Travel industry faces ‘three winters’, MP warns as companies demand urgent help from Rishi Sunak

The same conditions will also apply to travellers returning to the UK from the Netherlands, Monaco, Malta, Turks and Caicos and Aruba.

Henry Smith, the Tory chair of the Future of Aviation group of MPs, said the travel industry would now suffer “three winters” and called on Mr Sunak to provide sector-specific support.

Mr Smith noted that Gatwick Airport, which is covered by his Crawley constituency, is still paying “a huge amount in business rates when their terminal is essentially empty”, adding: “People will be losing their jobs in the coming weeks and months, and this would be a welcome reprieve.”

Karen Dee, the chief executive of the Airport Operators Association (AOA), said members had lost £2 billion since the start of the pandemic and were paying £500,000 in business rates every day.

She added: “We have consistently called for support, including relief from business rates and an extension to employment support, beyond October, and it is long overdue that the Government provides the same level of support to aviation that it has provided to other sectors.”

Heathrow Airport accused the Government of playing “quarantine roulette” and repeated calls for testing in airports to boost demand and reduce the need for severe border measures.

A spokesman said: “The UK needs a more sustainable long-term plan for the resumption of travel. Testing could provide an opportunity to safely reduce the length of quarantine in certain circumstances, protecting both the health and wealth of the nation as we pave a path towards a new normal.”

Germany requires mandatory coronavirus testing for travellers flying in from high-risk countries,with those who test negative avoiding the need to self-isolate.

Meanwhile, there was a ratcheting up of tensions between London and Paris over the decision to remove France from quarantine-free travel amid its increase in virus cases (see graphic below).

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