Hope for summer holidays as Greece becomes first country to offer to waive 14-day quarantine for British tourists

 

Hope for summer holidays as Greece becomes first country to offer to waive 14-day quarantine for British tourists and travel firms say they still hope to run holidays from mid-June as minister says UK campsites could REOPEN later in the summer

 



Greece has offered to waive its 14-day coronavirus quarantine for British tourists and holiday firms are planning to restart flights from mid June in what could be a welcome boost for beleaguered lockdown Britain.

 

With the Mediterranean nation’s under-pressure economy heavily dependent on holidaymakers it has been making plans to refill deserted beaches and hotels.

The country’s tourism minister, Harry Theoharis said that it would waive its requirement for visitors if the same was done for Greeks arriving in the UK, speaking to the BBC.

It came as  ministers mull coronavirus ‘air bridges’ to allow travellers to move between countries without the need for quarantine once the outbreak is under control.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said a ‘blanket’ 14-day quarantine rule for arrivals will be introduced from next month.

But he disclosed that there are ‘active discussions’ going on over what countries could be exempted from the regime in future, referring to the idea of ‘air bridges’ – usually used to refer to military flights over enemy territory.

Countries with lower infection levels, such as Australia, New Zealand and Greece, could potentially be excluded from the tough rules, which will be enforced by law.

Tui, the largest travel firm in the UK has said it will restart holidays from June 14, with numbers ramped up from July – subject to travel restrictions being relaxed.

In further good news for holidaymakers, a senior minister revealed UK campsites could be allowed to reopen from July.

Asked about camping, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey told Sky:  ‘Having come from Suffolk down to London, I know there are a lot of campsites that are very keen for people to come.

‘Some of this is being carefully considered, recognising that we have a reduced outdoor transmission risk, that things like camping may well become suitable.

 

UK tourism firms facing £37bn coronavirus hit

 



UK tourism businesses could lose up to £15billion this year because of the coronavirus shutdown, an industry boss told MPs today.

Patricia Yates, acting chief executive at Visit Britain, said huge sums were likely to be lost both from international and domestic holidaymakers.

She told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: ‘Every time we do the modelling the figures get worse. So for inbound, I mean we were looking at the beginning of this year at about £26.6 billion coming from inbound tourism, we reckon a £15 billion drop on that.

‘And for domestic, an industry that’s normally worth about £80 billion, a £22 billion drop on that.

‘And that’s actually before we’ve factored in the quarantine because we don’t clearly quite know what the measures are going to look like.’

She said while it would be the hope that domestic tourism this summer could pick up the slack and help alleviate some of the losses from the international sector, a ‘lack of confidence’ among people around travelling is a concern.

She said: ‘You’ve got a collapse of the supply industry as well as collapse of demand and really to get British tourism up and running this summer, and the summer is hugely important, you’re going to need that domestic audience. I think the worrying thing we see is the lack of confidence in the British public about travelling.’

She added: ‘So there’s a real job to be done there, given that it has to be the year of domestic tourism, there’s a real job to be done there in convincing people that it’s socially responsible to travel and enjoy a holiday. And that it’s safe to do so.’

 

But that is a decision that still needs to be taken for later this year, potentially in July or even later in the year, recognising that we need to do all we can to keep that R rate below one, the number of infections down, and we need to be careful when we take those steps.’

But pushed by presenter Kay Burley about holidaying in France, she dampened hopes, saying: ‘I know you like your holidays Kay,and quite right too, but I wouldn’t plan any time soon on booking a holiday in the Dordogne.’

Patricia Yates, acting chief executive at Visit Britain, said that the UK tourism industry was facing a £37billion blackhole and said the public needed to be told that a domestic holiday this summer was safe.

She told MPs: ‘You’ve got a collapse of the supply industry as well as collapse of demand and really to get British tourism up and running this summer, and the summer is hugely important, you’re going to need that domestic audience. I think the worrying thing we see is the lack of confidence in the British public about travelling.’

She added: ‘So there’s a real job to be done there, given that it has to be the year of domestic tourism, there’s a real job to be done there in convincing people that it’s socially responsible to travel and enjoy a holiday. And that it’s safe to do so.’

She also told MPs air bridges were an ‘interesting’ idea to get people into the UK with money.

She told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee: ‘It would be good to choose the countries that were valuable to us for inbound markets.

‘We have an international network, our American regional director is telling us sort of America is ready to go, American business is ready to go.

‘So, possibly, you know, an air bridge between the UK and America might be one that would be valuable to us.’

She said Visit Britain was already looking at stepping up marketing in Ireland, which will be exempt from the quarantine measures regarding international travel.

 

Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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