West Midlands Mayor Andy Street and Birmingham Airport chief executive Nick Barton have called on the Government to ease quarantine restrictions on travellers.
They are asking for a relaxation of the measures for people arriving from abroad into the UK over fears of the damage it will cause to the region’s economy.
Under the restrictions introduced last week, travellers arriving from abroad are ordered to spend 14 days in isolation, making many business and holiday trips unrealistic.
They are due to be reviewed later this month.
Birmingham Airport said it had seen a 90 per cent fall in passenger numbers due to the covid-19 pandemic.
In a letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel, Mr Street and Mr Barton warn the new aviation quarantine rules will have a long-term detrimental effect on both the region’s travel and business tourism industries.
The pair are urging the Government to adopt a more flexible approach, particularly with regard to those arriving from low-risk countries, with suggestions including testing on arrival or the introduction of so-called ‘air bridges’ with key countries that have low transmission rates.
Mr Street, who signed the letter on behalf of the region’s Economic Impact Group (EIG), said: “What the Government is trying to achieve from a public health perspective with these measures is absolutely right but the 14-day quarantine will have unintended and severe consequences for our regional economy.
“The EIG and Birmingham Airport believe these public health outcomes can be achieved through other measures, such as testing on arrival and air bridges.
“Not only do the current measures hamper tourism, with international tourists contributing more than £800 million each year to the local economy, but it also impacts our businesses.”
Mr Barton added: “We fully support the need to protect public health.
“However, the longer the blanket quarantine policy is in place, greater and more damaging impacts will be felt by our business and industry as a whole.
“We are urgently calling for this policy to be amended to take a risk-based approach, such as using air bridges or similar initiatives, to make it effective.
“We need urgent clarity on the travel restrictions to stimulate demand so that airlines have the confidence to restart services and support the UK’s economic recovery.”