Aviation Industry Blasts Quarantine Plans Ahead of Launch Next Week

The home secretary, Priti Patel has confirmed to MPs that the government’s 14-day quarantine plans will come into force on Monday (June 8) as planned. Speaking in the Commons this afternoon, Patel said that the country is “now more vulnerable to infections being brought in from abroad”.

From Monday, all arriving passengers will be required to fill in a “contact locator form” and failing to do so could result in a £100 fine. Anyone breaching the quarantine rules could face a fine of up to £1000.

The plans, which were originally announced by the home secretary at a Downing Street press briefing on May 22, have drawn widespread criticism from the aviation industry, which says the rules  could have an impact on the sector’s ability to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Heathrow Airports
The 14-day quarantine plans will come into force on Monday (June 8), and will affect all arriving passengers in England only. Heathrow Airports

Karen Dee, chief executive of the Airport Operators Association, commented: “We are disappointed that the Government is pressing ahead with the blanket, untargeted quarantine proposals, as these will have a devastating impact on the aviation sector and the parts of the wider economy which rely heavily on the connectivity we provide, putting jobs at risk as the country attempts to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Nevertheless, we will work constructively with Border Force and others to ensure that the policy is implemented in the most sensible and practical way possible.”

A Ryanair spokesperson called the plans “ineffective” and “completely useless”, saying they will have “no effect on British passengers who will largely ignore it.”

Willie Walsh, the boss of British Airways’ parent company, IAG said that implementing such policy would “definitely make [the situation] worse” after the flag carrier announced plans for a “meaningful return to service in July”.

Patel said the isolation rules would only come into force in England and that it would be up to the devolved administrations to set their own regulations.

British Airways
Willie Walsh, the chief executive of British Airways' parent company, IAG said the policy would "make the situation worse", as it plans for a return to service in July. British Airways