Meetings are unaffected by foot-and-mouth outbreak

In spite of widespread media reports that Great Britain's countryside has been devastated by the rapid spread of foot and mouth disease, the nation is, indeed “open for business as usual,” according to officials who took part in the World Travel Leaders Summit in Britain in April.

As of late that month, the epidemic had passed its peak, and officials were predicting an end to the disease by summer, said Rebecca Booth, director, Business Travel USA for the British Travel Authority, New York City. Foot-and-mouth disease apparently does not pose a risk to public health, but precautions have been taken in the countryside to protect animal welfare and to minimize the chances of spreading the disease.

While life in the U.K.'s cities has been unaffected, residents and visitors have been asked to stay off Britain's footpaths and farms. All pubs, restaurants, museums, and attractions in Britain's towns and villages are, however, open.

Two Web sites for information on foot-and-mouth disease are: or the official Ministry of Agriculture Web site at