Those travelling from ‘amber list’ countries with both vaccines no longer have to isolate, however testing will still be required
The UK government has announced today (June 8) that passengers with both Covid-19 vaccines returning to England from international destinations on the ‘amber list’ will no longer have to isolate upon arrival.
Those within the aviation sector have commented on the latest announcement.
Karen Dee, Airport Operators Association chief executive, believes this is a “significant step forward that will be a boost to airports and the local economies that rely on them”.
She added: “We are not out of the woods yet: the road to recovery will be long for our sector. It is vital for our industry that this policy is taken across the four UK nations, and we urge the devolved governments to follow the UK government’s approach.
“We will also work with the UK and devolved governments on extending this to inbound travellers as well, so that people abroad can come to visit relatives and friends in the UK, business leaders can come to invest in our economy and the inbound tourism industry can start its recovery.”
In today’s announcement, Grant Shapps, transport secretary, also confirmed that testing will still be necessary – including for vaccinated passengers – three days prior to travel and on/before the second day of arriving.
Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, feels this procedure is “unnecessary” and that “more needs to be done”.
“We do not want to see a return to flying being a preserve of the rich and expensive testing could sadly make travel out of reach for some this summer,” he explained.
Stewart Wingate, CEO at Gatwick Airport, also reiterates that the news is a “small step in the right direction”, but feels an additional approach is needed.
He said: “With summer holidays just around the corner, we are approaching a crucial time for our industry and we urge the government to remove other barriers inhibiting international travel, including the need for costly PCR tests for those who have been double vaccinated. At the very least, if tests are required, they should be the more readily available lateral flow tests or PCR tests carried out free of charge at an NHS facility, as has been done in France.
“We would also urge government to urgently follow the lead of EU counties to ensure that internationally agreed, coordinated protocols are in place so that processes when crossing borders to other countries are as smooth as possible, with no unnecessary queues, checks or costs.”
The next deliberation is set to take place on July 15, whereby the industry hopes for more destinations to move out of the red and amber categories.