Mark Tanzer, ABTA’s chief executive, said: “Cases of Coronavirus have continued to emerge with official restrictions being placed on travel to 11 towns in northern Italy and holidaymakers in a hotel in Tenerife being affected in resort this week. This has dominated the news agenda for the past few days, with a huge amount of speculation and anxiety about the spread of the virus.
“ABTA has been liaising with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and our Members, and regularly updating our advice for Members and customers as the situation has developed.
“Our other main priority is on providing accurate advice to the travelling public and providing some perspective to reports – covering the scale of the issue, the currently very limited nature of travel restrictions in place by the FCO and practical steps people can take to protect themselves.
“Over the last week our 24/7 Press Office has conducted over one hundred interviews with national and regional broadcast and print media including: BBC News, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, ITV News, numerous national and regional radio stations and supplied proactive updated statements and answers to print and online media. We have also been using ABTA’s social media channels to disseminate accurate information. A new Member webpage has also been created with up to date advice for Members.
“As well as considering the position in relation to travellers, it would be prudent to consider your own business processes. It is important that business continuity plans, contingency measures and policies are put in place now to protect your business and employees as best possible. The Public Health England guidance for businesses and employers can be found here.
“It is impossible to say how the situation will develop but ABTA will continue to focus its efforts on providing up to date fact-based information so Members and customers can make informed decisions. “