London, United Kingdom:
Britain launched a two-week quarantine on Monday for most people arriving from abroad to limit the spread of the corona virus, a measure that the battered aviation sector has flatly condemned.
The measure, which applies to both residents and visitors with a few exceptions, is intended to prevent a second wave of contagion from abroad.
However, critics wonder why the UK, which has been hardest hit by COVID-19 in Europe and is only gradually loosening the blockage, is causing more pain to hotels and airlines by reducing travel from countries with fewer virus cases.
British Airways and low-cost airlines EasyJet and Ryanair have filed a lawsuit against the government for what they consider to be "disproportionate and unfair" action.
Ryanair boss Michael O & # 39; Leary told Sky News on Monday that the plan was "useless" and unenforceable and would "destroy thousands of jobs in British tourism."
London's Heathrow general manager, John Holland-Kaye, told City AM newspaper that this could result in the loss of potentially 25,000 jobs at its airport – a third of its employees.
Health Minister Matt Hancock said the new rules make sense because "the proportion of foreign infections increases" as the number of cases in the UK decreases.
"We have to choose an approach that starts with caution," he told Sky News.
To travel to the UK by plane, train, road or sea, travelers must provide details of their trip and the address at which they will isolate themselves.
How the quarantine is carried out differs in the decentralized countries of the UK and the measures are evaluated every three weeks.
Exceptions are made in several cases – including truck drivers, "important" healthcare workers and people from Ireland who have been there for at least two weeks.
Authorities in England will carry out spot checks and those who violate the rules could be fined £ 1,000 (US $ 1,250) or prosecuted.
Hopes for the travel corridor
Minister of the Interior Priti Patel told parliamentary skeptical legislators last week that the measure was "supported by science, supported by the public, and essential to save lives."
The government is pushing for a gradual easing, with retail reopening on June 15 and restaurants and bars beginning their limited service in early July.
But the destroyed hospitality sector is heavily dependent on tourists, and business leaders fear that the quarantine will result in much of the summer season being lost.
It comes after Italy, which was badly affected, reopened its borders last week and other European countries are following suit.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is trying to arrange "travel corridors" with countries like France and Spain where they could lift their quarantine requirements.
Officials have reportedly given until the end of June to close these deals – and the airlines behind the lawsuit say they can't wait that long.
"These measures are disproportionate and unfair to British citizens and international visitors coming to the UK," said a joint airline statement.
The quarantine "will wreak havoc on the UK tourism industry and destroy thousands of jobs in this unprecedented crisis," they said.
The official number of deaths in the UK of 40,542 is only that of the United States.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)