Director of Marketing Liverpool, Chris Brown, has along with the heads of nine other tourist boards across the North of England, signed a letter asking the government to reconsider a plan to impose a 14-day quarantine on people entering the UK. The tourism chief says it will deal a, “severe blow” to Liverpool city region’s visitor economy.
From June 8th, many people arriving in the country by plane, train or ferry, including UK citizens, must self-isolate for two weeks; a decision that has caused alarm among travel and transport companies.
Chief executive of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, which joins Liverpool John Lennon Airport with more than 30 destinations across European said, “14-day quarantines have no scientific basis, are unimplementable and unnecessary in circumstances where airline, train and underground passengers wear face masks where social distancing isn’t possible.”
The government has said the proposals are under constant review but the 10 Northern tourism boards say the policy, will have serious consequences for the leisure and hospitality industries and will, “severely impede the sector’s ability to restart and recover.”
Liverpool city region alone attracts more than 60m visitors every year, and generates about £5bn and supports 57,000 jobs, thanks to things like the Beatles Heritage industry, Champions League football, major leisure events such as the ‘Giants’ and a growing number of cruise ships arriving in the Mersey, Liverpool’s status as an visitor destination has grown considerably.
The industry’s letter to the government promises full support on the commitment to public health, but say that a one size fits all approach to the quarantining of all arrivals, regardless of where passengers originate from, will cause untold damage to the economy and risk employment.
The tourist boards conclude by asking the government to commit to a review weekly on any quarantine measures and to lift the approach as early as possible to mirror that being taken by competitor economies in the EU.
Mr Brown said: “We’ve seen first-hand at Liverpool John Lennon Airport how the industry is reeling, a picture that is reflected across the North. Now, the quarantine measures for all air passengers will deal an unnecessary and severe blow. Public health is of course everybody’s priority, but this blanket approach is simply not the answer. We urge Government to adopt a more nuanced, risk-based approach to passenger screening, similar to the tactics most of our European neighbours have taken. This would allow us to still be safe and sensible without further damaging the North’s economy and putting people’s livelihoods at risk.”