Thursday,  February 25, 2021  5:40 pm

Hotel quarantine measures will “destroy” travel & tourism, says WTTC


Hotel quarantine measures will “destroy” travel & tourism, says WTTC
(The World Travel & Tourism Council)
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

The order to stay in a hotel for 14 days after returning from travel abroad is becoming a real possibility in Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is currently studying ways to tighten the screws on Canada’s travel rules, stressing that “all options are on the table.” 

And this may include the introduction of compulsory quarantines in a hotel for international arrivals. 

While Ottawa has yet to announce something official, The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is speaking out against hotel quarantines, which the U.K. government is expected to announce soon.  

The collapse of tourism?

In a release, the WTTC said that enforced quarantines in hotels will “force the complete collapse of travel and tourism as we know it.”

The council fears the “crippling impact of the new proposals being considered by the UK government would cause irreparable damage to a sector which contributes nearly £200 billion to the UK economy.”

READ MORE: Mandatory hotel quarantine is a “possibility that we are examining," says Trudeau

After all, for nine months, the travel industry has endured several travel restrictions, which has led to millions of job losses, bringing public confidence in travel to an all-time low.

“The UK Travel & Tourism sector is in a fight for survival - it’s that simple. With the sector in such a fragile state, the introduction of hotel quarantines by the UK government could force the complete collapse of travel and tourism,” stated Gloria Guevara, WTTC President and CEO.  

“Travellers and holidaymakers would simply not book business or leisure trips knowing they would have to pay to isolate in a hotel, causing a drastic drop in revenues throughout the sector.”

READ MORE: Premier Ford calls on Ottawa to ban flights from countries with COVID-19 variants

Guevara said several countries, such as Iceland, have successfully implemented a testing regime on arrival, which has curbed the spread, whilst ensuring borders remain open.

“...it's crucial these measures are given some time to work,” she said.

Blame community transmission

WTTC says that despite months of forced quarantines, post travel, there is still no evidence to suggest they work.

“Even the government’s own figures show quarantines have not proved to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” the WTTC said. “Community transmission continues to pose a far greater peril than international travel.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), along with many other major organizations, have also said quarantines are not an effective public health measure and only hinder travel.


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