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July 28, 2020

AOA urges UK to exempt Spanish islands from mandatory quarantine

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) has urged the Government of UK to exclude passengers arriving from Spain’s Balearic and Canary Islands from the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The Airport Operators Association (AOA) has urged the Government of UK to exclude passengers arriving from Spain’s Balearic and Canary Islands from the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

On 26 July, the government announced that passengers who return from Spain will have to undergo the 14-day quarantine.

AOA stated that the flights to the Spanish Islands normally account for 15% of the flights that leave the UK. AOA added that around 2.4 million people travelled to the islands in August last year.

The numbers also showcase that this move will majorly affect the regional airports as, last August, 27% of all the flights from outside London were to the Spanish islands.

In addition, the organisation has urged the government to remove the blanket quarantine policy and adopt a risk-based approach that will permit travel to Lanzarote, Majorca and Ibiza and other safe destinations.

AOA CEO Karen Dee said: “The government must look urgently at introducing air bridges on a regional basis, which would allow travel to islands such as Lanzarote, Majorca and Tenerife, where infection rates are lower, to continue.

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“Nationally, flights to these islands are 15% of all flights in August and 27% outside of London and by cutting passengers off from these islands, the government risks cutting off airport’s recovery, before it has even begun.”

UK airports have already lost around £2bn since the start of the pandemic.

Dee called on the government to provide support for struggling airports.

Dee added: “The government has acted with urgency to reintroduce quarantine measures for Spain based on public health concerns, but we must not allow this to usher in a return to an illogical, ill-conceived and misguided policy. They must act with the same urgency to exempt those islands where a quarantine is wholly unnecessary.”

Last month, AOA warned that up to 20,000 jobs are currently at risk at British airports due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

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