AIRPORT bosses say plans for a 14-day quarantine for everyone arriving to the UK will hit the industry hard.

Gatwick Airport has echoed concerns raised by Heathrow bosses about the Government’s new restrictions.

The plan, set to begin on June 1, would see all inbound travellers told to self-isolate for two weeks.

Gatwick said the plan is a huge blow for the industry, but said it hopes to work with the Government to review the quarantine plan country by country.

The airport says its own long-term prospects remain good and it will be creating social distancing and technology solutions for passengers travelling through its terminals.

Since the coronavirus hit, thousands of workers in the airline industry have been put on furlough, while major carriers like British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Easyjet have announced job losses.

Gatwick has been forced to close the North Terminal due to a sharp fall in passengers.

The airport said: “The recent Government announcement regarding the 14-day quarantine period for passengers arriving into the UK is a massive blow for the aviation industry. It will have a significant impact on our ability to restart and maintain vital connections, for trade and tourism.

“We accept the Government’s absolute priority is the protection of public health and we remain in close contact with them to make the case for regular, country by country reviews of quarantine regulations, based on medical evidence.”

The airport says one idea may be to create “air travel corridors” where passengers arriving from countries with stronger measures would not have to self-isolate.

Bosses want the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to review its blanket travel advice and create a country-by-country approach.

The airport said: “The coronavirus crisis has had a significant impact on Gatwick and our community, but we remain very optimistic about the long-term prospects of the airport and our business.

“Having remained open throughout this pandemic, we are in a strong position to ramp up operations quickly to meet future demand.

“We are currently developing a range of social distancing, hygiene and even technological solutions to help keep each other safe while travelling through Gatwick.

“We will be announcing these and also publishing new guidelines for passengers in coming days.

“We also continue to have positive conversations about new opportunities with both existing and new airlines to Gatwick to help ensure that the airport has a strong, positive future.”

Gatwick’s concerns have been echoed by Heathrow, and also by London Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Richard Burge.

He said: “Businesses in many sectors that depend upon aviation will be baffled why the Government and its advisers have chosen this approach, at this time.

“Those businesses will be hoping for as quick as possible a move to a system that permits selective international travel into the UK that is guided by a transparent scientific and health risk rationale.

“The Government’s roadmap to restarting the economy is correctly centred on a risk-based approach.

“Yet this announcement of almost blanket quarantine for international arrivals doesn’t appear to be risk-based.

“If it was, it would recognise that arrivals from some countries with much lower transmission levels than the UK and low incidence of the disease would not increase our risk, provided they adopted our social distancing protocols on arrival.

“If this is wrong, show us the data, the models and the analysis.

“At the moment this looks like the worst sort of arrogant British exceptionalism. This sort of thing does not create or sustain a global reputation, nor the impression of re-opening for business.”