James Foice, CEO of the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP), has called for the government to rethink quarantine restrictions on incoming visitors.
As of Monday (8 June), almost everyone arriving in the UK, including British citizens returning from overseas, will need to self-isolate for 14 days. There will be spot-checks on the quarantine address they give, with fines of up to £1,000 for non-compliance.
Foice said: “The members I represent in the serviced apartment sector offer self-contained, hygiene-assured accommodation with guests’ own laundry facilities and kitchens, so they actually make ideal places to stay for those quarantining.
“However, the whole travel industry has taken an unprecedented pounding during the pandemic, from airlines to travel services, and hotels to B&Bs.”
He added: “And while we obviously understand the need for caution to keep the virus under control, putting up barriers against people visiting can only hit business travel and tourism harder still.”
Foice said the UK hospitality industry is currently responsible for around one-tenth of jobs, and 10% of GDP, so losing it would make a “huge hole in the country’s finances”.
He noted that existing restrictions continue to keep pubs and restaurants closed, making the country less appealing to visitors, while the quarantine measures will bring another challenge for both leisure and business travel.
Foice continued: “We are asking the government to think again. Britain should be open and welcoming to visitors of all sorts. Once we re-open we will be competing with countries much bigger than ourselves for both tourists and business travellers.
“It’s not too late to change the quarantine restrictions, and open the country to visitors, with sensible hygiene measures in place.”