Britons thinking of jetting off on holiday in the coming months have been issued a warning from the government suggesting hand luggage may become a thing of the past. The new advice says travellers should check luggage rather than taking it onboard to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Britons who need to fly are being advised to avoid the busiest times and routes.
The guidance is said to help both passengers and airports understand how they can help stop the pandemic while travelling.
Tim Hawkins, chief strategy officer at Manchester Airports Group, which owns and operates Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands airports, said the new advice helps to provide “clear information for us, our passengers and our airlines on the steps needed to create a safe travel experience.”
He said: “The guidance is the result of strong collaboration between Government and the aviation industry, drawing on advice from independent medical and scientific experts who have looked specifically at what safety measures are needed at each stage of the travel process.
“With similar protocols being adopted in other countries, and a targeted approach to reopening travel to low-risk countries, we will have the elements in place to get our economy moving again and protect jobs throughout the whole aviation supply chain.”
A mandatory 14-day quarantine period has also been introduced this week to slow the spread of the virus.
Travellers arriving into the UK from abroad will be required to enter into a period of self-isolation.
New arrivals are required to leave their name and an address for where they will be staying during the two-week quarantine.
Authorities are entitled to check up on them at any point, and flouting the rules may result in a fine of up to £1,000.
However, some members of the travel industry have condemned the move as potentially damaging to the UK’s travel and tourism.
Amongst companies speaking out is Ryanair CEO Michal O’Leary.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme he said: “I want the travel quarantine overturned because it is irrational, ineffective and unimplementable.”
Mr O’Leary added: “What it is going to do is bring untold devastation.
“Not just to the airlines but to British tourism and thousands of hotels.
“Thousands of visitor attractions and restaurants in the next couple of months.
“July and August are the key months for the British tourism industry and we are facing thousands of job losses because of a stupid ineffective quarantine.”
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