive and founder, ATD Travel Services
  • Edward Orr, chairman, Mr & Mrs Smith
  • Manfredi Lefebvre, co-chairman, Abercrombie & Kent Group
  • Victoria Williams Hooberman, director, Scott Williams
  • Derek Jones, chief executive, Der Touristik UK
  • Francis Torrilla, managing director, Jules Verne
  • Jennifer Atkinson, chief executive, Inspiring Travel Company
  • Rupert Longsdon, founder and chief executive, Oxford Ski Company & Oxford Private Travel
  • James Jayasundera, founder and managing director, Ampersand Travel
  • Joss Kent, chief executive, &Beyond
  • Edward Granville, director, Red Savannah
  • Nick Van Gruisen, managing director, The Ultimate Travel Company
  • Simon Leadsford, publisher, Conde Nast Traveller
  • Kerry Golds, managing director, Abercrombie & Kent
  • Tom Marchant, co-founder, the Black Tomato Group
  • Maymie White, director, Scott Williams
  • Glen Donovan, founder, Earth
  • Paul Cleary, managing director, Caribtours
  • Ted Wake, director, Kirker Holidays
  • Roz Webster, founder, Cream Travel
  • Mehra Dalton, founder and chief executive, Greaves Travel
  • James Merrett, co-founder, the Black Tomato Group
  • Pammy Goodman, travel editor, House & Garden
  • Kane Pirie, founder and chief executive, Vivid Travel
  • Lucy Cleland, editorial director, Country & Townhouse
  • Sarah Mason, managing director, Mason Rose Private
  • Serge Dive, founder and chief executive, Beyond Media
  • Ileana von Hirsch, managing director, Five Star Greece
  • Mary Ann Curtis-Green, managing director, Mahout
  • Andrew Loyd, co-founder, Loyd & Townsend
  • Rose Matt Smith, co-founder, the Black Tomato Group
  • Gemma Antrobus, managing director, Haslemere Travel
  • Alice Daunt, founder, Daunt Travel
  • Marina Gratsos, founder, Carpe Diem Luxury Travel
  • Judy Menier, founder, SJ Villas
  • Mark Hudson, chairman, Digital Health Intelligence
  • Michelle Jana Chan, travel editor, Vanity Fair
  • David Morgan-Hewitt, managing director, the Goring, London
  • Amanda Hyndman, general manager and vice-president operations, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London
  • Michael Bonsor, managing director, Rosewood London
  • Bob Van Den Oord, managing director, the Langham London
  • Guillaume Marly, managing director, Hotel Café Royal, London
  • Jannes Soerensen, general manager, the Beaumont, London
  • Philip Barnes, regional vice president and managing director, the Savoy London
  • Aaron Kaupp, general manager, Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London
  • Andrew Batchelor, general manager, the Landmark London
  • Thomas Kochs, managing director, Corinthia London
  • Stuart Proctor, chief operating officer, Stafford Collection
  • Joanna Taylor-Stagg, general manager, the Athenaeum hotel, London
  • Kurt Macher, general manager, Shangri-La Hotel the Shard, London
  • Stuart Johnson, managing director, Brown's hotel, London
  • Kostas Sfaltos, general manager, Bvlgari hotel
  • Guillaume Marly, managing director, Hotel Café Royal, London
  • Paul Jackson, general manager, Claridge's, London
  • Jurgen Ammerstorfer, general manager, the London Edition
  • Philip Barnes, managing director, the Savoy London
  • Arnaud de Saint-Exupery, general manager, Hyatt Regency London – the Churchill
  • Sonja Vodusek, managing director, the Peninsula London
  • Knut Wylde, general manager, the Berkeley, London
  • Sandeep Bhalla, general manager, the Connaught, London
  • Sal Gowili, general manager, the Ritz London
  • Andrew Batchelor, general manager, the Landmark London
  • Bob Van Den Oord, managing director, the Langham London
  • Klaus Kabelitz, general manager, the Biltmore Mayfair
  • Frank Kenyon-Slaney, director, World Odyssey
  • Jeremy Goring, chief executive, the Goring, Lonfon
  • Huw Beaugié, founder, The Thinking

UPDATE: Due to the overwhelming response to this letter from the travel and hospitality industries, the intention is now to send a second letter to highlight the significant level of concern within the industry at the concept of mandatory quarantine. If you would like to lend your support email

Picture: Shutterstock

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