03 June 2020
- Business group calls for an evidence based, bold approach to the rules
Following clarification from the government on the details of how a 14-day quarantine will be implemented for those who enter the UK, CBI President, John Allan, has called for an evidence led approach to be taken to the end of June review.
The review must be health led. But it is also vital to understand the impact of quarantine on prosperity across the UK. A blanket approach to quarantine for international arrivals will have major implications for businesses as well as the airlines, airports, ports, and rail and ferry operators who are significant regional employers. These sectors are already disproportionately feeling the effects of the economic downturn.
But the impact will be felt across the economy. From manufacturing to financial services, firms are clear that under the current plans, they are struggling to plan ahead for the movement of workers to service and sell their products. The long-term implementation of the 14-day quarantine as it stands will make them less competitive at a critical time.
Following today’s details from government on how the policy will be implemented, more information on the following questions would help businesses to minimise the impact on livelihoods:
- Further clarity on the criteria the government will use to review implementation after three weeks, including criteria for replacing the policy
- Further details on how the current exemptions will relate to certain jobs that require specific skills and expertise
- Details on the plan for the creation of “international travel corridors” with our key trading partners.
- A commitment that the government will work with carriers and entry ports (air, rail and maritime) to roll out internationally agreed screening procedures.
Commenting, CBI President John Allan said:
“The 14 day quarantine for international arrivals may be necessary from a health perspective, but sectors such as tourism, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, finance and many others rely on people and goods being able to travel freely across international boundaries. The government must continue to show, with evidence, that this quarantine plan is working and critically is playing a part to keep us all safe.
“Business now urgently needs a clear way forward for opening up international travel options for customers and employees.
“Businesses are keen to work with government on an evidence led and risk based approach to safely reopening international travel as soon as possible. Businesses and government urgently need to draw up an internationally coordinated plan to get people safely moving across borders as soon as possible. Innovative solutions such as Travel Corridors have a real role to play. All of this must be closely planned with our trading partners.
“Our economic bounce back will depend on the free-flow of a range of workers. To revive and renew the UK, every effort must be made to find new solutions to control the virus while avoiding unnecessary burdens that hurt future growth.”