Travellers from most countries must currently quarantine on arrival in the UK (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Quarantine quagmire – when will UK plc be open for business? There are no fewer than four government departments which have a say in the policy – the Department for Transport, the Foreign Office, the Home Office and the Department of Health. Not to mention Downing Street too. Show Comments ▼ The quarantine system has become fragmented due to different policies from Westminster and the devolved administrations, especially Scotland which has added the whole of Greece to its quarantine list, when the country remains well below the 20 per 100,000 cases over seven days threshold. whatsapp Travellers from most countries must currently quarantine on arrival in the UK (AFP via Getty Images) Also Read: Quarantine quagmire – when will UK plc be open for business? Paul Charles is CEO of The PC Agency travel consultancy Share This is a system which could surely be applied in the UK for those visiting from low-risk green or amber countries? The answer lies in testing and more testing, and thankfully innovation abroad may give the government the best answer on how to get out of the quarantine quagmire. City A.M.’s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M. Fewer jobs leads to less consumer spending and a rise in physical and mental health issues. That is before you add in the economic damage caused by tour operators and travel agents failing and tens of thousands of people losing their jobs due to lack of demand. Of course, social distancing measures would have to be adhered to and quarantine could be enforced if anyone breaks the rules, but this would be a major step forward in opening up our economy. This approach would massively reduce the unworkable 14-day quarantine and help get the economy moving again. 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From November, it will allow anyone coming from the UK to arrive, show a negative Covid-19 test, and then freely enjoy the country without having to quarantine or take a second test. Opinion This is for anyone staying under 72 hours, or three days, enough for a business trip, great weekend break or ski holiday in the winter season. If ever the term “too many cooks” needed a case study, then you’d need look no further than the government’s quarantine policy for those arriving in the UK. whatsapp The policy is even more confusing for UK tourists wishing to seek sunshine beyond our shores. Travellers from most countries must currently quarantine on arrival in the UK (AFP via Getty Images) Quarantine quagmire – when will UK plc be open for business? It will be a cruel winter for the travel sector unless the government changes course. Visitors are not coming because the 14-day quarantine policy has effectively put up the closed sign on UK plc. Friday 18 September 2020 1:45 am The existing policy, of frequently moving countries on and off the quarantine list, can not last. It creates anxiety among consumers who have holidays booked, damages the recovery in the travel sector, and tells the world not to bother visiting the UK. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that the collapse of international visitors to the UK is around £60m per day, or £22bn this year alone, a fact that is blindingly obvious walking around the tourist-free streets of central London. Paul Charles The beauty of the system is that it would put the onus on the traveller to organise and pay for a private test in their origin country. If they want to travel, then they would need to be prepared to pay for their own test. It would also remove any additional pressure on the NHS as secondary tests would need to be paid for too, as offered by private facilities. Quarantine kills travel. It puts off people from booking and reduces demand. As a policy it can not continue if we are to revive the travel and hospitality sectors. It’s the ultimate dog’s dinner and it is causing enormous pain and harm to the travel sector and to consumers. Whichever figure you look at makes for unpleasant reading. Testing is the answer as well for those of us leaving the UK and returning. We would show a negative Covid certificate on arrival, having paid for a test in the origin country, then quarantine for just four days and have a second test, paid for by ourselves, on day five. Why would any business or leisure traveller choose to visit Britain and Northern Ireland if they have to quarantine for 14 days before even being allowed to walk around the block of their own hotel?