AGS Airports, Edinburgh Airport and Airlines UK have urged the Scottish Government to introduce a Covid-19 testing regime to safely reopen Scottish aviation.

The absence of a testing strategy could risk Scottish airlines from being left behind and result in thousands of job cuts.

This calling by industry leaders comes after the test to release scheme for international travel was launched in England.

With this scheme, travellers arriving in England will be able to reduce their mandatory quarantine by at least a week by taking a Covid-19 test after five days of quarantine. In the case of a negative result, they may stop isolating.

Travellers can book and pay for a Covid-19 test from a private provider on an approved government list, guaranteeing the NHS Test and Trace testing capacity is protected.

On the other hand, Scotland has no such strategy in place.

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AGS Airports chief executive Derek Provan said: “Today, airports and airlines in England can start making plans to safely restart international travel and get the aviation industry moving again. There are no such plans in place for Scotland.

“We now risk being left behind as airlines will opt to relocate their aircraft and with them what’s left of our connectivity and the jobs that rely on them. We have been calling for the introduction of a testing regime for months and despite putting proposals in front of the Scottish Government, we’re no further forward.

“We can’t have a piecemeal approach when it comes to reopening aviation, which is why we need to see urgent progress from the Scottish Government on the introduction of testing which needs to go hand-in-hand with the vaccination roll-out.”