Traveler confidence will be further undermined by lack of unified approach in UK quarantine measures

Following the news that Scotland and Wales have imposed quarantine measures on arrivals from Portugal, while England has not;

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“The idea of a ‘swift recovery’ of tourism post COVID-19 has been thwarted. Ongoing fluidity of the UK’s air bridges, coupled with economic constraints and general anxiety, means that the UK outbound market will be decimated in 2020 and will likely be further affected in 2021.

“According to GlobalData’s latest consumer recovery survey, 45% of UK travelers are ‘extremely concerned’ about their current economic situation. Holidays are a non-essential so as budgets tighten and economic concerns grow, holidays won’t be a priority for many.

“The same survey found that anxiety is currently the most common feeling amongst UK consumers. Venturing on holiday is an attempt to relax and unwind, but the prospect of having to scramble home to avoid blanket quarantine measures will have the opposite effect, deterring them from booking.

“The UK Government has consistently been criticized for its approach to handling COVID-19, including most recently the blanket quarantine policies. With Wales and Scotland now introducing their own measures for quarantine, we are witnessing a lack of a unified approach, which will further add to the confusion and anxiety regarding travel in 2020.

“German and Italian Governments have proposed that European Union member states should cooperate on monitoring tourists through mutual COVID-19 checks on both sides to decrease the infection. Until a vaccine is put in place, a policy such as this could be an effective and efficient way to manage risks, ensuring travel can continue without additional stress.

“If the ‘quarantine roulette’ persists and the UK continues to operate a disjointed approach, this will only heighten consumer concerns over travel plans, likely prolonging travel recovery.”

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