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Government must protect travel industry jobs, says Labour

Labour has said that clarity is needed by both the airline industry and passengers.

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Labour has called for the Government to introduce sectoral support (Steve Parsons/PA)

Labour has called for the Government to introduce sectoral support (Steve Parsons/PA)

Labour has called for the Government to introduce sectoral support (Steve Parsons/PA)

The Government has been urged to step in to protect jobs in the travel industry after the “chaotic” handling of its decision to impose a quarantine on people arriving in the UK from Spain.

On Saturday, it was announced that Spain would be removed from the Government’s list of safe countries to travel to after a rise in Covid-19 cases.

It means that holidaymakers coming back from Spain will have to self-isolate for two weeks upon their return to England.

However, Labour has warned that the Government must now abandon its “one-size-fits-all approach” and introduce sectoral support for struggling businesses faced with a change in quarantine rules.

The party has previously demanded that any Government support for the aviation sector should have conditions attached including the protection of jobs and staff salaries, as well as a commitment to tackling climate change.

Labour also said that any company in the sector in receipt of Government funds should have its tax base in the UK and that no dividends should be paid until the company is proven to be commercially viable.

Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said that the decision taken in the last few days had been “symptomatic” of the Government during the crisis.

“The Government’s handling of this issue has been nothing short of chaotic. The airline industry and passengers need clarity,” said Mr McMahon.

“The past few days have been symptomatic of the Government who were too slow to enter the lockdown, too slow to get vital protective equipment to NHS, social care and other key workers, and too slow on testing and tracing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“It will take a long time to recover from the impact of the virus.

“The Government must focus support on the sectors that desperately need it, like aviation, aerospace and its supply chain, which supports almost a quarter of a million jobs, with strict climate conditions and ensuring the gains are shared with the public.”

PA