Boss of Southend airport criticises 'sledgehammer approach' of UK's quarantine measures

The boss of Southend airport has criticised the "sledgehammer approach" of the UK's quarantine measures.

People arriving from abroad now have to self isolate for 14 days.

The measures, which are aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus, have been heavily criticised by the aviation and travel industry.

The controversial 14-day quarantine for UK arrivals has come under fire. Credit: PA

From Monday, passengers arriving at Southend were required to provide the address they are planning to stay at for a fortnight.

The government said they are looking at the possibility of setting up 'air bridges'; agreements with other countries which would negate the need for quarantine measures.

“Drop the sledgehammer that is quarantine and pick up the scalpel that is air bridges based on sensible risk assessments", Glyn Jones, CEO of Southend airport said.

"Allow aviation to play its huge part in restarting the economy.

“There seems to be little consensus on health benefits of observing quarantine at this point, the horse has bolted and with the UK one of the highest hit by the virus, preventing passengers from low risk countries seems disproportionate.”

Ryanair and easyJet aircraft parked near to an empty long stay car park at Southend airport after airlines reduced flights Credit: PA

In April, 141 passengers passed through Southend airport, compared to 250,000 in previous years.

“April, the first month of aviation’s summer, should have seen us serve over 250,000 guests", Glyn Jones said.

"We served 141, and May was much the same. Quarantine as currently constructed will perpetuate that, with massive consequences for revenuesand, if we are not very careful, for jobs.”