More than half of people (59%) support the idea of air bridges or travel corridors to connect the UK with other countries, a poll for the Quash Quarantine trade lobby group reveals.
The nationwide survey about the government’s 14-day quarantine measures introduced on Monday shows that just 9% of the public believe the economy will be unaffected.
More than a third (36%) fear the travel restrictions will lead to many job losses.
Just 15% of the 2.102 people surveyed think the new measures will work.
A total of 38% of those questioned on behalf of the group of more than 500 travel and hospitality firms seeking to overturn the mandatory quarantine rules believe that the government should have conducted an economic impact assessment prior to introducing the measures, with an additional 25% assuming that it had.
Almost a third (32%) of those interviewed by independent research company AudienceNet feel the government has introduced the quarantine strategy with no scientific evidence, with 42% unsure whether or not there is any evidence.
Among the 70% expressing an opinion on alternatives to quarantine measures, more people agreed than disagreed (70% verses 30%) that test and trace would be a better option, with a strong belief that testing and tracing would be less damaging to the UK economy than quarantine (81% verses 19%).
And as many as 85% lack confidence in the government being able to successfully implement the quarantine.
The results were disclosed as groups, including the Confederation of British Industry, the British Chambers of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses, warned that whole sectors of the UK economy “simply won’t recover and thrive without international connections”.
They want more detail on how and when the government will agree travel corridors with countries with low infection rates, so passengers on certain routes will not have to self-isolate for two weeks when they arrive in the UK.
The organisations also want to know when the Foreign Office will move away from its current blanket advice against all but essential travel abroad.
Responding to the poll results, George Morgan-Grenville, leader of the Quash Quarantine group and chief executive of tour operator Red Savannah, said: “These figures tell us the true feeling of the UK public about these unworkable and disproportionate quarantine measures.
“It’s staggering that the government seems willing to gamble with people’s livelihoods in the travel and hospitality sector, with apparently little regard for the hundreds of thousands of jobs likely to be lost.
“For a government that always says it is guided by science, we are still waiting for the scientific evidence. Meanwhile, alternatives to quarantine, which will result in considerably less economic damage, seem to have been ignored.
“We urge the government to outline urgently how travel corridors will be introduced on 29thJune so that the sector can focus on planning for the summer, rebuilding for the future and protecting as many jobs as possible.”
The 500 companies who have joined Quash Quarantine include Red Savannah, Scott Dunn, SJ Villas, The Thinking Traveller, Mark Warner, Mr & Mrs Smith, Cosmos Tours, Caribtours, &Beyond, Kuoni, Mandarin Oriental, Daunt Travel, Embarque Travel, CT Travel Group, Art Tours, Inside Travel Group, Flavours Holidays, Jetline Travel, Africa Exclusive and Tanzania Odyssey.
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