A statement was released by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) to emphasise that new travel regulations should replace quarantine in response to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said: “WTTC supports measures designed to curb COVID-19 and protect public health but calls for the complete removal of unnecessary quarantines.”
To encourage future flight bookings and travel, a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test should be conducted to ensure safe travel for inbound travelers and holidaymakers. However, there is still uncertainty around the type of tests that will be accepted upon arrival, and they must be made widely accessible and affordable for all, according to the statement. Although multiple countries have replaced quarantine with a proof negative PCR test, to further insist all arriving travellers must isolate for ten days or undergo a further test five days later is an unnecessary precaution. According to WTTC, it will only stifle travel, putting yet more pressure on the embattled Travel & Tourism sector. Continuing with damaging quarantines and added unnecessary restrictions will impact forward bookings which will be vital to revive international air travel, bring back Travel & Tourism sector jobs and resuscitate the global economy, while also protecting public health.
Gloria Guevara continued, “WTTC has long called for an internationally recognised rapid and cost-effective testing regime upon departure at airports worldwide. This would avoid exporting the virus, especially by departing outbound passengers and aid the restoration of international travel.
“According to the WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, the importance of inbound international visitors is laid bare; international visitor spend in 2019 contributed £28.2 billion, representing 4.2% of the UK’s total exports.
“Travel & Tourism is critical to the UK’s economic well-being and is responsible for almost four million jobs, or 11% of the country’s total workforce. It also generated nearly £200 billion GDP or 9% to the UK economy.”
Photo Credit: WTTC